Blueberries: Are They the Next Big Thing in Nutritional Supplements?

blueberry health benefits

Blueberries are incredibly rich in nutrients that can give you a major health boost. With blueberry season in full swing, it’s the best time to grab a basket of this sweet and tart antioxidant superfood at the local farmers market or grocery store.

Blueberries provide numerous health benefits, from promoting heart health to reducing your risk for certain cancers. And if you need another reason to enjoy this tasty fruit, a study has shown that supplementing your diet with blueberries may also help improve cognitive health, especially as you grow older.

In March 2017, the European Journal of Nutrition published a study titled “Dietary blueberry improves cognition among older adults in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial”. The study focused on older adults who commonly suffer from decreased mobility and cognition. Researchers tested whether or not consuming blueberries would improve both motor and cognitive functions in older adults which, in turn, would help improve their quality of life.

Participants of this study included 13 men and 24 women between 60 and 75 years of age. They were split up into two groups. Each day for 90 days, one group was given 24 grams of freeze-dried blueberries, the equivalent to one cup of fresh blueberries, and the other group was given a blueberry-flavored placebo.

Each participant took part in balance tests, gait analyses, and cognitive tests before the study began, halfway through, and at the end of the study. Through these tests, researchers found a significant improvement in executive cognitive function with the blueberry group compared to the placebo group. However, they did not see any improvement in balance or gait.

The results led the researchers to believe that consumption of blueberries can help improve cognitive health in some areas. While additional studies need to be conducted to further support these findings and expand our knowledge of this nutrient-rich berry, there’s no denying that adding blueberries to your diet can help improve your overall health!

Registered Dietitian, Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, Triathlon Coach


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