Berries could help to lower the risk of dementia, it’s been claimed.
They are packed full of antioxidants, and have been shown to improve brain function in both rats and mice that have Alzheimer’s disease.
Blueberries, strawberries and cranberries could all help to lower the risk of dementia, according to medical website Healthline.
The antioxidants could help to reduce inflammation, and get rid of harmful free radicals in the brain, claimed physician Dr Michael Gregor.
“The brain takes up less than two per cent of body weight, but may burn up to 50 per cent of the body’s fuel, creating a potential firestorm of free radicals,” he said.
“Maybe brain-seeking nutrients in berries could fight oxidation and inflammation, and even increase blood flow?”
Inflammation and oxidative stress both increase the risk of neurodegenerative conditions.
Berries could reduce both risk factors, and therefore lower the chances of developing dementia, research has claimed.
Strawberries, bilberries, blackcurrant, blackberries, blueberries and mulberries all offer neuroprotective effects, according to scientists from Oman.
But, more research is needed to confirm berries’ protective effect against dementia, urged charity Alzheimer’s Research UK.
The charity’s Director of Research, Dr Eric Karran, said: “Understanding the factors that affect our memory and thinking as we age can help us to understand possible risk factors for dementia.
“Previous evidence has shown that eating fruit as part of a healthy diet in midlife could help to reduce our risk of dementia and so eating a healthy balanced diet is something we should all be thinking about.”
Dementia is the name given to conditions that cause an ongoing decline in brain function.
Symptoms of dementia include memory loss, and difficulty with movement, language and understanding.
One in 14 people over 65 will develop dementia, the NHS said.
There’s currently no cure for dementia. But, an early diagnosis could slow down the condition’s progression.