Blueberries May Protect Against Alzheimer’s Disease

blueberries

Blueberries have to be one of my favorite foods on the planet. In fact, blueberries are the one thing that I absolutely will not go a day without eating. I love them that much.

Lucky for me, blueberries are typically easy to come by in the U.S., as they are native to North America, and they are one of the most nutritious foods you can eat. Studies have shown that blueberries have the highest levels of active antioxidants per serving of any food.

Blueberries also contain a high concentration of proanthocyanidin compounds which can slow the growth and spread of cancer cells. Blueberries also contain anthocyanins which protect against gastroenteritis and diarrhea, may prevent cardiovascular disease, and improve eye health.

Much research has shown that higher intake of flavonoids, particularly anthocyanins from blueberries and strawberries, is associated with slower rates of cognitive decline.¹

Recently, a group of researchers from the University of Cincinnati found that older adults with mild cognitive impairment, who took freeze-dried blueberry powder (equal to 1 cup of blueberries) each day for 16 weeks, experienced  an improvement in cognitive performance and brain function compared to those who were given a placebo.²

Tips to Add Blueberries to Your Diet

  1. Eat them by the handful. I love to eat fresh blueberries like other people snack on candy and chips. You don’t need to do anything fancy to add them to your diet, honestly. I love them best when they’re fresh.
  2. Buy them organic. Blueberries are on the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list of fruits and vegetables that contain higher levels of pesticide residue.
  3. Add them to desserts, cereals, yogurts, and other foods to punch up their nutritional value. If you’re already eating these things already, you may as well step it up a notch.
  4. Mix them with other berries for the perfect healthful and tasty dessert. This is my favorite go-to-quick-and-easy-allergy-friendly-gluten-free dessert. :)
  5. Freeze them to add them to smoothies or just to preserve them a little longer. To freeze blueberries, spread them in a single layer on a cookie sheet or baking pan and place them in the freezer overnight. When completely frozen, transfer the blueberries to a freezer safe mason jar (or freezer bag, if you prefer).

References

  1. Devore, E. E., Kang, J. H., Breteler, M. M. B. and Grodstein, F. (2012), Dietary intakes of berries and flavonoids in relation to cognitive decline. Ann Neurol., 72: 135–143. doi: 10.1002/ana.23594
  2. “Blueberries Can Help Fight Alzheimer’s Disease, New Research Shows.” CBS Boston. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Mar. 2016.
About Tiffany deSilva

Hi I'm Tiffany deSilva, MSW, CPC, CHC, Founder of BrightFire Living, LLC. I am a social worker, speaker, author, certified health, wellness and lifestyle coach, certified green living coach and toxic-free consultant. I am passionate about helping women like you to detox each area of your life, safeguard your family's health, and live life fully charged and completely lit up! I am on a mission to empower women and families who are managing food allergies, autoimmune disorders, and other modern chronic health conditions to live a safe, happy, and healthy life that truly lights your fire!

Feedback & Comments:

  1. I’m blueberry obsessed too, definitely my favorite fruit. And I too eat them daily, mostly in smoothies.

  2. Blueberries are a big fave in my home too and I eat them mixed with blackberries and cherries almost every morning, sometimes on oatmeal. Hubby likes them in yogurt too. Yum!

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