According to research from the University of East Anglia, UK, Cranberries can improve memory and prevent neurodegenerative diseases, such as dementia. The researchers tested the effect of cranberries on 50 to 80-year-old people and found that cranberries could improve memory and brain function, lower bad cholesterol, and prevent dementia.
During the research, 60 cognitively healthy people were under observation. 30 of them consumed the equivalent of 100g of fresh cranberries (freeze-dried cranberry powder) on daily basis. And 30 of them were given a placebo.
According to research, cranberries significantly improve visual episodic memory, neural functioning, and brain perfusion.
Experts say that there is no treatment for dementia, but the risk of it can be decreased by consuming a cup of cranberries daily.
Dr. David Vauzour says that dementia is likely to affect around 152 million people by 2050 and that it is necessary that we explore modifiable lifestyle interventions, such as diet, that could help reduce disease harm and stress.
Recent studies showed that cranberries were rich in micronutrients like anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins and, therefore, improved cognition. This aroused curiosity among researchers about finding more about the role of cranberries in cognitive development.
Dr. Vauzour says that, in the participants who had consumed the cranberry powder, they found significant improvement in the episodic memory performance and in the circulation of essential nutrients, such as oxygen and glucose to the important brain parts that play role in cognition.
It is one of the first studies that examined cranberries and their long-term influence on cognitive health.
The Cranberry Institute supported the study. It was conducted under the guidance of the University of East Anglia in collaboration with Leiden University Medical Center, Netherlands, the University of Parma, Italy, and the Quadram Institute, UK.
Although dementia is not curable, the use of cranberries in a diet can help guard against dementia.