Friday, May 3, 2013
Blueberries and Memory
Wish you had a better memory? Feel like you just can’t remember things like you used too? What if you found out that popping a few blueberries in your mouth could do the trick? Well in fact, scientists are saying that among their many nutritional benefits, blueberries might be playing a larger role in our memory then we ever knew before.
Blueberries, which have been coined a super food for many years, may be even more powerful than anyone had first imagined. Blueberries are known to be rich in antioxidants, an important defender to protect our bodies from cancers. Not to mention the high fiber content of the blueberry has made it a highly recommended dietary choice for those with a history of irritable bowel, constipation or high cholesterol.
So what is this about memory? Most recently much attention has been focusing more specifically on a type of antioxidant found in the blueberry called anthocyanins. These are part of a large group referred to as polyphenols, which are in abundance in most fruits and vegetables. It is however the blueberry that appears to contain the most significant amount of anthocyanins.
Recent studies have shown that those who consume diets rich in blueberries, and blueberry juice, have greater evidence of anthocyanins in the part of their brain that is involved in improving memory, learning, decision making, comprehension and numerical ability. It appears that the role of the anthocyanins is related to allowing the neurons of the brain communicate and thus enhance memory. Studies going one step further have even suggested that increased consumption may help slow the decline in mental status of those who suffer from Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and the natural decline seen in aging.
So just how many blueberries will have your brain powered up? Most studies suggest about 3 cups of blueberries, or 2- 2 ½ cups of blueberry juice a day will do the trick!
Marlo Mittler, MS RD is a Registered Dietitian, Nutrition Consultant, journalist and public speaker specializing in nutrition, wellness and healthy lifestyles. Marlo has been in practice for over 15 years, specializing in Pediatrics, Adolescents and Family Nutrition. Marlo, has appeared nationally on FOX, ABC, NBC and CBS News.