Fragrant and juicy, strawberries are a fruit loved by adults and children, excellent tasted as a whole fruit but also added in pieces to fruit salads or yogurt. But strawberries are also a precious source of beneficial substances, such as vitamins, mineral salts and antioxidants, which fight inflammation, stimulate purification processes but also support cognitive functions. The latter aspect emerged from a recent scientific research published in the British Journal of Nutrition by an American team of the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston (Miller et al, Br J Nutr, 2021).
Strawberries and cognitive functionality
With age, processes can occur that lead to alterations in memory, learning and balance that, in turn, may lead to cognitive impairment but also disabilities and falls. Strawberries had already shown, in animals, to be able to improve neuronal, cognitive and motor functioning by counteracting the damage of aging. However, little was known, at least until today, about their effect on cognitive functionality in humans. This is why American researchers decided to evaluate the neuroprotective properties of strawberries on humans.
To clarify whether strawberries can protect cognitive function in humans as well, about forty people, both men and women, between the ages of 60 and 75, were recruited. The study participants were divided into two groups. The first group was asked to consume 24 grams of frozen strawberries per day, equivalent to two cups of fresh strawberries. The other group, on the other hand, did not have to take strawberries but only a placebo. At the beginning of the experiment, in the middle and at the end, that is, after three months, the volunteers were subjected to tests to evaluate their cognitive function, balance and ability to move.
Strawberries improve memory and learning
What emerged from the experiment is that those who consumed strawberries showed a significant improvement in cognitive, learning and memory function. In particular, the response time to tests was reduced and the ability to remember words heard only once and read aloud by an external person was increased. However, no improvement was observed with regard to balance.
One more reason to eat strawberries
Therefore, if there are no allergies, we now have one more reason to eat strawberries since these tasty fruits can also protect the brain and improve memory and reaction times.