A yummy and delicious smoothie also able to improve cognitive performance? We are not talking about a miraculous magic potion but certainly a drink of this type exists and can be easily prepared by each of us every day with berries and water. This is the result of a scientific research published a few months ago in the Nutrients magazine by an English team (Whyte et al, Nutrients, Nov 2019).
The berries contain special flavonoids called anthocyanidins, which are powerful antioxidants that have proven to protect the brain from cognitive decline and dementia. What the researchers tried to understand was the impact of different types of berries on attention levels and mental flexibility after a day of work and therefore stress for the brain. 41 young adults aged 20 to 30 were recruited. All study participants had followed a diet low in anthocyanidins for a day the day before so that scientists could better evaluate the effect of the berry drink. The young adults were divided into two groups, the first group was asked to drink a smoothie made with 75 grams of strawberries, 75 grams of blueberries, 75 grams of blackberries and 75 grams of raspberries blended with 100 ml of water. The second group was asked to drink a beverage prepared with water, fructose, glucose and vitamin C. The participants in the study were therefore tested before drinking the drink and after 2, 4 and 6 hours the intake of the beverages. In particular, their levels of attention and mental flexibility were assessed with specific tests. What emerged is that those who had drunk the smoothie maintained attention levels and response times even after 6 hours and in conditions of tiredness. While as time went by the performance of those who had drunk the beverage with water and vitamin C went down more and more. Not only that, the researchers also observed that, in those who had drunk the berry smoothie, the brain was better perfused with an increased blood circulation and this explains the best results obtained in the tests.
The berries used for the experiment were frozen and blended after being thawed. So this smoothie can really be prepared in all seasons!