A Moment of Science

Blueberries Boost Memory

You've been told time and time again that blueberries are good for you. But, did you know that blueberries can help your memory?

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Photo: terriseesthings (Flickr)

Drink up! A study shows that drinking blueberry juice can help your memory.

You probably already know that blueberries are delicious. And you may have heard that they’re healthful, too.

But did you know that blueberries boost memory in older people at risk for memory loss?

Memory

A study looked at how drinking wild blueberry juice affected nine adults in their 70s with signs of memory loss. They drank two-and-a-half cups of juice every day for twelve weeks. A control group of seven other older adults drank a placebo not containing blueberries.

The juice drinkers performed significantly better on memory tests, including word association and list learning.

So What Makes Blueberry Juice Such A Potent Memory Food?

Scientists aren’t certain. But it may have to do with the fruit’s abundance of phytochemicals–anti inflammatory substances that also act as anti oxidants.

In animal studies, chemicals in blueberries boosted activity in parts of the brain associated with memory. In the same studies, blueberries appeared to lower glucose levels in the brain, which could help delay memory loss.

However, No Superhuman Levels

The studies shouldn’t be taken to mean that blueberries will boost your memory to superhuman levels.

If your memory is basically fine, blueberries won’t necessarily enhance it. But for older people on the edge of dementia, blueberry juice could ward off the worst symptoms and help memory hang on.

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