Blueberries are one of nature’s superfoods and has the highest antioxidant content of any fruit. They have the highest ORAC rating of any fruit which basically means that the antioxidants that they contain are extremely powerful. Antioxidants help protect against free radicals. Not only that but they are low glycemic, which means they are also great for people to eat who need to lose weight…just don’t over-do it.
Dr. James Joseph is the lead scientist in the Laboratory of Neuroscience at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University. Using rats as models he tests motor and memory function and also test for muscle strength and coordination. Around middle age rats start to show the same kind of decline in performance that humans do. What Dr. Josephs studies show is that when you feed the lab rats extracts of blueberries, it prevents a decline in performance and bad things from happening. The rats that were fed the blueberry extract had no mental deterioration, no loss of balance, and no loss of coordination that is usually seen with them as they get older.
Blueberries contain compounds like anthocyanin that are antioxidant and anti inflammatory, which means they help to prevent almost all major diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Diabetes, heart disease and arthritis as well.
As we get older the neurons in the brain don’t communicate as effectively to one another. This “signalling” declines are seen in reduced memory, coordination and balance. Polyphenols in blueberries not only turn on the signalling but also enable the brain to grow new neurons, how exciting is that? Blueberries are the ultimate memory food! They may also lower blood cholesterol and improve urinary health.
A study done by the University of Illinois tested various fruits for a particular flavonoid that inhibits cancer. Blueberries scored the highest of them all.
You can eat blueberries fresh or frozen and all you need is 1/2 half cup a day to get all of these amazing benefits. Personally I like to mix them and grind them up in my vanilla protein shake. It’s like having a cheat every day that’s actually good for you!