Boost your brain with this "power" berry
We all forget life's little details from time to time.
As we age, however, these lapses in memory and focus can become a bit more troublesome. Worst case scenario, those "brain burps" may be signaling the onset of something more serious, like mild cognitive impairment, dementia, or full-blown Alzheimer's.
But British researchers have found that you can help keep your mind and memory sharp by making a delicious addition to your diet that's small -- but mighty.
According to a new study, you can improve your brain function and memory by eating blueberries!
In the study, healthy seniors drank either concentrated blueberry juice (the equivalent of eight ounces of fresh blueberries) or a placebo every day for three months.
Based on their performance on cognitive tests at the end of the study, blueberry juice drinkers showed improvements in brain activity, brain function and working memory -- while the placebo group didn't improve significantly.
This could be because, as MRI brain scans showed, blood flow to the brain significantly increased after the blueberry boost -- and more blood brings more oxygen, which your brain needs to stay active.
If you've been reading my eTips for a while now (and my monthly Nutrition & Healing newsletter), you know that so much of our health depends on getting enough blood to flow to the key parts of our bodies!
I think what's really interesting with this new research is that all participants in the study -- both the blueberry and placebo groups -- had ALREADY been eating more than five fruits and vegetables each day as part of their normal diet.
Translation: Blueberries have brain-boosting power BEYOND other their compadres in the produce department!
Blueberries in particular are rich in flavonoids, the nutrients that give blueberries their vivid blue color. Flavonoids can reduce inflammation and have antioxidant properties, which means they protect cells from damage caused by everything from aging to toxins.
You'll gain a bushel of other health benefits, too, as studies have shown that this "super" berry can also keep blood vessels healthy, slash your risk of stroke, protect your bones, and fight breast cancer.
So, if you're struggling with memory and focus, try adding blueberries into your daily meals.
But that doesn't mean it's open season for blueberry muffins and blueberry pie.
Instead, you can pile blueberries into a bowl of "Paleo" (no-grain) granola at breakfast, toss them into a spinach salad at lunch, grab a handful with nuts as a snack, or top them with some Greek yogurt for dessert.
You can also drink your blueberries! Blueberry juice has become widely available, though you'll want to make sure there's no added sugar. You may want to opt instead for blueberry powder or blueberry juice concentrate -- like what was used in the new study -- which are available at your local health food store.
The only possible side effect? A blue tongue!