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Wild blueberries can help sharpen the memory and improve cognition, a new study says.
In a study conducted by the University of Reading in UK, taking high doses of a blueberry drink helped primary school children to perform better in cognitive tests than after they took a placebo drink.
As part of the three-week study, 21 children aged from seven to 10, were given three types of drinks. In the first week they took a high-dose wild blueberry drink (1.75 cups), in the second week a low-dose wild blueberry drink (3/4 cup) and in the last week a placebo drink. The drinks were given on the same day of every week.
They completed four cognitive tests, which included memorizing a list of 15 words, before the drink and at three times (after one, three and six hours) after taking the drink.
Interestingly, children were able to memorize more words and concentrate more on their tasks after taking the high-dose blueberry drink than the other two drinks.
Researchers said that flavonoids, mainly anthocyanins, in blueberries were the main reason for this occurrence.
Encouraged by the findings, researchers have urged all parents to include more flavonoids-rich food in their children’s diet.
“The composite scores for all the tasks highlighted a significant difference in the children’s cognition results, with the strong drink leading to the best performance and the placebo the least effect performance,” lead researcher professor Claire Williams from School of Psychology & Clinical Language Sciences, said in a news release. “Primary school is a vital stage in a child’s educational and social development. These results indicate strongly that consuming foods rich in flavonoids, such as wild blueberries, could aid overall learning in the classroom.”
Results of the study have been published in journal European Journal of Nutrition.
Apart from flavonoids, wild blueberries are also rich in dietary fiber, vitamin C, manganese and vitamin K.
Blueberries, which are low in fat, have also been known to help reduce heart attacks, fight prehypertension, blood sugar and cancer. The fruit, which is native to North America, can also help improve innate immune system and help the body to fight against all infections.