By now we all know that blueberries are packed so full of antioxidants they deserve their spot on the “super foods” list.
After all blueberries are brimming with nutrients including…
- vitamin C
- vitamin E
And studies have hinted that making these anti-inflammatory berries a regular part of your diet might also help reduce your risk of dementia and protect your brain.
But could a cup a day actually help to keep Alzheimer’s away?
It very well might, according to a team of scientists from the Cincinnati Academic Health Center.
Blueberry eaters did better on memory tests
The researchers tested the theory on people who were 68 or older, all with mild cognitive impairment.
One group was given a freeze-dried blueberry powder that equaled a cup a day of blueberries for 16 weeks, while the second received a fake-blueberry powder.
According to the team’s leader, Robert Krikorian, Ph.D., those who ate the real blueberry powder did measurably better in tests of cognitive performance and brain function than those who didn’t.
“The blueberry group demonstrated improved memory and improved access to words and concepts,” he noted.
Blueberries improved brain scans
But that wasn’t all. MRI scans showed actual improved brain activity in the blueberry powder eaters.
Those results, Krikorian said, supported those of previous animal studies and preliminary human studies that blueberries “can have a real benefit in improving memory and cognitive function.”
Of course, a cup of blueberries a day may sound like a tall order — until you realize just how many different ways there are to add these flavorful and nutrient-filled berries to your diet.
For example, you can:
- Use them as a topping in either hot or cold cereal, and add them to salads and sauces at lunch and dinner.
- Blend them into smoothies (see recipe below), or add them to your yogurt.
- Make blueberry muffins, waffles or pancakes, or for that matter, top your pancakes and waffles with syrup made by pan-simmering fresh or frozen berries together with lemon.
|Brainy Blueberry Smoothie|
|A blueberry smoothie is a delicious and nutritious way to protect your brain.
• Put blueberries, yogurt, milk, sugar, vanilla, and nutmeg into a blender.
• Blend until frothy scraping sides of the blender with a spatula as needed.
• Serve immediately.
And don’t forget blueberries can be eaten plain, or as a dessert sprinkled with a little cinnamon or drizzled with honey.
You can also easily find several different brands of organic blueberry powder to buy online. It may be a bit pricey, but then if anything could be called “priceless” it’s certainly our brains!
However, you decide to eat them, blueberries pack a powerful antioxidant punch that has previously been found to help prevent heart disease and cancer. It comes from the substances responsible for their purplish color called anthocyanins, the effects of which may actually be enhanced when they’re frozen.
So don’t worry about buying more than you think you’ll use when they’re on sale and freezing them.
Jenny Thompson is the Director of the Health Sciences Institute and editor of the HSI e-Alert. Through HSI, she and her team uncover important health information and expose ridiculous health misinformation, most notably through the HSI e-Alert.
Visit www.hsionline.com to sign up for the free HSI e-Alert.
Latest posts by Jenny Thompson (see all)
- Warning: Scam artists trying to con you out of cash! - October 12, 2016
- Daily 10 minute ritual slashes risk of 5 deadly conditions - October 10, 2016
- Is it safe to eat? Figuring out food expiration dates - October 2, 2016