Scientists reveal the fruit that could help fight off dementia and depression

Scientists reveal the fruit that could help fight off dementia and depression


Scientists have revealed a delicious fruit could help fight-off dementia and depression when eaten daily.

Research in America found eating strawberries daily for 12 weeks impreoved mood, reduced issues relating to memory, and lowered depressive symptoms in overweight middle-aged adults. The researchers hope their study could help prevent dementia.

Currently there is no known cure for dementia although it impacts one in 11 people over aged 65 in the UK.

Professor Robert Krikorian, of the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Centre, Ohio, said: “Dementia is a general term that includes many different diseases, all without remedies. It is not clear when or if effective therapy will be available; prevention and mitigation through dietary and lifestyle choices is currently the best approach we have.”

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The study, published in the Nutrients journal, was a “double-blind”. It randomised a controlled trial including five men and 25 women.

One group received a strawberry powder prepared from whole fruit that had been desiccated, freeze-dried and milled. The second group received the control powder which was designed to have the same appearance, taste and carbohydrate load as the strawberry powder.

The daily servings were sealed in packets, each contained 13 grams of strawberry powder. This was the equivalent to about one cup of strawberries.

After 12 weeks, participants were were given the whole fruit strawberry powder made fewer “intrusion errors” when carrying out a word list learning task. Additionally, participants who were given the whole fruit strawberry powder reported lower levels of depressive symptoms.

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Prof Krikorian added: “Our findings can likely be attributed to the anti-inflammatory actions of the anthocyanins found in strawberries. We wanted to work with a middle-aged, overweight population as dementia is a condition that is believed to develop over a period of decades.

“Furthermore, inflammation is likely a contributing factor related to metabolic disorders such as obesity, pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes.”

Strawberries are important for maintaining a healthy diet, as they provide 100 per cent of the recommended daily vitamin C amount in a single, one cup serving. They also contain heart-healthy nutrients like folate, potassium, fibre, phytosterols and polyphenols.

Chris Christian, senior vice president at the California Strawberry Commission, said: “We are excited with these findings and the future of polyphenol research. The link between strawberry consumption and brain health has been well explored in both clinical and population-based studies.

“For example, strawberries and pelargonidin, a biochemical primarily found in strawberries, were associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s dementia in studies conducted at Rush University. And, long-term observational studies, including the Health Professionals Study and the Nurses’ Health Study, found that strawberry consumers had lower rates of cognitive decline.”

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