A study appearing in Annals of Neurology last week showed that increasing the consumption of blueberries and strawberries appeared to slow cognitive decline in older women. The research focused on 16,000 women over the age of 70 who were followed for a period of 6 years. The results demonstrated that those who consumed two or more servings of berries per week were able to delay memory decline by two-and-a-half years.
Another study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition confirmed that flavonoids from blueberries lowered the risk of type 2 diabetes. Blueberries are capable of increasing the production of a key hormone, called adiponectin, which prevents the liver from developing insulin resistance that leads to type 2 diabetes.
This large study followed nearly 200,000 participants for who were free of diabetes, heart disease and cancer, and were tracked for a period of twenty years. Higher consumption of berry flavonoids was associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes “after adjusting for age, body weight, lifestyle and dietary factors.” By comparison, blood sugar levels rise in reaction to a diet consisting of highly refined carbohydrates, sugar, and the over-indulgence of processed foods.
These two studies show that increasing berry intake is a simple dietary modification that can bring about positive change in overall health.