If flatbreads aren’t on your weekly cooking lineup, you’re officially missing out. As one of our favorite main recipes, these can be made quickly and easily, are perfectly shared and topped with the nutrients of your choice. This blueberry, prosciutto and especially goat cheese recipe, though, is a star in our book. Not only because it is the sweet and delicious colab of our dreams, but also because of its hidden health benefits.
One of the ingredients of this drill-worthy dish that really stole the show is our favorite summer staple – blueberries. Blueberries add a simple, delicious and nutritious to your favorite foods and recipes. Within one cup of serving, you get all the essential nutrients and phytonutrients, along with alluring flavors and beneficial vitamins and minerals. In addition, there is a growing body of evidence on how blueberries can be a part of eating habits that support brain health, especially as part of an overall healthy lifestyle.
To learn more about this growing research and the best way to boost indigo, we spoke with Joey Thurman, a fitness and nutritionist and a Blue Crew Ambassador at the US Highbush Blueberry Council.
Mindbodygreen: Looking at the relationship between blueberries and brain health, can you tell us more about the new research?
Joey Thurman: A new research study published in April Nutrients Blueberries have been found to have cognitive benefits. Researchers have found that the equivalent of half a cup of fresh blueberries a day, eaten as a fridge-dried blueberry powder, can contribute to cognitive impairment if applied to at-risk individuals early.
This is an important finding that in the United States, about 6 million older adults live with dementia. Since there are limited treatments for cognitive impairment, it is increasingly important to take preventative measures and reduce risk through proper nutrition. Given that neurodegenerative changes associated with cognitive decline begin in mid-life, this study suggests that blueberries may present an opportunity for early intervention to address variable risks such as poor nutrition and related metabolic disorders.
mbg: How do blueberries work to support brain health?
JT: There are many nutrients that can contribute to brain health – the anthocyanins found in fruits and vegetables. Compared to other popular fruits, berries are uniquely high in anthocyanins, a plant compound responsible for their vibrant blue, red and purple colors. Studies show that anthocyanins (163mg / 100g) found in blueberries may help improve cognitive performance in older adults.