Eating an apple a day may keep the doctor away, but eating blueberries might do you one better! According to a recent study, consuming just one delicious anthocyanin-rich serving a day may help keep Alzheimer's Disease at bay.
In the U.S., Alzheimer's is the only cause of death in the top 10 that cannot be prevented, cured, or slowed. 5.3 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's, and a startling 7 million people age 65 and older are projected to have Alzheimer's Disease by the year 2025. Not surprisingly, scientists are working hard to understand this horrible disease and — hopefully — stop it in its tracks. Fortunately, they may be on to something good.
Working off previous trials on the benefits of eating blueberries, a group of scientists carried out a study to explore the berry's effects on memory and cognitive ability.
The results of their first experiment were promising. There was a positive relationship between the subjects, who were all age 68 years or older and experienced early signs of mild cognitive impairment, and the consumption of blueberries. Krikorian, who led the study, revealed that eating one serving of blueberries a day for 16 weeks led to "improved memory and improved access to words and concepts" against a control group.
A subsequent study on subjects who experienced less severe cognitive impairment showed less impressive results, but the team was not deterred. Their deduction was that there was simply less improvement to be made for individuals with minor memory issues when compared to those experiencing early symptoms of Alzheimer's.
I'm always a little hesitant to get on board with these kinds of studies, but when you consider the fact that there isn't really a downside to eating more blueberries, this is the kind of bandwagon I want my whole family on.
(Image credits: Kathryn Hill; Andrea Bemis)