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Eating strawberries boosts brain power

Latest research provides more reasons to eat America's favorite fruit

Posted: July 30, 2009 6:12 p.m.
Updated: July 30, 2009 6:12 p.m.
 
WATSONVILLE, Calif. (PRNewswire-USNewswire) -- Strawberries are good for your brain, according to breaking news out of the 2009 Berry Health Symposium. Several of the latest studies, conducted by world-renowned researchers, consistently showed that strawberry consumption is a simple way to improve cognitive function.

For example, one study presented by researchers from the Chicago Healthy Aging Project (CHAP) showed that older adults who consume strawberries at least once per month have less cognitive decline. More specifically, women who consumed more than one serving of strawberries per month had a 16.2% slower rate of cognitive decline versus those who consumed less.

With increasing age, brain function diminishes. This has been conclusively shown in laboratory studies, by Drs. James Joseph and Barbara Shukitt-Hale of USDA Agricultural Research Service at Tufts University.

Their latest research at the conference demonstrated that aging results in deficits in learning, memory and motor function, such as balance and walking speed - and concluded that strawberries and other berries improved both memory and motor function.

Berries Can Preserve Brain Function
Researchers from the 2009 Berry Health Symposium described how berries may be contributing to the preservation of brain function. Most disease processes in the body are believed to begin through inflammation and oxidation which damage cells. Healthy nerve cell membranes promote optimal communication within the brain and nervous system so preventing membrane damage from inflammation and oxidation is essential. Numerous antioxidant substances have been identified in berries.

Prevention of Dementia in an Aging Population
Dementia is the loss of cognitive function of sufficient severity to interfere with everyday tasks. Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia. It is estimated that one in eight persons, aged 65 and older have Alzheimer's. There is no cure for the disease and treatments are ineffective.

According to recently released census estimates, the world's 65-and-older population will triple by 2050 to make up 1 in 6 people.

The number of senior citizens has already increased 23 percent since 2000 to 516 million, more than double the growth rate for the general population.

As a result, the incidence of dementia is likely to rise. The frequent consumption of berries is emerging as a potential simple dietary factor for prevention.

California strawberries are grown and available year-round in supermarkets across the country.

More information and the research abstracts from the 2009 Health Benefits Symposium can be found at www.berryhealth.org.

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