July 29, 2019 Herb 0Comment

You can enjoy fresh blueberries year-round! The North American blueberry season and harvest runs from April up to late September. Then, South America imports fill the grocery store shelves from October to March.  A new study finds that if you love recipes with blueberries, then you can’t go wrong with putting blueberries in pies, cobblers, smoothies, cottage cheese, cookies, jams and even in your main dishes.

Blue Berries Are Good for Your Health Photo Credit: SNAP-ED Connection, United States Department of Agriculture

New research findings published in the The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences provide the scienceas to how blueberry consumption can contribute to healthy aging.

The articles presented in this special collection emerged from a symposium titled “Blue versus Gray: Potential Health Benefits of Blueberries for Successful Aging,” held at the World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics in July 2017.

“Since the 1990s, research on the health benefits of blueberries has grown exponentially,” wrote guest editor Donald K. Ingra, PhD, FGSA, in an opening editorial. “Studies have documented that this fruit ranks highest in antioxidant activity compared to many other popular fruits. Moreover, other mechanisms for the health benefits of blueberries, such as their anti-inflammatory properties, have been identified,” says Ingram in a July 29 statement announcing his opening thoughts about blueberries.

Ingram’s editorial is followed by four articles in a special section of the journal’s Biological Sciences section. According to one of the studies, consuming 200 grams of blueberries (about one cup) daily can improve blood vessel function and decrease systolic blood pressure. As the cause, the authors cited anthocyanins, which are phytochemicals that give blueberries their dark color.

Improved Performance on Memory Tests

Other studies cited in the special section document the cognitive benefits of eating blueberries. One tied the fruit’s high polyphenol count to improved performance on memory tests by a group of older adults. Likewise, another journal article provides a review of several clinical studies focusing on benefits of blueberry supplementation — with a focus on specific memory effects in children as well as older adults with mild cognitive impairment.

The journal collection of blue berry stories also includes a rodent study, which presents data on the improved memory performance of blueberry-supplemented aged rats compared to rats on a control diet.

Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences is a peer-reviewed publication of The Gerontological Society of America (GSA), the nation’s oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging. The principal mission of the Society — and its 5,500+ members — is to advance the study of aging and disseminate information among scientists, decision makers, and the general public. GSA’s structure also includes a policy institute, the National Academy on an Aging Society, and an educational unit, the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education.

For details about easy to make healthy recipes, go to www.greatist.com/health/healthy-blueberry-recipes#1.

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