Blueberries May Benefit Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
July is National Blueberry Month and we have so many reasons to celebrate! Already known for their role in brain function, bone health, and blood pressure management (not to mention great taste), research out of Louisiana State University finds blueberries may reduce depression and other symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
In laboratory research, scientists focused on a gene called SKA2. Abnormally low expression of this gene is linked to symptoms of PTSD including risk of suicide, meaning SKA2 could play a role in psychological well-being. Lab work suggests eating about two cups of blueberries per day may lead to increased expression of SKA2, which may ultimately help prevent negative consequences of PTSD.
Previous lab work by the same researchers found that blueberries may also affect levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter linked with happiness. The next step for these researchers is to explore how these two beneficial effects could work together to relieve symptoms of PTSD.
Though it’s too early to start prescribing blueberries as a proper treatment for PTSD, it’s never a bad idea to add more berries to your diet. A 2012 study found blueberries may help put anyone in a good mood, possibly thanks to their vitamin C or anthocyanin content. Blueberries add naturally sweet flavor to smoothies, salads, whole wheat pancakes and more.
Cool down this summer with our Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches made with delicious DOLE® Blueberries and DOLE Bananas.
Published July 1, 2016