Berries boost kids cognition

Wild blueberries significantly increased the cognitive abilities of children in a small new study.

Wild blueberries might help kids ace second grade, according to a small study published in the European Journal of Nutrition.

Researchers at the University of Reading in the U.K. found that a drink with a high dose of wild blueberry significantly improved the cognitive ability of primary school children.

"We have known for some time that flavonoids promote healthy brain function in adults. However, this is the first, fully controlled, double-blinded research study to examine the effects of flavonoids on cognitive behavior in children," lead researchers Claire Williams, a professor at the University of Reading's School of Psychology & Clinical Language Sciences, said in a university release that appeared on

The study included 21 children aged 7 to 10. Cognitive tests included word memory and activity memory tests, some conducted with distracting stimuli designed to test concentration levels, which also increased among the subjects who consumed the blueberry cocktail.

Professor Williams added: "The composite scores for all the tasks highlighted a significant difference in the children's cognition results, with the strong drink leading to the best performance and the placebo the least effect performance. Primary school is a vital stage in a child's educational and social development. These results indicate strongly that consuming foods rich in flavonoids, such as wild blueberries, could aid overall learning in the classroom."

Other research has supported the brain-boosting powers of blueberries for grownups, too. The berries were one of the top eight nutrients recommended to protect aging brains by the Institute of Food Technologists.

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