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Plenty has been written about the power of blueberries to support health… so much, in fact, that blueberries have come to be known as a “superfruit.”
In large part, it’s the compounds known as anthocyanins that are believed to be responsible.
Studies have linked anthocyanins with beneficial effects on cardiovascular function, risk of Parkinson’s disease, lung function, a strong immune system, slower aging, improved control over obesity, vision loss and dementia.
Not a fan of blueberries? No problem. Now there’s another berry competing for the title of “superfruit” when it comes to reducing the risk of dementia…
Are strawberries dementia fighters, too?
Back in 2022, a research team from the University of Cincinnati led by Dr. Robert Krikorian published findings showing that adding blueberry powder to the daily diet of middle-aged adults could lower the chances of developing late-life dementia.
Dr. Krikorian says that his new strawberry study is an extension of that research.
“There is epidemiological data suggesting that people who consume strawberries or blueberries regularly have a slower rate of cognitive decline with aging.”
“Both strawberries and blueberries contain antioxidants called anthocyanins, which have been implicated in a variety of berry health benefits such as metabolic and cognitive enhancements,” says Dr. Krikorian.
In his recent research, a total of thirty overweight patients between 50 and 65 years old completed the study. All had complaints of mild cognitive decline. Dr. Krikorian noted that this population has an increased risk for late-life dementia and other common conditions.
Over a period of twelve weeks, the participants were asked not to eat berries of any kind, except for a daily packet of supplement powder to be mixed with water and consumed with breakfast. Half of the participants were given powders containing the equivalent of one cup of whole strawberries, while the other half received a placebo.
Better memory with strawberries
Over the twelve weeks of the study, all participants were given tests that measured certain cognitive abilities like long-term memory. The researchers also tracked their mood, the intensity of depressive symptoms and metabolic data.
Two important results were noted…
The strawberry powder group had less memory interference, reflecting an overall improvement in executive function.
“Reduced memory interference refers to less confusion of semantically related terms on a word-list learning test,” says Dr. Krikorian. “This phenomenon generally is thought to reflect better executive control in terms of resisting intrusion of non-target words during the memory testing.”
The other thing noted was that participants who consumed the strawberry powder had a significant reduction in depressive symptoms, which Dr. Krikorian attributes to the improved emotional control, coping and problem-solving skills that go along with better executive functioning.
Executive function includes your ability to pay attention, manage time, switch focus, plan, organize, multitask, remember details and avoid saying or doing the wrong things.
Take your pick: Strawberries, blueberries or both
It wasn’t long ago that a study completed by scientists at the University of North Carolina also demonstrated how daily blueberry powder changed the brains of people already suffering cognitive decline in just six months.
So the evidence is certainly stacking up. And truth be told, you can’t go wrong with berries in general.
Now, I’ve always been a fan of fresh organic and in-season fruit, but even though I live in Maine, where 99 percent of the country’s blueberries are produced, the growing season is short.
It’s great to know that the health-promoting nutrition of both blueberries and strawberries can be found year-round in powder form. Try them in your favorite smoothie recipe!
Editor’s note: There are numerous safe and natural ways to decrease your risk of blood clots including the 25-cent vitamin, the nutrient that acts as a natural blood thinner and the powerful herb that helps clear plaque. To discover these and more, click here for Hushed Up Natural Heart Cures and Common Misconceptions of Popular Heart Treatments!
Study: Strawberry consumption may reduce dementia risk for middle-aged individuals — University of Cincinnati
Regular blueberry consumption may reduce risk of dementia, study finds — University of Cincinnati