Depression, poor memory and cognitive decline can also be combated at the table, with a cup of strawberries. In fact, berries, such as strawberries, but also blueberries, contain antioxidant substances that counteract the damage of free radicals and inflammation, which are the basis of the indicated disorders. But we need to act now. This is the result of numerous scientific studies, the latest, in order of time, published a few days ago in the journal Nutrients thanks to the work of an American team from the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center (Krikorian et al, Nutrients, Oct 2023).
A cup of strawberries to save the brain and mood, the study
The study is small, involving only 34 people, but certainly noteworthy for the clarity of the results obtained. The volunteers were all adults between 50 and 65 years old, overweight and with insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a condition that increases the risk of cognitive decline in years to come. All participants reported a condition of poor memory and slow thinking, not ascertained by medical findings but by personal sensations. For 3 months, some of the participants consumed, every day, a quantity of strawberry powder corresponding to a cup of strawberries, approximately 130 grams of fresh fruit. Well, at the end of the experiment, those who had consumed the strawberries had a greater ability to memorize information, without being distracted by interference, and a reduction in anxiety, sadness and depression. Not only that, the ability to organize, plan, process information and adapt thoughts and behavior based on context was also improved. The action can be traced back to the anthocyanins in strawberries, which are antioxidants also found in blueberries.
Consuming berries rich in anthocyanins, such as strawberries and blueberries, is a good choice to combat inflammation, free radicals and improve mood and memory. This way it is also possible to reduce the risk of cognitive decline and neurodegeneration in the years to come. It is important, therefore, to act in time and start taking these delicious fruits now, even if we feel fit, full of energy and at the peak of our mental faculties. As today's article points out, cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases of old age begin to take root in middle age, and then develop slowly over the years. But we are now aware of a powerful weapon to preserve mental and brain health, with beneficial effects in both the short term and the long term: consuming berries, fresh when in season but also frozen all year round! In fact, frozen berries do not present variations in their antioxidant content compared to fresh fruit (Lohachoompol et al, J Biomed Biotechnol, 2004).