Drinking blueberry juice helps to improve brain power in older people, new research suggests.Chemicals found within the fruit help to increase blood flow to the brain, allowing the organ to get high levels of oxygen to help it function.
While they can also help to activate parts of the brain that control how well someone can function as they grow older, scientists claim.
And all any pensioner needs to consume to reap the benefits is just 30ml of the concentrated juice every day, according to the latest study.
Previous research has shown that risk of dementia is reduced by higher fruit and vegetable intake.
And cognitive function is also known to better preserved in healthy older adults with a diet rich in plant-based foods. Flavonoids, which are abundant in plants, are likely to be an important component in causing these effects. And blueberries, which contain high levels of the chemicals, are known to possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
To test the fruit's affect, researchers from the University of Exeter examined 26 healthy adults who were aged between 65 and 77. Varying levels of concentrated blueberry juice were given to the participants to drink each day for the study. The equivalent of 230g of blueberries were given to half of the participants, while the others received a placebo.
Adults who consumed more than five portions of fruit and vegetables each day were excluded. And participants were told to stick to their normal diet throughout entire study to monitor the sole effects of blueberries.
Cognitive tests were taken both before the participants began the research and 12 weeks after. An MRI scanner was also used to monitor their brain function and measured their resting brain flow. Compared to the placebo group, those who took the blueberry supplement showed significant increases in brain activity in brain areas related to the tests.
Study author Dr Joanna Bowtell said: 'Our cognitive function tends to decline as we get older, but previous research has shown that cognitive function is better preserved in healthy older adults with a diet rich in plant-based foods.
The study was published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition & Metabolism.
By Stephen Matthews (Mail Online) - Mail Online 7th March 2017
If you would like to read the full research article please click here to be taken to the Pub Med website.BACK