Lifestyle & Belief

Berries may delay memory decline, says study


A new study says that eating blueberries and strawberries improves memory in women.


Michael Urban/DDP

Berries may slow memory loss, a new, long-term study suggests.

Researchers at Harvard Medical School found that women who regularly consumed blueberries or strawberries over two decades had brains that were 2.5 years younger than those who ate few or no berries at all. 

According to CBS News, researchers looked at surveys of nurses health beginning in 1976.

The studies looked at nearly 122,000 registered nurses between the ages of 30 and 55 over several decades.

Between 1995 and 2001, researchers began testing the memory of 16,000 of the nurses involved.

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Medical Daily reported that memory testing happened during phone interviews during which cognitive tests were administered.

Researchers found that those who ate more berries had minds that were significantly younger than those who ate few.

"What makes our study unique is the amount of data we analyzed over such a long period of time. No other berry study has been conducted on such a large scale," said study author Elizabeth Devore, a professor at Harvard Medical School, according to CBS News.

Flavonoids, yellow-colored metabolites, are the likely cause behind the improvement in memory, as they have antioxidant and even anti-inflammatory properties.

Although the study may shine more light onto the health benefits of berries, researchers warn that there is still a chance other factors in the diet and exercise habits of participants could have helped improve memory, said Bloomberg.