Researchers at the University of Reading and the Peninsula Medical School found that adding blueberries to the diet of elderly animals for 12 weeks improved their performance in tasks designed to test their spatial working memory.
The improvements began to occur after just three weeks and were retained throughout the remainder of the study period.
The team believe that the effect is due to the large quantities of phytochemicals, including anthocyanins and flavanols, in blueberries.
"This study not only adds science to the claim that eating blueberries are good for you, it also provides support to a diet-based approach that could potentially be used to increase memory capacity and performance in the future," said Dr Matt Witterman of the Institute of Biomedical and Clinical Science, Peninsula Medical School.
In addition to that study, which is published in the August issue of the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine, other research has also found that blueberries may help to lower cholesterol, aid weight loss, and reduce the risk of postmenopausal bone thinning.