Feed Your Child More Blueberries

Feed Your Child More Blueberries

The effects of blueberries on the body have been studied over and over to continually show impressive health benefits in many ways. From high antioxidant compounds to direct correlation in preventing heart disease these sweet blue orbs fall into the super food category not only for adults but, reports indicate, highly beneficial for children.

Recently blueberries have been studied for their effects on kids between the ages of 7 to 10. This is primarily due to the fact that children are becoming more susceptible to information overload, environmental pollutants, overexertion, congenital cognitive challenges and subpar dietary choices that, according to the data, increases the risk of future conditions or serious illness.

No longer is it believed that children are impervious to dangers only assumed to afflict adults. These days, embracing as many helpful additions to a child’s well being is proving significant when it comes to not only physical enhancement but the potential for higher cognitive functioning. This is where blueberries may be more than just special pancakes on Sunday mornings.

Recent studies show some impressive results on how this unassuming fruit packs a powerful brain boost for kids and their parent’s may want to take notice.

Fruitful Facts

Blueberries offer a one-two punch when it comes to battling constant systemic bombardment from viral and bacterial threats.

First, the deep blue-purple color of blueberry skin is loaded with flavonoids called anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants found in the pigment of many fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, cherries and eggplants.

According to a study in the Annual Review of Food Science and Technology by researchers from Ohio State University,

“Based upon many cell-line studies, animal models, and human clinical trials, it has been suggested that anthocyanins possess anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic activity, cardiovascular disease prevention, obesity control, and diabetes alleviation properties, all of which are more or less associated with their potent antioxidant property.”

Second is the pulp inside the blueberry which is loaded with complex sugars, vitamins, minerals and enzymes that are quickly embraced and utilized by the digestive system.

1 cup of blueberries is about 84 calories and contains:

  • Fiber – 4 grams
  • Vitamin C – 24% of the RDA
  • Vitamin K – 36% of the RDA
  • Manganese – 25% of the RDA

Other benefits include: memory improvement, heart health, anti-cancer, lowers cholesterol and prevents urinary tract infections (UTI’s).

Kid Application

Of course theses blueberry stats can be applied to improving the health of any age but getting your child to embrace fresh, primarily wild blueberries could offer not only improved cognitive functioning but enhance future cognitive health as well.

A study published in the European Journal of Nutrition conducted by a combined effort of researchers from the School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, University of Reading, UK explains methods and results,

“Using a double-blind cross-over design, on three occasions children [7-10 years] consumed placebo [fake remedy] or blueberry drinks containing 15 or 30 grams freeze-dried wild blueberry (WBB) powder. Tests of verbal memory, word recognition, response interference, response inhibition and levels of processing was performed.”

“Significant WBB-related improvements included final immediate recall at 1.15 hours, delayed word recognition sustained over each period, and accuracy on cognitively demanding incongruent trials in the interference task at 3 hours. Importantly, across all measures, cognitive performance improved with the best performance following 30 grams WBB”

Claire Williams, professor at the School of Psychology & Clinical Language Sciences at the University of Reading commented on the study,

“We have known for some time that anthocyanins promote healthy brain function in adults, but now we can see the beneficial effects of anthocyanins on a variety of memory and attention tasks in children, This study suggests a strong link between wild blueberry intake and enhanced cognition in kids.”

As children continue to plug-in, there is no denying that each subsequent generation will be expected to up its cognitive game. Along with adequate exercise and a healthy diet, putting a cup or two of blueberries three or four times a week into a child’s diet, when looking at the stats, seems to be an essential protocol.

Parenting may seem hard enough to make sure blueberries are in their day but in the long run it may be the best insurance. Add to their cereal, smoothie, frozen yogurt and in no time they’ll be asking for blueberries over packaged, dyed, processed sugar holding “treats”.