Evidence from a review published in the International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition describes how blueberries may have the potential to influence cognitive wellbeing in people of all ages.
In children and young adults, blueberries have been shown to improve memory and executive function. Further studies have observed improvements in cognitive control of mood, meaning it could play a role in helping to manage anxiety and depression.
In older generations, blueberries have been linked to slower rates of cognitive decline and improved working memory and executive performance.
The study authors explained that positive effects for extracts, juices, and whole berries (typically freeze-dried and powdered) were seen at doses equivalent to one cup of fresh blueberries. These amounts can easily be achieved within a normal diet.
Dr Emma Derbyshire, public health nutritionist and adviser to British Summer Fruits said: “Blueberries are full of polyphenols such as anthocyanins which have been linked to cognitive benefits. These are exciting findings and imply that berries have an important role to play in reinforcing cognitive wellbeing, both in school and as we age.
“Blueberries can be easily included in the diet, no matter what our age. Scattered onto cereals, pureed into porridge, juiced into a smoothie, or simply eaten as a portable snack. It will be fascinating to see how research evolves in this exciting field.”