Strawberries: Enhancing brain function and lowering blood pressure with nature’s superfruit

Generally speaking, berries are considered a superfood. All berries, including acai, blue, black and raspberries, provide numerous health benefits.

Presented at NUTRITION 2023, San Diego State University research indicates that strawberry consumption enhances cognitive function, reduces blood pressure and increases antioxidant capacity [1]. The results of this study add to previous evidence of strawberries’ cognitive and cardiovascular benefits.

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Shirin Hooshmand, professor at San Diego State University and principal investigator on the study, said that the idea for this study came from previous research [2]. “Before conducting our clinical study some of the similar effects were shown in animal studies and some human studies, but (in) different populations and using different study designs,” she noted.

Long-term observational studies, such as the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Study, found that strawberry consumers had a lower rate of cognitive decline [3]. An analysis of 35 healthy men and women between the ages of 66 and 78 was conducted by Dr Hooshmand and her team. 

Each day for eight weeks, study participants consumed 26 grams of freeze-dried strawberry powder, equivalent to two servings of fresh strawberries or a control powder. At the end of eight weeks, the study found that those who ate the strawberries improved their cognitive processing speed by 5.2 percent, lowered their systolic blood pressure by 3.6 percent, and increased their antioxidant capacity by 10.2 percent.

Considering strawberries are a good source of vitamin C, Dr Hooshmand said they expected to see an improvement in antioxidant capacity. They also expected that cognitive processing speed would improve based on their hypothesis

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According to the study, incorporating strawberries into your diet may enhance cognitive function and reduce the risk of cardiovascular issues, including high blood pressure. This simple dietary change by adding strawberries to your daily meals could improve these outcomes, especially in older adults.

[1] https://nutrition2023.eventscribe.net/fsPopup.asp?PosterID=578748&Query=hooshmand&mode=posterInfo
[2] https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2023/07/26/2711361/0/en/Strawberry-Consumption-May-Improve-Cognitive-Function-in-Older-Adults-New-Study-Says.html
[3] https://www.sci.news/medicine/strawberry-cognitive-function-cardiovascular-health-older-adults-12133.html

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