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Boosting Brain Health, One Berry at a Time

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We don’t really need another reason to eat berries this time of year -- but here’s another (big) win to add to the equation: recent studies have linked eating berries to better brain health and performance. 

So we’ve partnered with our friends at Lumosity.com to gather up some of our favorite recipes for boosting brain power, one berry at a time. Or a lot of berries at a time. Get ready to do some mental push-ups.

Photo by James Ransom

Berries are undeniably delicious, but they’re also delicate and easy to let deteriorate in the back of the fridge. Letting this happen is a shame not only because it’s wasted food, but also because it’s wasted food that happens to be good for you -- and for your brain in particular. 

Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and the like help protect against memory loss; they’re filled with antioxidants that protect cells from damage, especially inflammation; and they can also improve cognition and motor control. Here are seven recipes that allow these diminutive fruits to stand front and center, to claim the attention they deserve. 

Eleven Madison Park’s Strawberry Gazpacho by Genius Recipes

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to gazpacho -- we almost always fall back on tomatoes -- but strawberries work well, too (and they won’t mess with the pink hue).

Photo by James Ransom

Homemade Berry Rocket Pops by Ashley McLaughlin

Our go-to solution for berries threatening to spoil? Make popsicles.

Photo by Ashley McLaughlin

Blueberry Smoothie by nbert

This smoothie – which is fortified with oatmeal, nuts, and a handful of leafy greens -- puts the blueberry in the spotlight (but feel free to substitute any of its berry brethren).

Photo by Karen Mordechai

Raw, Vegan Strawberry Vanilla Cheesecake by Gena Hamshaw

This is a cheesecake that isn’t based around cheese, but the cashew-strawberry blend that forms the creamy base will have everyone fooled.

Photo by James Ransom

Raspberry-Plum Swirl Breakfast Frozen Yogurt by fiveandspice

Sure, it takes a little forethought to have this for breakfast, but the creamy, cool frozen yogurt plays perfectly against the tart raspberries. In other words, it’s worth it.

Photo by Emily Vikre

My Mother’s Strawberry Jam by merrill

If you’re looking to make your berries last, turn them into jam -- and then spread them in their slick new state on anything and everything for weeks to come. 

Photo by James Ransom

Meatloaf with Blackberry Barbecue Sauce by Dax Phillips

This meatloaf hews closely to tradition to produce a thoughtfully balanced and light-textured loaf, but the standout here is the sauce, whose garlic, ginger, and cayenne make sparks fly around the blackberries.

Photo by Sarah Shatz

Tell us: How do you like your berries?

Automagic Spring Menu Maker!
Automagic Spring Menu Maker!

Tags: Meatloaf, Smoothie, Gazpacho, Berry, Jam/Jelly, Lists