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Strawberry found to boost cognitive function in older adults


A recent randomised clinical revealed exciting findings regarding the potential cognitive benefits of daily strawberry consumption in older adults.

Conducted at San Diego State University, this double-blind, placebo-controlled study builds upon previous research that has highlighted the positive impact of strawberries on cardiovascular, metabolic and cognitive health. The results indicated that incorporating a strawberry into one’s daily diet could lead to improved cognitive function, reduced blood pressure and increased antioxidant capacity.

The study involved 35 healthy men and women between the ages of 66 and 78. Throughout the trial, participants were randomly assigned to consume either 26 grams of freeze-dried strawberry powder, equivalent to two servings of fresh strawberries, or a control powder daily for eight weeks.

Upon analysing the results, the researchers noted the following significant improvements in the group consuming strawberries:

  1. Cognitive Processing Speed: The participants experienced a remarkable 5.2% increase in cognitive processing speed, suggesting that regular strawberry intake may positively impact cognitive function in older adults.
  2. Blood Pressure Reduction: The strawberry group exhibited a notable 3.6% decrease in systolic blood pressure, which could have implications for managing hypertension and cardiovascular risk.
  3. Antioxidant Capacity: The consumption of strawberries led to a remarkable 10.2% increase in total antioxidant capacity, indicating the fruit’s potent ability to combat oxidative stress and associated health benefits.

It was also observed that waist circumference decreased by 1.1% in both the control and intervention arms of the trial, demonstrating that this dietary change does not promote weight gain. However, participants who consumed the control powder experienced increased serum triglyceride levels.

Commenting on the study’s outcomes, Professor Shirin Hooshmand from the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences at San Diego State University and principal investigator, expressed optimism about the potential impact of strawberries on cognitive health and cardiovascular risk factors.

“We’re encouraged that a simple dietary change, like adding strawberries to the daily diet, may improve these outcomes in older adults,” she said.

Strawberries boast an impressive array of bioactive compounds that contribute to their numerous health benefits. Along with providing 100% of our daily vitamin C needs, strawberries are rich in heart-healthy nutrients such as folate, potassium, fibre, phytosterols and polyphenols.

The positive relationship between strawberry consumption and cardiovascular health has been supported by previous clinical trials, which found that regular intake can lead to reduced total and LDL cholesterol levels, as well as lower blood pressure.

Its impact on brain health has been extensively explored in both clinical and population-based studies.

Notably, studies conducted at Rush University revealed that strawberries and pelargonidin, a biochemical primarily found in strawberries, are associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s dementia. Long-term observational studies, including the Health Professionals Study and the Nurses’ Health Study, also indicated that individuals who regularly consume strawberries experienced lower rates of cognitive decline.

Source: Wild Hive

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Ritchelle is a Content Producer for Healthcare Channel, Australia’s premier resource of information for healthcare.


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