As you get older, your memory can become a little unreliable. It’s common for older people to experience a decline in cognitive function – and it’s linked to the presence of free radicals, which affect the brain and nervous system. Berries are now recognised as a great brain food.
New research is finding links between the consumption of berries and cognitive function. By cognition, we mean mental process like attention, producing and understanding language, learning, reasoning, problem solving and decision making. In short, memory, mood and intelligence.
Anthocyanins are a type of flavonoid and have high antioxidant effects. They are the pigments that make berries so vibrantly coloured.
Berries are good for your brain – having only 2% of anthocyanins in your diet can improve cognitive performance, balance and memory tasks. There is growing evidence that the bioactive components of berries (the anthocyanins) have beneficial effects on the brain and cognition.
Some researchers are exploring the use of berries for the treatment and prevention of neurogenerative diseases and age-related brain dysfunctions. One study found that blackberries have a positive effect on neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. Another looked at blueberries, and concurred that the compounds in blueberries reduce its risk, too.