Cranberries – Can they improve your memory?
Cranberries have long been hailed as a natural remedy for maintaining a healthy urinary tract. Now new research led by the University Of East Anglia (UK) suggests that they may help to improve memory and brain function, as well as lowering levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol. Recently published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition a 12 week study conducted in 60 healthy older adults aged 50 to 80 showed that people who ate the equivalent to a cup of fresh cranberries per day saw significant improvement in their memory of everyday events over the placebo group, as well as increased blood flow to three brain areas.
It was also observed in the study that there was significant decrease in LDL ‘Bad’ Cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is known to contribute to atherosclerosis -- the thickening or hardening of the arteries due to plaque build –up, suggesting neuroprotective potential in that cranberries can improve blood vessel health, including those in the brain. This is very encouraging, and the promising results offer a base to build on for further investigations into the use of cranberries for brain health. This gives hope for the future and the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia.
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We all need sleep for repair and recovery, to