5 Proven Health Benefits of Blueberries

2. Blueberries may help to improve memory and brain health

A study has shown that foods rich in phytochemicals such as blueberries can reverse memory deficits related to aging. Aged animals were fed a regular diet supplemented with blueberries for 12 weeks, and spatial working memory task improvements were seen within 3 weeks and continued throughout the study duration.1✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
DOI: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2008.04.008

Blueberries are a rich source of flavonoids, especially flavonols and anthocyanins. Even though it’s unknown exactly how these flavonoids affect the brain, it is known that they cross the blood-brain barrier once consumed. It’s suggested that their effects are exerted on memory and learning by enhancing existing connections of brain cells and improvement of cellular communications .

Both short and long-term memory enhancement is controlled in neurons at the molecular level. The researchers were able to demonstrate that the flavonoids’ ability to induce improvements in memory is mediated by signaling protein activation through a specific hippocampus pathway, the brain area that controls memory and learning.

Blueberry juice helps to improve memory in older individuals

Research in humans has reported that blueberries, which are a rich source of antioxidants and other phytochemicals, can improve memory. For the study, a group of individuals in their 70s who had early memory decline consumed the equivalent of 2 to 2.5 cups of blueberry juice daily for 2 months.2✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
DOI: 10.1021/jf9029332

Another group consumed a control beverage that did not contain blueberry juice. The group consuming the blueberry juice exhibited significant improvements on memory and learning tests.

Blueberries can help slow memory decline

A study finds that a high consumption over time of berries rich in flavonoids such as blueberries can slow memory decline by 2.5 years. Women consuming 2 or more helpings of blueberries each week experienced a reduction in memory decline.3✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
DOI: 10.1002/ana.23594

Data from the Nurses' Health Study was used, a cohort of 121,700 30 to 55 year old female, nurses who filled out health and lifestyle questionnaires starting in 1976. They were surveyed every 4 years since 1980 regarding their food consumption frequency. Memory measurements were taken of 16,010 individuals older than 70 at intervals of 2 years. Participants included in the study had n average age of 74 and an average BMI of 26.

Results revealed that an increase in blueberry consumption in older women was linked to slower memory decline. Women with a higher consumption of berries had memory decline delayed by as much as 2.5 years.

Blueberries Infographic

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About the author

Adrian has been writing on health and fitness for 18 years. He is the founder of several health related websites and the current owner of AHealthBlog, which regularly publishes evidence based health and fitness news and information. When he isn’t writing, you can find him mountain biking or surfing.



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