Emerging research suggests that compounds in blueberries known as flavonoids may improve memory, learning and general cognitive function, including reasoning skills, decision making, verbal comprehension and numerical ability.
People who drank a blueberry smoothie in the morning were better at concentrating later in the day. A study at Surrey University in Guildford found just this. The first day of the experiment, individuals were given a breakfast of toast and marmalade, followed by a mid-morning smoothie made from 200g of blueberries. An hour after the study they carried out 45-minutes of computer based mental tasks that measured their short-term working memory and concentration. The tests were again repeated five hours later.
Two weeks later, the volunteers performed the same experiment, however they drank a "control" smoothie without any blueberries (but contained the same amount of sugar and calories). The results were no different for the test performed one hour later, but the test that came five hours later showed significantly reduced performance. However, those volunteers who consumed a blueberry drink saw no decline in mental powers. So, as the day wore on, those individuals who did not drink the blueberry smoothie had reduced performance and concentration, whereas those individuals who did drink a blueberry smoothie were performing extremely well.
Flavonoids in berries activate an enzyme in the body called Enos which increases the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain. Without this boost, our brains become weak and un-concentrated later in the day, and we often find it hard to concentrate. Blueberries are not only rich in antioxidants (including anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, resveratrol and tannins), but are also thought to protect against cancer and heart disease and may even prevent dementia!
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- 1 cup organic* blueberries
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 cup almond milk, or young thai coconut water, or regular water (whichever is on hand)
- 1 cup leafy greens of your choice (click HERE for a list of easy-to-use greens!)
Put all the above ingredients in a blender, and pulse blend for 15-30 seconds! Enjoy!
*Note: always buy organic berries - conventional berries are one of the most highly sprayed produce on the market!