Blueberries and strawberries may slow cognitive decline as we age. That’s the conclusion from a study that has been following more than 120,000 women since 1976. The Nurses Health Study tracks diet and fitness every four years through a mailed questionnaire. Starting in 1995 a cohort of 16,000 women at least 70 years old had their cognitive function measured every other year. Women who ate more flavonoid-rich berries had slower rates of cognitive decline. The researchers attribute this benefit to anthocyanidins, purple or red pigments that have strong anti-oxidant activity. The women with the highest berry intake lopped nearly two years off their cognitive age.
[Annals of Neurology, April 26, 2012]