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Brain Food: If It's Blue, It's Good for You

This entry is part of a series, Brain Food»

Blueberries

There aren’t a lot of brain superfoods out there, and most of them are highly colored. Blueberries are one such food. What does the blue fruit bring to the party?

Antioxidants. Lots and lots of antioxidants.

A study at Tufts University (in conjuction with the USDA) showed that eating a serving of blueberries a day slows, and may even reverse, age-related brain decline. Blueberries have also been shown to improve memory and mental acuity. The healthy material, besides the usual suspects (vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese) is a whole family of anthocyanins, which are strong antioxidants.

Eat these for your brain and you’ll get plenty of side-benefits. Like cancer prevention, anti-aging and disease-fighting effects. Yes, these little round morsels of nutrition are all-round health boosters.

What can you eat blueberries in? Besides topping your breakfast cereal (oatmeal will be discussed later) with some fresh ones? Put them in muffins or pancakes. They go with limes to make a great pie (and we recently celebrated National Pie Day; it’s not too late!). You can drink’em as well, with pineapple and strawberries in a drink called a Fiasco. Or try some dried ones in a trail mix or similar snack. However you get them, be sure to eat plenty!

Take Your Pick

What should you do if you can’t get 1-2 cups of blueberries into your diet daily? Drink the juice. Especially unsweetened (you don’t need the calories, trust me); or some extract. Even juice blends containing blueberry provide some benefit. What about other “blue” fruits? All of these have similar anthocyanins, and thus provide (at least partial) benefits:

If you can’t find blueberries, try some of these fruits, fresh or in recipes. (This will also help you avoid the “Blueberry Blues,” from eating them all the time.) Several vegetables are also known to contain plenty of the dark anthocyanins:

  • Eggplant
  • Purple Potatoes
  • Red Cabbage
  • Purple Bell Peppers

With better memory just waiting for you, maybe your mind won’t be the second thing to go…

Enjoy the (Blue is Good) Heat!

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