Colorful and sweet, berries can be considered Skittles from Mother Nature. And now a new study published by the Annals of Neurology (and funded by the California Strawberry Commission) has found that munching on berries might help with your memory.
The study looked at 16,000 female participants currently over age 70. The participants were asked about food consumption every four years since 1980 and underwent memory tests every two years from, 1995 and 2001. The findings showed that women who ate the most berries per week (1/2 a cup of blueberries or two 1/2 cups of strawberries) had about 2.5 year advantage over the others in terms of memory decline.
So what makes these berries so powerful? Here's an explanation from the researchers (via CNN):
Here's how berries might help: mitochrondria are energy generators of brain cells, and have been thought to also produce substances toxic to the brain that lead to Alzheimer's disease. These toxic compounds are called "free radicals," which damage brain cells and impair cellular processing. Berries are rich in flavonoids, which can act as antioxidants, interacting with free radicals before they cause damage.