If your brain doesn’t feel sharp, you might experience difficulty concentrating, slowed-down thinking, trouble with multitasking, or you may even become forgetful. Any of these problems can affect your everyday routine, so it’s important to find ways to keep your brain alert.
Certain foods are known to help boost brainpower. Incorporating a hefty amount of vegetables and fruits into your diet can spark many benefits. One fruit in particular, however, has a positive result on your brain and rids brain fog.
According to our medical board expert Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, FAND, author of Create Your Plate Diabetes Meal Prep Cookbook, the best fruit to keep your brain sharp is blueberries.
“Research shows that eating blueberries as part of a healthy diet can help support brain health,” says Amidor. “Evidence suggests that eating blueberries as part of a healthy diet is associated with a lower risk of age-related cognitive impairment, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.”
According to the research posted in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, this study used wild blueberry juice supplementation for 12 weeks to confirm that there was improved memory function in older adults with early memory decline. Findings of the initial study suggested that the average amount of blueberry consumption can have benefits towards the ability to think and reason.
In addition, a published study in the Neural Regeneration Research Journal found that various-aged adults who consumed blueberries showed an increase in blood flow in key areas of the brain. It also showed improved memory and attention to required tasks. Further, tests with older adults who ate strawberries and blueberries for several months showed improved memory compared to those in the placebo group.
“Berries provide an array of nutrients including fiber, vitamins K and C, mineral manganese, and phytonutrients called polyphenols,” says Amidor.
In particular, aside from the wonders they have on the brain, blueberries are great for your heart health. One cup of fresh blueberries per day showed improved changes in increased HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) in those with metabolic syndrome—a cluster of biochemical and physiological abnormalities associated with the development of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
Blueberries can also help manage blood sugar as well as help with weight maintenance due to their high amount of fiber. Because they’re small but mighty, they’re easy to throw into any dish. Try blending them into a smoothie, turning them into protein-packed pancakes, or even emphasizing the sweetness by adding them as a cheesecake topping.
Along with blueberries, here are The Best Foods For Your Brain After 50, Say Dietitians.