Love blueberries? Here’s one more reason to love them even more: they’re good for your brain. In fact, a new study has found that older men and women who ate a daily serving of blueberries for 90 days had better verbal learning and mental flexibility.
Blueberries Every Day!
Earlier studies had found that blueberries improved memory, but the large dose of blueberries needed for positive results was not practical. In a more recent study, 37 men and women aged 60 to 75 took 24 grams of freeze-dried blueberry – equal to one cup of fresh blueberries – per day or a placebo.
After 90 days, while the placebo group had not changed, those eating blueberries had far fewer errors in a verbal learning test, and increased mental flexibility in a test of executive function – the processes that guide thought and behavior – compared to their performance at the start of the study.
Don’t worry. You don’t have to eat freeze-dried blueberries to reap their nutritional benefits. Fresh, organic local blueberries – in season now – are just as healthy.
Blueberry Spinach Salad
Here’s a refreshing salad to try that features blueberries front and center. Add some roasted pepitas for a fantastic summer lunch or serve it as a side salad with your favorite BBQ.
1/4 C. raspberry vinegar
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. organic cane sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. avocado oil
10 oz. fresh organic baby spinach (about 12 cups)
1 C. fresh organic blueberries
1 C. crumbled blue cheese (or vegan cheese)
1/2 C. pecans, chopped and roasted
Directions: Whisk first 4 dressing ingredients, then gradually whisk in oil until blended. Toast pecans in the oven at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes, or heat them in a cast iron skillet on low until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Combine washed and dried salad ingredients with blue (or vegan) cheese and toss with dressing. Garnish with roasted pecans.