Over the years, scientific research has shown that while a balanced diet is key to staying healthy, there are certain foods that just knock it out of the park in terms of overall benefits for your body. But what about your mind? It turns out, there might be at least one easy option: According to a recent study, eating wild blueberries could be one of the easiest ways to give your brain an instant boost.
A recent randomized, double-blind, cross-over study examined 35 middle-aged individuals between 40 and 65 years old that were fed either one cup of wild blueberries or a placebo equivalent for breakfast. They were then asked to complete a series of cognitive tasks over the course of the day that tested brain function and memory. (Related: 21 Best Healthy Cooking Hacks of All Time.)
The results were clear: Those who had eaten wild blueberries (aka WBB) were able to maintain a sustained level of concentration and performance during the day in both sets of tasks, while those who had been given a placebo saw a decrease in performance as the day went on. Researchers also noticed that those in the wild blueberry group were faster in their correct responses than the placebo group.
"This study indicated acute cognitive benefits of [wild blueberry] WBB intake in cognitively healthy middle-aged individuals, particularly in the context of demanding tasks and cognitive fatigue," the study authors wrote.
This is far from the first study to find that wild blueberries provide bountiful brain benefits. A 2011 study published in The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry significantly improved the memory performance of older adults who were at risk for Alzheimer's disease. And a study from 2007 found that regularly consuming wild blueberries could help alleviate cognitive decline in aging adults—most likely thanks to their anti-inflammatory properties.
Whether you're putting them in your morning oatmeal or simply taking them down by the handful as you run out the door, it sounds like there's plenty of science behind blueberries as a fantastic and healthy snack.
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