Back when I was prone to the occasional wild night out, the next morning I’d pour myself a mug of black coffee and eat some blueberries like they were painkillers.
I called it “the black and blue,” because that’s how I felt… and that’s what it was.
I don’t know how it started; maybe that was all I had in the fridge the first time during those lean, mean days of long ago.
Turns out I was onto something, because studies have since shown that the caffeine in coffee and antioxidants in blueberries really can help get rid of the pounding inside your skull.
And that’s not even close to all they can do for your brain — because combining these two can help stop your gray matter from slipping away as you get older.
New research finds that blueberries can bring life back to an aging brain, fight off the signs of cognitive decline, and protect you from dementia… especially if you already have the early warning signs of the disease.
In the study, 47 seniors with mild cognitive impairment were given either blueberry powder or a placebo. Sixteen weeks later, the ones who got the true blue buried the placebo gang on key tests of memory, concepts, and access to words.
MRI scans revealed why: It was as if the blueberries somehow got the unused gears that had been shut down for years fired up and working overtime again.
That’s the blue — but don’t forget the black, because coffee is packed with not only brain-stimulating caffeine, but also powerful antioxidants that can protect your gourd from the worst that aging can throw your way.
One study published just last year found a moderate coffee habit today can slash your risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s later in life by 65 percent.
This wasn’t just the caffeine (although it can certainly work wonders on the brain). The same study found no benefit at all for tea drinkers, despite the presence of caffeine in their drink of choice.
Go with joe — because that’s the only one that did the trick. Just don’t ruin it with sugary flavored syrups. Even blueberry syrups and creamers are loaded with sugar (and they probably contain zero actual blueberry).
If you want the benefits, get back to basics. Eat blueberries for an anytime snack, or toss ’em in a smoothie — and start your day with an eye-opening mug of your favorite mud.