Articles on Natural Paths to Wellness

Cultivated & Wild Blueberry Benefits for Brain Health

If I were stranded on an island and could only have one food it would definitely be blueberries. These amazing super berries not only taste delicious but are perhaps the best food for boosting memory. Many clinical studies have been done to prove the cultivated and wild blueberry benefits for brain health both in the young and elderly.

Blueberries are also well tolerated by most people so they are an excellent choice for recommending to your clients, especially if they have cognitive issues.

Below are two of the most intriguing studies I have seen in those regards. Each study attributes the benefits to antioxidant phytochemicals known as anthocyanins, although there are many other brain supportive nutrients in blueberries.

Blueberry Brain Health Research

Blueberry supplementation improves memory in older adults.
Findings: Blueberries contain anthocyanins which have been associated with increased neuronal signaling in brain centers, mediating memory function. In this study, 12 weeks of daily blueberry juice consumption improved paired associate learning and word list recall. Also, there were trends toward reduced depressive symptoms and lower glucose levels.
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Cognitive effects following acute wild blueberry supplementation in 7- to 10-year-old children.
Findings: Using a double-blind cross-over design, on three occasions children (n = 21; 7-10 years) consumed placebo (vehicle) or blueberry drinks containing 15 or 30 g freeze-dried wild blueberry (WBB) powder. Significant WBB-related improvements included final immediate recall at 1.15 h, delayed word recognition sustained over each period, and accuracy on cognitively demanding incongruent trials in the interference task at 3 h. Importantly, across all measures, cognitive performance improved.
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There are just a few of the many studies you could find on the brain health benefits of blueberries. Simply search blueberries and brain in PubMed and you can see the other studies for yourself!

In your work as a natural health professional, including foods such as blueberries in your protocols is extremely important because they taste great (increasing compliance), are easy to use, and have significant data supporting their benefits (which also increases compliance).

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To you and your clients lifelong brain health!