Amazing Benefits of Blueberries for a Healthy Brain
One of the foods that have checked off a lot of boxes for their impressive brain health qualities is blueberries.
They contain anthocyanins as well as other polyphenolic compounds that have positive anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
Anthocyanins have lipid-lowering effects and are likely to improve metabolic function.
Research has reported improvement in cognitive performance in older adults who eat blueberries regularly.
We are about to explore the amazing benefits of blueberries for the brain, but blueberry consumption is more of a preventive measure than an actual treatment for brain loss.
Key Nutrients in Blueberries
There are many nutrients you can obtain from blueberries, including fiber, vitamin C, folate, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, potassium, manganese, iron, copper, zinc, and sodium among others.
Essential phytochemicals include anthocyanins, chlorogenic acid, alpha-carotene, eugenol, ellagic acid, pterostilbene, caryophyllene, and beta-carotene among others.
To ensure that you get all the key nutrients in blueberries, you are advised to choose berries with a uniform dark bluish-gray color, with a silvery bloom.
The berries should be firm, plump, dry, uniform in size, and free from leaves, caps, and stems.
Avoid moldy, bruised berries or green berries. You should consider buying frozen berries if you cannot find fresh ones.
Also, wild blueberries have more skin than flesh. But both the cultivated and the wild varieties contain potent antioxidants that have similar health benefits.
8 Amazing Benefits of Blueberries for Brain Health
#1 Maintains Good Brain Function
The dark blue pigments in blueberries are polyphenols with potent antioxidant qualities. Polyphenols are known to minimize the risk of dementia.
They are also known to promote superior cognitive evolution, and enhanced cognitive performance in people who are aging normally.
Studies indicate that blueberry consumption can significantly improve short-term as well as long-term memory. This can be achieved after a few weeks of use.
Most studies that involve patients with mild cognitive impairment indicate that the patients present superior brain function and cognitive performance after consuming blueberries for weeks.
#2 Enhances Brain Activation
According to studies, the flavonoids contained in blueberries can help safeguard your brain cells against inflammation as well as oxidative stress.
Different lines of evidence indicate that blueberries may stimulate the regenerative capacity of the brain.
An area of the brain that functions in spatial recognition and learning undergoes new cell formation.
According to studies conducted by British researchers, there is a high correlation between brain activity with the volume of blood flowing to the active region when patients are observed under MRI during tests.
#3 Boosts Memory
Eating blueberries help boost communication power between neurons, the efficacy of overall electrical activity in the brain, as well as helps in the prevention of brain aging and loss.
According to research, subjects that ate one cup of blueberries daily for a duration that exceeds two weeks had an increased hippocampus cell reproduction rate.
In another study, scholars who ate these fruits scored higher on tests compared to the ones who did not.
A study conducted on aged adults presented a thirteen percent improvement in visual-spatial memory, and about a seventy-two percent improvement in semantic access.
Moreover, subjects who ate blueberries exhibited increased activity in specific parts of the left hemisphere.
#4 Neutralizing Free Radicals
Blueberries are on the top of the list regarding neutralizing free radicals and protecting your body against premature aging.
These berries have also been found to contain a chemical that is effective at lowering cholesterol. This helps to minimize the chances of cholesterol oxides reaching the brain.
These favorite fruits also provide lots of manganese, a mineral that fights free radicals. Manganese also offers protection from low-density lipoprotein (“bad” cholesterol).
The antioxidant activity of Proanthocyanidins is many times that of C or E vitamins. The component Proanthocyanidins is also the first one to neutralize free radicals.
#5 Improves Decision-Making Speed
They are not only suitable for improving your memory, but they also improve your decision-making speed.
According to a study done with rats, the subjects that were fed blueberries took significantly less time to come up with a decision when presented with choices.
#6 Increase Brain Blood Flow
Blueberries are packed with antioxidants, and the flavonoids in them are very resourceful for improving vascular function.
Research indicates that subjects supplemented with several dosages of this fruit showed a remarkable increase in blood flow after a minimum of one to two hours after blueberry consumption.
This is proof that blueberries are capable of improving vascular function and brain blood flow within a short period.
#7 Improves Symptoms of Depression
There has been research done that contends a diet rich in blueberries can increase serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is an important chemical and neurotransmitter that is known to influence mood and social behavior as well as appetite, digestion, sleep, and memory. It may also help alleviate depression in people with PTSD.
As we have mentioned earlier, these fruits are rich in antioxidants, which means they are very effective at alleviating oxidative stress.
The healing of oxidative stress will not only ease depression but also other related disorders.
#8 Improve Brain Health
Anthocyanin, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, potassium, sodium, zinc, vitamins, and selenium can heal as well as prevent neurotic disorders.
Blueberries achieve this by stopping the degeneration of brain cells and neurons.
Generally, fruits restore the good health of your central nervous system.
Studies have shown that B vitamins can help prevent brain loss and possibly Alzheimer’s. However, it is unclear whether berries can successfully heal cognitive impairment and even Alzheimer’s.
Other Benefits of Blueberries
It is now clear from the benefits mentioned above of blueberries for the brain that berries have gained abundant publicity as a superfood for protection from free radicals and inflammation.
Blueberries can also protect you against sun damage as well as support eye health.
They are low in sugar, high in fiber, and contain a potent dose of Proanthocyanidins, which are beneficial for your cardiovascular health, cognitive function, and the skin.
According to researchers in Canada, blueberries may also help decrease blood sugar levels as well as insulin resistance.
In a small study, overweight men at risk of heart disease and diabetes were given a cup of wild blueberry juice daily for three weeks.
Their blood sugar dropped significantly by around ten percent, and their insulin resistance also decreased compared to other subjects who were given a placebo.
According to the study, the benefits may come from the effect of the berries’ high levels of anthocyanins on the pancreas, which regulates blood sugar by generating insulin.
Blueberries can also be beneficial for cancer patients because they contain specific compounds, such as pterostilbene (an excellent treatment for liver and colon cancer).
The presence of ellagic acid along with anthocyanins can do wonders to prevent as well as cure cancer cells.
According to laboratory studies, phenolic compounds in berries can effectively prevent colon cancer. A significant reduction in the cancer of the ovaries was also observed.