The single best reason to blend smoothies in addition to juicing is because of the neuroprotective properties of berries. Scientists have researched berries for years. Berries have the ability to increase IQ and also to protect against Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and cognitive decline.
In, “Berry fruit supplementation and the aging brain,” researchers explain:
In this regard, consumption of diets rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory polyphenolics, such as those found in fruits and vegetables, may lower the risk of developing age-related neurodegenerative diseases. Research suggests that the polyphenolic compounds found in berry fruits, such as blueberries and strawberries, may exert their beneficial effects either through their ability to lower oxidative stress and inflammation or directly by altering the signaling involved in neuronal communication, calcium buffering ability, neuroprotective stress shock proteins, plasticity, and stress signaling pathways.
In, “Nutrition, brain aging, and neurodegeneration,” the authors of a study analyzing the effect diet has on cognitive health write:
Recent studies suggest that consumption of diets rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory components such as those found in fruits, nuts, vegetables, and spices, or even reduced caloric intake, may lower age-related cognitive declines and the risk of developing neurodegenerative disease.
The researchers in, “Nutritional intervention in brain aging: reducing the effects of inflammation and oxidative stress,” conclude:
Research from our laboratory suggests that dietary supplementation with fruit or vegetable extracts can decrease the age-enhanced vulnerability to oxidative stress and inflammation. Additional research suggests that the polyphenolic compounds found in fruits such as blueberries may exert their beneficial effects through signal transduction and neuronal communication. Thus, nutritional intervention may exert therapeutic protection against age-related deficits and neurodegenerative diseases.
The easiest way to increase your berry consumption is to make smoothies. A smoothie using berries is refreshing and easy to prepare. Simply add 1-2 cups of frozen berries to 12-16 ounces of almond milk or water to a blender. Throw in some greens (I prefer spinach), add some protein powder, and blend away.
You can also try these green smoothie recipes.