We’ve all heard that you are what you eat. A new study suggests that kids’ executive brain function is also tied to diet.
The study, recently published in Food & Function, explores the impact of flavonoid-rich foods, such as wild blueberries on children. Executive function is a set of mental skills, controlled by the frontal lobe area of the brain, that helps us manage time, pay attention, and get things done.
The study found that kids ages 7 to 10, who drank a beverage made with wild blueberries, had a 9% quicker reaction time on executive function tasks without sacrificing accuracy; and as the tests got harder the effect was more evident. This new research is important because it suggests that including flavonoids as part of a healthy diet might help kids to better perform executive function tasks, such as time management and paying attention, said Kit Broihier, nutrition advisor to the Wild Blueberry Association of North America.
“The biggest takeaway for the everyday consumer is that wild blueberry consumption is an easy addition to a diet for any age,” said Broihier. “Providing children with meals and snacks that incorporate a rainbow of fruits and vegetables, such as wild blueberries, is a way to help kids consume a variety of beneficial flavonoids."
Flavonoid-rich wild blueberries are widely considered effective in promoting brain health, cardiac health, metabolic health, gastrointestinal health, and more. Wild blueberries also contain twice the antioxidant capacity, less sugar, and more fiber than cultivated blueberries. Because wild blueberries are harvested and frozen at the peak of their growing season, their taste and nutrition are sealed in, making them a delicious and superb treat for kids.
Wild blueberries are an easy and healthy addition to any school menu. They can be added to hot or cold cereals, baked goods, yogurt, smoothies, pancakes, dipping sauces, chutneys, salads, and even pizza topping. They’re also great all by themselves as a delicious and nutritious snack.