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Berries: Bursting with Age-Defying Bioflavonoids

What is it about berries? Most people love berries. Be they strawberries or raspberries, blueberries, or chokeberries, or even mulberries, cranberries, or any of the numerous other fruits that have “berry” somewhere in the name, people pop ‘em down by the dozen.

But never mind their bursting flavor, how do berries impact your health?

  • According to the Annals of Neurology, people who eat more berries could knock a couple of years off their brain age. The bioflavonoids in berries seem to protect the brain from the effects of aging, presumably by helping the body manage a healthy inflammation response and providing the brain with powerful antioxidants, said lead study author Dr. Elizabeth Devore.
  • What’s in a berry? Bioflavonoids, sometimes just called flavonoids, are compounds that give plants their characteristic colors. Deep blues, reds, and purples come from a type of bioflavonoid called anthocyanidins. Berries are especially rich in anthocyanidins.
  • Scientists are still trying to figure out exactly how bioflavonoids work, but we do know that they are powerful antioxidants that help fight off free radicals and they are involved with how cells communicate with each other.

Here are a few of the ways you can incorporate more of the anti-aging power of berries into your diet:

  • Add some to oatmeal. Chopped strawberries go well with hot cereal, and frozen blueberries help cool it down enough to eat right away.
  • Mix up a Constant Health shake. Frozen berries make a great base for any type of smoothie or shake. Try 1 cup of berries, ½ cup plain yogurt, 1 chopped date, or a handful of grapes to your shake. Add water, juice, or rice milk to reach desired consistency.
  • Toss them in muffins. Any type of berry makes most baked goods even better. For a tarter treat, try some chopped cranberries.
  • Add them as a fresh flavor to liven up a salad