They might be small in size, but blueberries are a known super food that can benefit us in many ways. It is the antioxidants that make blueberries an anti aging powerhouse and in fact, half a cup of blueberries can deliver as many antioxidants as 5 servings of other fruits and vegetables (Source).
Study after study has shown that these tiny, colorful berries can be your superheroes in the battle against aging. What I love about blueberries (apart from the health benefits) is they are so easy to include in your diet. Buy them fresh or frozen and add them to yogurt, smoothies, fruit salad or just eat them straight up.
So let’s take a look at some of the reasons blueberries are so great when it comes to anti aging benefits.
Prevention of Mental and Cognitive Decline
Studies have shown that when flavonoids found in blueberries are absorbed into the bloodstream they are able to cross the blood brain barrier. In turn, certain regions of the brain that are responsible for motor and memory functions are positively influenced.
Researchers found that these flavonoids can help boost neural pathways, improve cellular connections and stimulate the process of neural regeneration. These active compounds in blueberries also have brain-protective effects as they help reduce free radical damage, excitoxicity and inflammation.
Regular consumption of blueberries has been linked to a reversal of cognitive and motor decline, both common in aging individuals. Blueberries are a rich source of vitamins E and C which are nutrients that also function as powerful antioxidants.
Powerful Memory Boosters
Apart from eating blueberries, you can also drink blueberry juice to enjoy the antioxidant benefits. It has been shown that drinking a few cups of blueberry juice every day can give an aging brain a boost by enhancing memory (Source)
The study had participants in their 70’s drink up to 20 ounces of blueberry juice daily for a period of two months. A control group was only asked to consume non-juice drinks.
The results revealed that those study participants who were provided with blueberry juice enjoyed significant improvements in their memory. The test results also showed improvement in learning abilities compared with the non-juice group.
These findings should encourage everyone to drink blueberry juice (or eat whole berries) on a regular basis as it may help forestall if not mitigate the process of neurodegeneration.
As we age, cholesterol levels can become harder to manage and it is a common problem many of us will face. Again blueberries can help. They contain pterostilbene which is a compound with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic properties. It is also known to have antiobesity properties or a “fat-finding” ability (Source)
This statement is based on a study which revealed that pterostilbene compounds found in blueberries possess the ability to bind to PPAR-alpha receptors and trigger a response in the brain which leads to a reduction of triglycerides and cholesterol in the body.
Osteoporosis is a common health problem that many aging individuals, particularly women, face. It has been found that the nutrients found in blueberries can be beneficial in preventing the onset of osteoporosis.
Regular consumption of blueberries can help prevent bones from weakening especially after menopause. They actually prevent loss of bone mineral density, rather than increasing bone formation like some other foods. This can certainly contribute to better bone health.
Better Eye Health
The anthocyanins found in blueberries are known for their eye-protective benefits. These anthocyanins play a crucial role in protecting the RPE or Retinal Pigment Epithelium cells against death which usually occurs in aging individuals.
These are only a few of the many findings from studies conducted by experts which continue to prove the benefits of blueberries for preserving eye health and for protecting aged individuals against several ocular diseases.
So if you aren’t already, the above are some very good reasons why blueberries are certainly something you will want to include in your anti aging diet. Whatever way you eat them, they will certainly help to contribute to better health.