Middle-age, Overweight or Prediabetic? Want to Improve Your Brain Health and Prevent Dementia Risk? A Single Food May Help You Slow Memory Decline and Improve Brain Functioning
This brain food may improve cognitive function by reducing inflammation in the brain linked to dementia, according to new research
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, over six million Americans are currently living with dementia, a number expected to nearly double to around 13 million by 2050 due to the aging population.
This could mean as many as one in every 25 people might be affected.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlight that early signs of dementia often include memory lapses, challenges in focusing, and communication difficulties.
These symptoms can manifest as getting disoriented in familiar places, using incorrect words for everyday items, and forgetting the names of close family members.
Age remains the most significant risk factor for developing dementia, in addition to genetic predisposition and an increased risk of heart disease. While there is no cure for dementia presently, treatments primarily aim to slow its progression and alleviate its symptoms.
A recent study, however, brings new hope. It suggests that incorporating strawberries into your diet could potentially reduce the risk of dementia.
The research focused on overweight individuals experiencing mild cognitive issues. Participants were divided into two groups: one refrained from consuming any berries, while the other consumed a daily amount of strawberry powder equivalent to a cup of strawberries.
After 12 weeks, the group consuming strawberry powder showed improved memory recall compared to the other group. This study extends previous research that has indicated a similar positive impact of other berries, like blueberries and blackberries, in reducing dementia risk.
The benefit is attributed to the presence of antioxidants known as anthocyanins in these fruits, which combat free radicals causing chronic inflammation, a contributing factor to dementia.
Dr. Robert Krikorian, the lead author of the study from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Medicine, notes that regular consumption of strawberries and blueberries is linked with slower cognitive decline with age.
The study involved 30 overweight participants aged between 50 and 65, all reporting mild cognitive impairment. The focus on this group was due to their heightened risk of developing dementia. Over 12 weeks, they were either given a daily strawberry supplement or a placebo, while avoiding other berry consumption.
Those who received the strawberry supplement not only demonstrated better memory test results but also reported fewer depressive symptoms.
These findings echo previous studies published in the journal Nutrients, which showed the cognitive benefits of blueberries.
Berries are a key component of the MIND diet, a blend of Mediterranean and DASH diets that emphasizes anti-inflammatory foods like fish, legumes, and certain vegetables and fruits.
The study’s authors acknowledge the limitations of a small sample size and the study’s duration.
These findings were published in the journal Nutrients.
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