Berries are Brain Food

Nourish


Berries are a potent brain food. Research suggests berries are a top brain food capable of boosting cognitive function and improving memory.

Where does the brain magic in berries come from? Berries are vitamin-rich foods that boost brain health because of their high content of antioxidants. Eating berries every day has been documented to slow the types of memory impairments and coordination issues typically associated with aging.

Berries are a powerhouse of brain benefits, including reducing risk for dementia and improving memory. Blueberries and brain health are especially well-studied.

In one study, researchers found that older adults who drank 30 ml of concentrated blueberry juice (the equivalent of roughly 230 grams of berries), had significant increases in brain activity, blood flow, and even memory compared to those who consumed a placebo.

Berries can also help the brain stay healthy because they contain compounds helping to protect brain cells from free radicals. Another study suggested that berries change the way neurons in the brain communicate, preventing inflammation that contributes to neuronal damage, ultimately improving both motor control and cognition.

It’s recommended to grab some berries at least twice a week for their antioxidant and neuroprotective benefits. Just remember, adding berries to your diet isn’t just “easy as pie.” You want to avoid foods that couple berries with sugar, like muffins, cakes, and pies. Try adding berries to smoothies, salads, and oatmeal to get in your weekly servings.

References

  • Bowtell, J. L., Aboo-Bakkar, Z., Conway, M. E., Adlam, A.-L. R., & Fulford, J. (2017). Enhanced task-related brain activation and resting perfusion in healthy older adults after chronic blueberry supplementation. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism = Physiologie Appliquee, Nutrition Et Metabolisme, 42(7), 773–779. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2016-0550
  • Miller, M. G., Hamilton, D. A., Joseph, J. A., & Shukitt-Hale, B. (2018). Dietary blueberry improves cognition among older adults in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. European Journal of Nutrition, 57(3), 1169–1180. doi: 10.1007/s00394-017-1400-8
  • Miller, M. G., & Shukitt-Hale, B. (2012). Berry fruit enhances beneficial signaling in the brain. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 60(23), 5709–5715. doi: 10.1021/jf2036033
  • Pribis, P., & Shukitt-Hale, B. (2014). Cognition: The new frontier for nuts and berries. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 100 Suppl 1, 347S-52S. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.071506
  • Willis, L. M., Shukitt-Hale, B., & Joseph, J. A. (2009). Recent advances in berry supplementation and age-related cognitive decline. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, 12(1), 91–94. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e32831b9c6e