A recent study shows that blueberries and strawberries help prevent premature Alzheimer's, Parkinson’s and other mental aging conditions.
Tufts University scientists at the Human Nutrition Center on Aging and University of Maryland Baltimore County made their discovery public on April 21, 2013, after they experimented with rats for two months. The study placed the rats on a berries-only diet before radiation, split the rats into two groups and evaluated them at different times: one group after 36 hours the other after 30 days.
"After 30 days on the same berry diet, the rats experienced significant protection against radiation compared to control," said investigator Dr. Shibu Poulose. "We saw significant benefits to diets with both [strawberries and blueberries], and speculate it is due to the phytonutrients present."
"Most diseases of the brain such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's have shown an increased amount of toxic protein," said Poulose. "Berries seem to promote autophagy, the brain's natural housekeeping mechanism, thereby reducing the toxic accumulation."
The USDA and a NASA grant funded the study.
More Benefits of Berries - Women who eat more blueberries and strawberries have a stronger mental state longer than women who eat fewer amounts of the fruits, according to a study by Annals of Neurology, U.S, who surveyed more than 16,000 women.
Additionally, blueberries and strawberries are a good source of fiber. One cup of pureed strawberries have 4.6 grams of dietary fiber while one cup of blueberries have 3.6 grams.