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The #1 Best Fruit To Keep Your Brain Young, Says Dietitian

Research supports the positive effect that berries have on memory and overall brain function.
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino

It is no secret that our dietary choices can impact our brain health. Thanks to researchers highlighting how following the MIND diet, or a combination diet consisting of the DASH and the Mediterranean diet, can positively benefit brain health, many of us who are focused on keeping our brain sharp are making a valiant effort to incorporate the principles of this important and impressive diet.

The MIND diet encourages the consumption of various foods, including nuts, whole grains, and fish. And when it comes to specific fruits to enjoy, berries seem to garner the MIND Diet spotlight. And this is why berries are the #1 best fruit to keep your brain young.

Berries can help keep your brain young.

mixed berries

Who doesn't want to try everything they can to keep their brain as sharp as those of 17-year-olds? While aging is a natural process that is unavoidable if we are lucky enough to live well into our golden years, it appears that including berries in an overall healthy and antioxidant-rich diet can help you attain your goal of keeping your brain health in check.

Fruit intake, in general, is linked to supporting brain health

It is true that most fruits are jam-packed with vitamins, minerals, polyphenols, and other components that help keep the mind in functional shape, and including any variety of fruit in your diet is a good idea. After all, data consistently shows that increased consumption of fruit and vegetables is related to a reduced risk of cognitive impairment and dementia.

Berries are rich in antioxidant phytochemicals that are linked to brain health

If you are looking for the best of the best when it comes to keeping your brain health where you want it to be, berries should be a staple in your home.

From blueberries to blackberries to even the tart cranberry, these tiny fruits are bursting with flavor and offer gorgeous natural hues that elevate any fruit salad or smoothie. And when it comes to brain health, these tiny nutritional powerhouses offer so much that they are hard to ignore.

No matter which berry you choose, popping one in your mouth will provide your body with antioxidants, fiber, and many vitamins and minerals, all in a low-calorie and fat-free delicious package.

Berries contain various phytochemicals, including anthocyanin, caffeic acid, catechin, quercetin, kaempferol, and tannin, depending on the variety of berry that you choose. These phytochemicals can provide anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-proliferative properties to the brain, ultimately helping it slow the natural aging progress of the brain.

How different berries play different roles in keeping your brain young

If you prefer one berry over another, thankfully, you will likely find evidence of your preferred choice being a great option to help keep your brain young.

If you are a cranberry lover, rejoice in knowing that, according to results of a study published in Frontiers in Nutrition, after 12 weeks, researchers found that consuming one small cup of cranberries every day can improve memory and overall brain function.

More of a blueberry fan? You are in luck! Results of a study published in the European Journal of Nutrition showed that people who ate the equivalent of one cup of blueberries every day for 90 days exhibited better verbal memory and task-switching skills compared to those who did not eat the blueberries every day.

Fancy strawberries more than any other berry? Data published in the British Journal of Nutrition shows that consuming the equivalent of two cups of strawberries every day for 90 days tested better on certain tests that measure cognition compared to those who lived a strawberry-free lifestyle.


Bottom line? No matter which colorful berry you are adding to your cereal, eating with your yogurt, or noshing on at snack time, adding these delicious and versatile fruits to your diet may be just what your brain needs to keep it as youthful as possible.

Lauren Manaker MS, RDN, LD, CLEC
Lauren Manaker is an award-winning registered dietitian, book author, and recipe developer who has been in practice for almost 20 years. Read more about Lauren