Can Berries Help Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease?

  • June 08, 2016

If a senior you love has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, you will stop at nothing to try and find a cure. While there is no definitive cure for the disease, researchers are working on discovering new treatments and preventative measures every day.
 
With so many pieces of information out in the world, it can be hard to separate fact from fiction. And one of the latest claims is that berries can help with Alzheimer’s prevention.
 
Is that claim the truth or just another myth?
 
Here’s what the experts have to say.
 
Berries for Brain Health
 
A study published in the Annals of Neurology found that eating berries and flavanoids, which are found in certain fruits and vegetables, “showed a slower rate of cognitive decline in women aged 70 and older.”
 
The researchers looked at data for over 16,000 women for this study, which began in 1976 and ran for almost 30 years. At the end of the study, the researchers concluded that the women who included blueberries and strawberries in their diet over the years were able to ward off cognitive decline for an average of 2.5 years longer than their peers.
 
Protect Your Brain with Blueberries
 
Most recently, a team of experts presented their research at the 2016 National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and were able to confirm that berries can help protect your brain.
 
For this study, researchers either gave powdered blueberries or placebo powder to participants, all of whom were over the age of 68, every day for 16 weeks.
 
The results?
 
Robert Krikorian, Ph.D., leader of the research team, said, “There was improvement in cognitive performance and brain function in those who had the blueberry powder compared with those who took the placebo. The blueberry group demonstrated improved memory and improved access to words and concepts."
 
Making Better Food Choices
 
Both studies proved that the old adage about eating an apple a day, or in this case some berries, really can keep the doctor away. Eating well is essential to aging well.
 
Based on researchers’ findings, the flavonoids in the berries seem to be what give them their “super power” status. Flavonoids have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory characteristics which benefit the brain and the heart. Here are some super foods with flavonoids to add to your diet, if you haven’t already: 
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Apples
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Sweet potato
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Tomato
  • Bell pepper
  • Cabbage
  • Cranberries
 
Five Star Senior Living strongly supports a total approach to health and wellness, and our Lifestyle360 Program provides each resident with a holistic view of community living.
 
Alzheimer’s Care
 
Depending on the progression of your senior loved one’s Alzheimer’s Disease, focusing on eating well may not be enough to help with care and prevention.
 
Our Bridge to Rediscovery Memory Care follows the Montessori-based dementia programming that has been proven to enhance the quality of life for people with Alzheimer’s disease. If you’d like learn more about our award-winning program, contact your local Indiana community to schedule a personal visit.
 

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