Your Brain on Blueberries

Blueberries Can Boost Memory and Brainpower

Blueberries are wonderful for our bodies and mind.  These delicious, tart little guys pack a great deal of antioxidants and nutrients. They're also low in calories, which make them one of a dieters best friends.
Blueberries are wonderful for our bodies and mind. These delicious, tart little guys pack a great deal of antioxidants and nutrients. They're also low in calories, which make them one of a dieters best friends.

Blueberries: Food for the Brain

Blueberries Lose Their Nutritional Pop When Served With Milk

Recent evidence shows that we may be undermining their worth – if we serve them with milk.

Blueberries are blue, sweet, and juicy and may help ward off those nagging memory lapses. Emerging research indicates compounds in blueberries known as flavonoids may improve memory, learning, and general cognitive function, including reasoning skills, decision-making, verbal comprehension, and numerical ability.

A report in the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine detailed how milk interferes with the antioxidant and nutritional powers of blueberries. They suggest that when we eat blueberries, we should do so one hour before enjoying milk or two hours after.

Blueberries: Fruit for Thought!

Blueberries are an excellent source of vitamin C. In fact, a serving contains about 14 mg or almost 25% of daily requirement for Vitamin C. Vitamin C is needed for the formation of collagen and to maintain healthy gums and capillaries. It also aids in the absorption of iron and promotes a healthy immune system.

Blueberries contain substances that have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals which are unstable molecules linked to the development of a number of diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease and other age-related conditions such as Alzheimer's. According to the USDA database of the antioxidant activity of selected foods, blueberries rank among the highest on a per serving basis.

New research indicates that the power of flavonoids that bolsters cognition (brain thinking) results mainly from interactions between flavonoids and proteins integral to brain-cell structure and functions.

Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants that protect from the cellular damage caused by free radicals (the bad guys – oxidants), which are formed during metabolism, and are also from pollution, cigarette smoke and radiation. Flavonoids appear to help regulate blood flow and blood pressure.

Scientist has identified more than 6,000 different flavonoids. These chemicals are widely distributed in fruits and vegetable, cereal grains, cocoa, soy foods, tea, and wine.

Better Than Taking Supplements

Science has not determined which foods have the greatest potential for enhancing learning and memory. Eating flavonoid-rich foods is better than taking supplements. The processing destroys, or reduces the actual flavonoid content of supplements, and intact fruits (example: blueberries) and vegetables are likely to contain the most beneficial compounds to the brain.

Current USDA Dietary Guidelines

Current USDA dietary guidelines call for eating two cups of fruit and two cups and a half of vegetable ever day… It is hope if you do, you will remember where you put your glasses!

Related DNA Health Article:

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Comments 36 comments

CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 6 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

Will have to start shovelling those blueberries down, dallas! Great info on the health benefits of blueberries.

dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA Author


We are what we eat! Thanks for the comments.

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa

I don’t know why, but I’ve never seen fresh blue- or blackberries in my life. It does not grow in our province - but in other provinces where I seldom if ever go. I buy blueberry and blackberry jam (preserve of crushed fruit), and love it. But with all the sugar added I don’t think it is so healthy. Thanks for this interesting information, dallas. One of my cousins lives in our most famous blueberry region, and I’m going to ask her to send me a box or two via courier. In the meantime enjoy them on my behalf too.

dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA Author


To your good health!

Thanks for your comments.

dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

I love blueberries but we have always had them as shortcake with whip cream. sometimes with milk. I had never heard this before.

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dallas93444 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA Author


Another reference:

(NaturalNews) Not much is better than a bowl of fresh blueberries. Bursting with flavor and sweetness, low in calories, and packed with nutrients and antioxidants, these tiny fruits are anti-aging superstars. There is however one word of caution. Blueberries lose their power when eaten with milk.

Blueberries have a high affinity for milk protein

A new study reported in the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine investigated whether antioxidant properties of blueberries were reduced because of their affinity for protein. They assessed the bioavailability of phenolics after consumption of blueberries with and without milk. Phenolics are the active compounds in plants that give blueberries their antioxidant potential.

Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 6 years ago from Stepping past clutter

Off to buy a pot of blueberries, sans milk- better than gold, I understand!

dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA Author


A hint to the wise is sufficient!

