Berries: Brain Food?
When it comes to staying physically healthy, eating a balanced amount of fresh fruit and vegetables is always the way to go; and as it turns out, it might also contribute to cognitive and mental wellbeing.
The International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition have recently published a new review, in which one can find evidence on how blueberries could possibly be the key to improving cognitive function, no matter the age.
Studies have shown that blueberries can influence and improve memory and executive function - in short the skills that allow us to retain information, find solutions to everyday problems and maintain self-control to avoid acting on impulse - in children and young adults, as well as in older members of the population. Further studies have even shown that this tiny but mighty superfood could make even help improve cognitive control of mood, leading to the possibility that it could even potentially contribute to helping manage anxiety and depression - a positive piece of news, especially in a post-covid world where mental health issues such as anxiety and depression are on the rise.
As for the ageing population, the benefits of the blueberry surrounding memory and executive function could mean slower rates of cognitive decline, showing that incorporating them into our diets could work alongside conventional treatments.
As stated by Dr Emma Derbyshire, Public Health Nutritionist and adviser to British Summer Fruits, “Blueberries are full of polyphenols such as anthocyanins which have been linked to cognitive benefits. These are exciting findings and imply that berries have an important role to play in reinforcing cognitive wellbeing, both in school and as we age. It will be fascinating to see how research evolves in this exciting field."
Blueberries are a delicious fruit, making it easy to add them into a balanced diet; whether it’s by blending them into a smoothie, eating a handful of them as a mid-morning or afternoon snack, or even in your breakfast cereals or porridge. So next time you get peckish, why not have some berries?
For more blueberry and berry recipes, head to Love Fresh Berries