Fruit’s cognitive benefits are down to their antioxidant and phytochemical properties, which combat inflammation and potentially improve blood flow
New research has revealed that eating just a handful of blueberries a day can help to improve brain health.
It is widely accepted that eating certain foods can improve gut health, heart health and bone health, as well as improving our general growth and development.
But when it comes to the brain, a lot of dietary advice neglects to mention what we should eat to improve our memory, concentration and overall cognitive health.
Blueberries are known for their wide range of health benefits, from reducing blood pressure to helping to prevent heart disease, but it is perhaps less well known that they can help to improve memory and brain function.
According to research, these cognitive benefits are down to their antioxidant and phytochemical properties, which combat oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain, thereby protecting brain cells and promoting better communication between neurons.
A recent study released by Alzheimer’s Research UK revealed that a mere two per cent of Brits actively take action to care for their brain health.
And the British blueberry industry is hoping to capitalise on the school summer holidays by encouraging parents to support their children’s brain function by encouraging berry consumption at home.
Leading nutritionist Rob Hobson said: “We know from research that diet plays a key role in maintaining the health of your brain and helping with memory and cognition as you age.
“Foods for good brain health are similar to those of the heart and include eating plenty of brightly coloured vegetables and fruits such as blueberries that are rich in antioxidant compounds such as anthocyanins.
“In fact, significant research in this area has been carried out on blueberries showing benefits in adults related to memory and executive function.
“A recent study found these benefits were associated with an equivalent blueberry intake of 178g which translates to about 80g given the size difference.
“It is thought that the mechanisms for these benefits may be that the anthocyanins in blueberries improve blood flow to the brain.”
Major UK berry producer Hall Hunter recently announced that this year it has produced its “sweetest and largest” British blueberry crop to date. The company is encouraging UK consumers to make the fruit a staple of their diets as National Blueberry Day approaches on 13 August.