A dementia diagnosis may be prevented by eating half a cup of blueberries each day during your late 50s, academics have said.

Scientists from the University of Cincinnati examined the memories of 33 people, all of whom were in their late 50s and had obesity.

During the study, half of the participants received a blueberry sachet to mix with water every day, which was equivalent to half a cup of berries. The other half were given a placebo sachet.

They saw a massive improvement in the memories of people who were given the blueberry sachet everyday compared to those who received a placebo sachet.

Senior author, Dr Robert Krikorian said: “The cognitive findings indicated improved executive ability in this middle-aged sample [who had blueberries].

“’The demonstration of these benefits in middle-aged individuals with insulin resistance and [subjective cognitive decline] suggests that ongoing blueberry supplementation may contribute to protection against cognitive decline when implemented early in at-risk individuals.”

The academics added: “In summary, this study demonstrated that blueberry supplementation has neurocognitive benefit in middle-aged individuals with insulin resistance and elevated risk for future dementia.”

According to the researchers, blueberries improve an individual’s memory because they are full of anthocyanins, a flavonoid which decreases inflammation.

In America, more than six million people have dementia, the Alzheimer’s Association has identified.

Within the next 28 years, dementia cases are predicted to increase by 13 million, prior studies have reported.

Symptoms of dementia include cognitive impairment, attention difficulties and communication problems.

Dementia is most common amongst older adults, people with heart disease and individuals with a family history of the condition.

The study was published in the journal Nutrients.

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