Blueberries are considered a “superfood” – low-calorie foods with excellent nutritional and health benefits. (Other superfoods include kale, broccoli, kiwi, pomegranates, beans, salmon and sardines). Blueberries are rich in antioxidant flavonoids, which provide their rich color and “also act to mop up free radicals.” Blueberries may offer some protection from cardiovascular disease, cancer and memory loss. And intriguing new research indicates that the good (and good for you) berry may even be able to help with PTSD.
Research conducted at Louisiana State University showed that blueberries – at least in rats – may help with trauma.
Rebecca Rupp writes for National Geographic’s The Plate:
Experiments conducted by Philip Ebenezer and colleagues at Louisiana State University involved rats which developed PTSD after being (deliberately) terrified by cats. The researchers found that rats who were fed blueberries following their traumatizing experience had markedly higher serotonin levels than rats fed a blueberry-less control diet, suggesting a better recovery. If blueberries have similar effects on neurotransmitter levels in human beings, they may help alleviate the problems of the severely traumatized.
If you aren’t hooked on blueberries yet, other information provided by Rupp about their health benefits may convince you.
This piece is part of National Geographic’s The Plate series, which explores the global relationship between what we eat (and why) through the lens of science, technology, history, culture and the environment. Superb science and writing; check the site often.