Blueberries AKA Super Fruit Brain Berries

July is here, the month we celebrate our Nation’s independence. It is also a very tasty month, as we celebrate National Ice Cream Day & National Hot Dog Day. Lastly, July is National Blueberry Month. Blueberries are delicious and can play a role in decreasing the risk of cancer and heart disease, and also improving your mental clarity and memory.

Alzheimer’s Disease

It is the most common form of dementia, which is a general term for the group of brain disorders that cause a loss of intellectual and social skills. Alzheimer’s is when brain cells deteriorate and die, causing a decline in memory and cognitive ability. It is a progressive disease that is devastating to so many and has no cure. While the cause of Alzheimer’s is not understood completely, studies and research suggest that foods we eat can slow dementia. Blueberries have been associated with increased signals/information between brain cells, and one study found that subjects who consumed wild blueberry juice during the trial could recall a word list better, and had reduced depressive symptoms.

Brain Berries

What exactly do blueberries do for you?

Among other benefits, they:
  • increase blood flow
  • reduce inflammation
  • boost the aging brain
  • may reduce the risk for late-life cognitive decline.

What makes blueberries so super?

The effects of blueberries could be because of they are rich in anthocyanins, which are a type of flavonoid (which are a family of powerful antioxidants). Anthocyanins:
  • boost brain function & delay cognitive decline
  • give blueberries their color
  • help maintain a healthy liver
  • help prevent cancer
  • reduce heart disease
  • reduce diabetes

Ways to Eat Blueberries

So, they are great for you, but just how much should you be eating to reap the benefits? Although there is no specified amount listed, eating about 1-2 cups of blueberries a few times per week is a great start. Eating these superfruits in any form is beneficial in some way, however, when exposed to high heat, the valuable nutrients in blueberries can be damaged. To absorb the maximum amount of nutrients possible, you should avoid baking them, and eat them fresh instead. Some ways to do that are:
  • eat them plain (rinse with water first!), or make a fresh fruit salad
  • place them fresh or dried in your cereal
  • add them to your favorite yogurt
Also, if you buy your berries in season when they are less expensive, or if you grow your own, here is some good news for you: You can freeze your blueberries for up to 6 months without jeopardizing their delicate antioxidants.