Does Berry Fruit Consumption Improve Brain Function?

For those who’re concerned about age-related cognitive decline, consuming blueberries and strawberries just might be a way to help prevent it.

We’ve all had our moments lately–“where did I put my car keys? or What was the name of that movie I saw last year, you know… the one with Jason Statham.”  Though we often attribute these moments to a brief memory lapse, many of us either have concerns over potential cognitive decline as we age or simply want to ensure that we maintain optimum function in this regard.

If you’re concerned about the declining cognitive function associated with aging, you may want to consider increasing your consumption of not only vegetables, but also blueberries and strawberries.  This recent paper discusses the potential mechanisms through which blueberries and strawberries may exert protective effects on your brain.

“Research suggests that the polyphenolic compounds found in berry fruits, such as blueberries and strawberries, may exert their beneficial effects either through their ability to lower oxidative stress and inflammation or directly by altering the signaling involved in neuronal communication, calcium buffering ability, neuroprotective stress shock proteins, plasticity, and stress signaling pathways. These interventions, in turn, may exert protection against age-related deficits in cognitive and motor function.”

  • Blueberries and strawberries may have potentially beneficial effects at protecting us from age-related cognitive decline.  Both fruit may actually lower inflammation and oxidative stress–two important causes of age-related memory decline.
  • Did I mention that both blueberries and strawberries actually taste pretty good too?

Reference:

  1. Shukitt-Hale B, Lau FC, Joseph JA.  Berry fruit supplementation and the aging brain.  J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Feb 13;56(3):636-41. Epub 2008 Jan 23.