Enjoy them!

A bonus is you will remember where you purchased them and hopefully, will not forget where you parked your car...

Thanks for your comments.

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Linda Myshrall 6 years ago

As a kid, I fell in love with blueberries because they taste wonderful. Later, I came to appreciate them because of the antioxidants. Today, you've given me a whole new reason to love them! Great hub as usual.

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dallas93444 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA Author

Linda Myshrall,

The innocense of youth! Eat and enjoy blueberries. Thanks for the comments.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS


I eat only fresh fruit and eat it with nothing else but fresh fruit. I don't combine it with other kinds of food, cook it or eat it "close to" other food. I have a large variety of fresh fruit first thing in every morning and nothing else for a minimum of 30 minutes. It's usually longer because I don't even get up to prepare anything else for at least half an hour. If I want any fruit later in the day, it must be at least 2 hours after other food. Most people don't understand the nature of fruit. It is so easily digested, it needs little time to make the trip through the tummy to the next segments of the process. If eaten alone, it can get on with it easily and it will produce none of the objectionable effects too many folks think it "causes" - sourness, etc. That occurs when its trip through the stomach is slowed or even stopped by other foods which take MUCH longer to digest - up to HOURS longer, in fact. Then the fruit is bottlenecked and by nature, it begins to ferment, waiting to get on out of there.

Likewise, cooking causes it to become acid and causes stomach discomfort. By nature, the citric acid in fruit does not irritate the innards. The stomach is full of its own acid which is compatible with fruit if it isn't made to dwell there too long or isn't converted to a different acid by heat.

Incidentally to be a 'fruit" does not require it to be sweet, although sweetness intensifies its easy digestion, as it is part of fruit's own digestion as it ripens and becomes fully "done". But any vegetative thing with seeds in it is technically a fruit. Tomatoes, eggplant, squash - a few examples. Of course those are usually combined and/or cooked. Tomatoes are nearest to the fruits we think of as "fruit", though and can cause the same stomach reactions when eaten in combination and cooked. I was never able to avoid that, however, though I prefer eating them fresh and virtually alone.

I did not know that blueberries are an aid to the brain, though. I attribute fruit with many benefits for the body as a unit, including the brain, of course, but it is nice to know some of it benefits the brain specifically. As for combining with milk - that is only one other food to be avoided!

Blueberries are frequently part of my fruit selections, along with watermelon, another valuable one. Always there is a citrus, a pome, banana and usually, grapes. Right now I'm munching on a small apple, small pear, banana, grapefruit, grapes and a generous handful of blueberries. I add strawberries, blackberries, pineapple, melons, peaches, apricots, mangos, cherries, and others when in season, especially. I'm less wild about kiwi and though pomegranates are supposed to be very healthy, they defeat me in getting at the pulp! LOL. But I never met a fruit I didn't like and sometimes have thought I should have been a fructovore. (I know - my own coined wordl)

But I'm also enthusiastic about veggies (especially the green leafy or the brightly colored ones -fresh or lightly cooked), unprocessed nuts, as well as fish (especially salmon), poultry, whole grains, soy, dark chocolate, naturally white and non-creamy hard cheeses, tea and occasional wine. My baddy is coffee. A lifetime love affair.

I take only occasional calcium & vitamin B supplements, doctor's recommendations for bone density and for a nerve-related condition in my feet, although I often neglect the supplements altogether. My only prescription med is estrogen, and my doctor recently switched it to a topical application. I don't religiously use that, either. If I have an ache, I take a few OTC pain things, but not over any period of time and not as often as prescribed, usually one dose does it for me. Healthy dietary choices are never too expensive or too difficult to attain, when one thinks of the amounts of money and other inconveniences caused by needing a battery of pharmaceutical and medical means of staying alive, - if it can be called alive in the long run. Making the healthy choices before the urgency occurs is a very wise idea, but it is never too late to take up the habit as long as one can choose - and blueberries may aid in that brain functionality too!

