Could PTSD sufferers benefit from eating blueberries?
The potential powers of the ‘superfood’ blueberries have been in the spotlight for the last 20 years, as studies are increasingly showing their various health benefits such as reducing cardiovascular disease, cancer, and memory loss. New research has shown that blueberries can even have potential benefits for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder sufferers.
A study from researchers from Louisiana State University in the USA showed that eating blueberries could provide an increase in serotonin, without the drawbacks of some prescription drugs commonly prescribed in the USA for the anxiety symptoms of PTSD.
The researchers studied a group of rats with PTSD where half were given a standard diet, and the other half had a diet consisting of two percent blueberry-enriched food (a third group without PTSD was given standard diet without blueberries for the purposes of comparison).
The findings showed that the rats who were fed blueberries following their traumatizing experience had markedly higher serotonin levels than rats fed a blueberry-less control diet, suggesting a better recovery. If blueberries have similar effects on neurotransmitter levels in human beings, they may help alleviate some of the symptoms of trauma, and so in turn, of PTSD.
Not convinced? Well, blueberries are also a great source of vitamin C and toxin fighting free-radicals – and, since a cup of blueberries is only 80 calories, even though they’re perhaps unlikely to be the PTSD cure-all, they are a tasty and nutritious trial.
SOURCES: Ebenezer PJ. The Neuro-Protective Efficacy of Blueberry in an Animal Model of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). American Physiological Society. 2015, Medical Daily, National Geographic, Science Daily,
IMAGE: + Blueberries by Maira.Gall
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