The study in question has been carried out by a US research team who used data from the Nurses’ Health Study – a health and lifestyle questionnaire completed by female nurses only.
Since 1980, the participants taking part in the study were surveyed every four years regarding the frequency of their food consumption.
Interestingly when all of this data was pooled together the findings seemed to suggest that women who had a higher than average strawberry and blueberry intake experienced slower cognitive decline than those who did not eat the fruits on a regular basis.
The authors of the study have said that they are unable to rule out the possibility that women who eat more of these kinds of fruits are more likely to have a healthier overall lifestyle, but as it stands the findings are still extremely positive as upping berry intake is a very simple dietary modification which would be easy to implement on a wide scale.
Director of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, Dr Eric Karran, said: ‘Population studies like this can provide useful clues about the effects of lifestyle and diet on cognition, but we must be sensible when interpreting the results. The study suggests a link between eating berries and slower cognitive decline, but there could be many factors at play.”
‘Further research will be needed to conclude whether antioxidants in berries are beneficial in the brain’, concluded Dr Karran.
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