I mention these habits both to concur with your wonderful hub, which I hope many folks read & heed, and to testify to diet as essential to good health & longevity. With my 79th year to conclude on Feb. 2. I got to thinking about birthdays, The 1st happens at the end of a year. So my 79th is the landmark of the end of 79. Right? Anyway - i am disgustingly healthy I've always been diet conscious, growing up in a home with parents who heeded diet principles of the day - and being a Home Economics student from Junior HIgh through college, generally avoiding processed food, (both for economic and intuitive reasons) and becoming more specifically aware of recent developments in understanding of diet. I started controlling my intake of fruit as described above in about 1987 when I read about it.

ps - Martie, dear cyber daughter - forget about jams, jellies, fruit desserts, etc. as anything but system-clogging sweets!!

dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA Author


You are what you eat! You are a great example. My mother and grandmother were/are healthy!

Any plans for your BIG birthday? I will mentally share your zest for life and your keen "awareness" of what is important.

Happy Birthday!



Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS

No plans. My George's birthday was Feb. 13th, so we were usually feted together in between our b'days. I'm sure my stepson will not forget it, and other friends and family, as well, but I am not expecting any celebration otherwise. Depending on the weather, I might go to a movie. I really want to see "The King's Speech", but there is no urgency. Whatever else, I'll feel good and enjoy my day with a sense of accomplishment. hehe.

Thank you for your well wishes and hugs! What could be better!!

dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA Author


Everyday is a good day! I enjoy looking at the grass from the top side...

I have began the process of an another adventure. My book is complete... In the "find an agent stage.." In the meantime, I have purchased a "fixer-upper" cabin cruiser. My plans are to reapair as needed and uprage and then sail from Avila beach to San Francisco, up the deep water channel in to the Delta (about two days if all goes well). It has about 1,000 miles of shore line... Huck Finn would feel at home.

Enjoy your Birthday! :-)

Here at Pismo Beach it has been a beatuifuyl day. The touris are thick as thieves today. Even Avila Bay is packed. The beaches are solid bikins...

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS

What a delightful adventure! An online friend, a retired Navy man who lives in San Diego, has made such a voyage and loved every moment of it. I'm sure yours will be as good or better! I must confess that I am more at ease with the Pacific than with the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, but I'm such a native landlubber, large bodies of water of whose shoreline can be out of sight are a bit frightening, though I love lakes, streams and boats.

I've spent many memorable times over many years of those, some on sailboats in the Ohio River - a real Huck Finn type river, some on a tiny Sunfish on the local Whiterock lake not far from my house and others in a wonderful deck boat on the many lakes around this area. I became a pretty good rigger and a fairly reliable drink mistress, though I'm a very moderate drinker when I even indulge.

The Pacific, curiously, seems friendly, although I've had no opportunity to test that theory beyond standing on her beach a time or two and observing the crystalline blue of her then-placid waters. My mother painted the scene and on another occasion, she painted the Gulf. What a contrast! Color, action, everything. The Gulf was green and choppy, as it was on the occasion I spent a weekend on Padre Island and also ventured out on a fishing boat with my companion - and hung over the rail the majority of the entire time. LOL. Other events on the Atlantic included a very tumultuous cold day on a Connecticut coast in a large sailboat (or small yacht, I'm not sure which) - tied to the dock to outlast the storm which upset the plans to sail around with the kin-by-marriage hosts on their boat. It heaved and rocked, though miraculously not upsetting my digestion & passion for eating some gloriously delicious hot Mulligatawny stew our kinsman concocted on board while laughing a lot & drinking more alcohol than wise. I enjoyed it all, being very glad the decision was made to stay lashed to the dock and to not set sail! It is a fun memory.

I really admire your project & adventure of fixing up the cabin cruiser. I'll bet that will be nearly as exciting as the actual voyage! I envy you all that - but not so much all the tourists out, though perhaps the bikinis lend a balance of pleasure and value, assuming there is some fine male pulchritude displayed among them, as well. . . . ;-)

dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA Author

"...all the tourists out, though perhaps the bikinis lend a balance of pleasure and value. ;-)"

One must look with an "artistic viewpoint" admiring what God has created... :-)

Although when I lived in Hawaii and when looking at all of the "grass skirts," I was secretly wishing for a lawn mower! :-)

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

I eat a lot of blueberries, and I make sure that my father does as well to help preserve his memory, since he's in his eighties. However, I didn't know that milk interfered with nutrient absorption from blueberries. Thank you very much for this information.

dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA Author


We learn everyday... Thanks for your comments!

