Move over botox. All it takes is a daily blueberry boost to reverse the signs of aging— including dull, wrinkled skin, deteriorating memories, and impaired balance and coordination.
Blueberry’s Health Boons
Tufts University researchers pitted blueberries against 40 other commercially available fruits and vegetables. Turns out, blueberries boasted the highest antioxidant status…higher than strawberries, raspberries, spinach and the like! In fact, just one cup of blueberries contains the antioxidant power of five servings of other fruits and veggies.
Antioxidants act like antibiotics for aging, wiping out all manner of free radicals and environmental pollutants that accelerate aging of the body and brain. The more antioxidants a food has, the more it protects cells from premature aging.
Blueberry for the Brain
A daily blueberry boost defends your brain cells and neurons against free radicals, radiation, and excitotoxicity! Blueberries are high in antioxidant vitamins C and E, along with a very unique antioxidant called anthocyanin, which imparts that characteristic, vibrant blue hue to the berry. Anthocyanins are potent anti-inflammatories, and research has shown that they may help slow cognitive decline caused by neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
The flavonoids (a type of antioxidant) in blueberries are highly potent, because they are able to cross the blood brain barrier (a barrier that keeps toxins as well as highly prized nutrients from entering the brain) and can positively impact the parts of the brain that direct memory and motor function.
Participants in their seventies taking part in a University of Cincinnati study either drank two cups of blueberry juice a day for two months, or a non-juice beverage. The blueberry-drinking volunteers tested better for learning and memory, and also exhibited decreased depression symptoms and lowered glucose levels in the blood.
Blueberry for Your Balance and Bones
A study published in the Journal of Neuroscience suggests that a daily blueberry boost may improve short-term memory, as well as balance and coordination. Rats were fed extracts of blueberries, strawberries, and spinach daily. While each seemed to improve memory, only blueberry improved the loss of balance and coordination experienced by elderly rats, thereby suggesting that blueberries don’t just help prevent aging, but may also help reverse it!
Another study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry showed that blueberries can help forestall osteoporosis by keeping bones from becoming frail after menopause.
And blueberries don’t stop there! Dr. Agnes M. Rimando, a research chemist for the Federal Department of Agriculture in Oxford, Mississippi discovered that a compound in blueberries called pterostilbene may help lower cholesterol. This compound stimulates a cell receptor responsible for lowering cholesterol and other blood fats.
How to Get Your Daily Blueberry Boost
Researchers don’t yet know what part of the blueberry holds the most potent antioxidants. For this reason it’s best to eat blueberries whole, rather than ingesting them in beverage or capsule form. If blueberries are too tart for your taste buds, then plop a cup into your smoothie as an easy way to get your daily blueberry boost!