A new review proves why berries deserve a spot in your everyday diet. The fruit may help increase mental power and prevent age-related memory loss.
Researchers from the USDA-ARS Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging reviewed laboratory and animal studies and concluded that berries assist brain function in a number of ways. Fruits such as blueberries, blackberries, cranberries and strawberries are high in antioxidants, which can help protect brain cells from damage. Also, berries alter the way neurons inside in the brain communicate with each other, which in turn can help prevent the inflammation that leads to the cell damage in the first place.
When shopping, look for the darkest berries. They contain the most antioxidants.
Photo by Dano/Courtesy Flickr
Before the review, one member of the berry family had already gained recognition as an “antioxidant superfood” in recent years. Because they are packed with antioxidants and phytoflavinoids, as well as potassium and vitamin C, blueberries are becoming a popular choice among doctors and nutritionists alike. Blueberry lovers enjoy a lowered risk of heart disease and cancer, and, like the rest of the berry family, blueberries are anti-inflammatory.
If you’re new to the world of berries, here is a simple smoothie recipe to get you started. With only four ingredients, it’s a breeze to make, low in fat, and will have you reaping all the benefits berries have to offer in no time.
Strawberry & Blueberry Smoothie
• 1/2 cup vanilla soymilk or regular milk
• 1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
• 1 cup strawberries (fresh or frozen)
• 6 ounces non-fat vanilla yogurt (any flavor will work)
1. Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.