When we think of blueberries we think of gum chewing “nitwit” Violet Beauregarde in the 70s classic movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
Fuelled by her own greed Violet inflates into a life size blueberry after eating forbidden bubble gum.
We also think of blueberries as a fat free way of cheering up a bowl of breakfast porridge.
But new research shows blueberries can have us bursting with happiness too.
Eating flavonoid-rich foods like blueberries boosts the mood of young people, according to study carried out a University of Reading.
Professor Claire Williams, a neuroscience professor at the University of Reading said:
‘We have known for some time that flavonoids promote healthy brain function in adults. However to our knowledge, this is the first, fully controlled, double-blinded research study to examine the effects of flavonoids on mood in young people.’
She said: ‘Wild blueberries are rich in flavonoids, compounds found naturally in foods such as fruits and their juices, vegetables and tea. They have been associated with a range of health benefits including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, and it is exciting to see their impact on mood in a highly novel experiment.
‘This was a preliminary trial and now needs replication and testing in other populations to understand the link between flavonoid interventions and improved positive mood.’
Children and young people aged up to 25 consumed a drink containing wild blueberry or a matched placebo and were asked to rate their mood on a numerical scale before and after the drink.
Participants recorded a significant increase in positive mood after drinking the wild blueberry-infused drink in both trials.
If only blueberries were cheaper in the supermarket we’d be positively cheery 24/7.