Lovingly called, “brainberries,” blueberries are antioxidant powerhouses. Specifically, blueberries contain an antioxidant called anthocyanins. Not only do anthocyanins give fruits their vibrant purple or reddish color, research suggests they have the ability to enhance memory and help prevent age-related declines in mental functioning. They have effectively reversed age-related deficits in certain aspects of working memory. It’s believed that anthocyanins and other flavonoids activate synaptic signaling in brain cells, improve blood flow to the brain, and inhibit neuroinflammation. Grab a handful for breakfast and you’re good to go.
Like blueberries, blackberries also contain anthocyanins. This antioxidant gives these cluster berries their color and when consumed, improves the communication between neurons–specialized nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that transmit messages. When you eat blackberries (or blueberries for that matter) these antioxidants can help improve your memory, learning, and cognitive functions like reasoning, decision making, verbal comprehension and numerical ability. A recent review of antioxidant-rich foods even suggests that foods high in flavonoids (see #5), like anthocyanins, could limit or even reverse age-dependent deteriorations in memory and cognition.