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS

Dallas - somehow I'd be surprised if you had not entertained a thought or two of taking up lawn work in that situation.

dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA Author


Oh boy... You are wise beyond your years!

Hope your birthday was great!

GmaGoldie profile image

GmaGoldie 6 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

I travel allot and eating blueberries is my salvation for my travels. So glad to hear I am on the right track. I love my milk but have heard the research and greatly appreciate that. My personal trainer feels strongly that women over 40 gain weight because of the lactose so just another reason to take supplements and skip the milk.

Great Hub - voted up and useful.

dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA Author

In regard to your concern about drinking water:

California central cities dump their sewer water into the California Aquaduct. 23 million people drink the water. The sewer plants do not eradicate T. gondii...

Most of us (50%) have T. gondii. It changes our behaviors. It changes entire cultures... France is an example. One of the "side effects/affects" is women are more "promiscuis." Men are less intelligent. France has an infection rate over 70%....

toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 6 years ago

Hi Dallas93444,

Great hub! I always knew the cute little round blue fruit was good for us, but now you gave me even more reasons to eat them. Thanks for sharing! Rated up and awesome.

vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

Love blueberries and love this hub! Super-rich content and very informative. Sending this on to family. Rated way, way up!

dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA Author


Imagine: "To know info." We all learn! Thanks for the "trophies!

Yea blueberries...

dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA Author


Thanks! ..and I love your dog too! :-)

Appreciate kind words...

Remember: no milk with blueberries!

ExpandYourMind profile image

ExpandYourMind 6 years ago from Midwest USA

I enjoy blueberries and after reading this plan to increase my intake. Love the title :).

dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA Author


Thanks for your comments. As noted, blueberries make a difference...

surf traveler profile image

surf traveler 6 years ago

Your article makes me miss blueberries more than ever. I can't get them where I live. I grew up eating fresh blueberries every summer. I didn't know not to drink milk with the blueberries.

dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA Author

surf traveler,

Who would think milk takes away the good effect/affect of blueberries?

Thanks for your comments!

AskAshlie3433 profile image

AskAshlie3433 6 years ago from WEST VIRGINIA

Great read Dallas. Anything that helps with memory is good for me. I live in West Virginia, so I enjoy them all the time. And with the cardio help, I didn't know they were so healthy. I appreciate the information Dallas. I hope all is well with you. Take care and best wishes. Great hub AWESOME & UP

dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA Author


Thanks for the compliments!

I am in the final stages of my book being edited... and trying to get a 28 foot cabin cruiser "fixer-upper" repaired...

Majadez profile image

Majadez 5 years ago from Johannesburg, South Africa

I came here because I love blueberry tea. I doubt it has as much of the properties as the original fruit but it is nice to know that it is healthy.

I think that it is not recommended by nutritionists to mix milk or dairy with any fruit. I tried food combining at one stage and one of the rules was not to mix fruits with anything other than other fruits. I think I was healthier back then. Perhaps I should try it again...

Thanks. :)

dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 5 years ago from Bakersfield, CA Author


Your comments, "I think I was healthier back then. Perhaps I should try it again..." says it all!

Great reflective thinking... It provides a forum whereby we can listen to ourselves...

Enjoy your blueberry tea!

Thanks for you comments.

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femmeflashpoint 4 years ago


I liked this one MUCH better than the E-coli article, lol!!

I did know that blueberries pack an impressive amount of antioxidants. But, I didn't know that their punch is decreased if consumed with milk.

I never bother putting berries in milk. If I did, I don't think it would detract from their benefits because I only drink almond milk. I love cattle ... for petting. They can keep their meat and their milk too, lol. I feel terrible when I consume either one.

I think if we all paid even just a tiny bit of attention to how we feel after eating certain things, we would be much, MUCH healthier on the whole.

Diet, attitude and intentionally finding ways to avoid and decrease stress would keep us out of the docs' offices, living longer and with far less troubles from the nasty side effects of aging. :)


dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 4 years ago from Bakersfield, CA Author


Your wisdom is showing! Your runs quiet and deep...

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