It’s “National July Belongs to Blueberries Month” and whether you’re adding them to your cereal, muffins or eating them on their own, they are among the healthiest foods there are for seniors.

Blueberries can benefit your health by:

Slowing down age-related decline.

The nutrients in blueberries improve cognitive skills. Other studies have shown that they can actually reverse some age related decline in motor skills also. They are considered a super food because they contain antioxidants. Antioxidants help to protect us from cancer and other age related diseases by reducing DNA damage.

Protecting your heart.

Blueberries have benefits for those with high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. By eating them regularly you can help to lower your blood pressure and lower your levels of bad cholesterol. The antioxidants in them may help prevent heart attacks.

Reducing inflammation in the body.

Blueberries are an excellent anti-inflammatory. Inflammation is the body’s way of responding to stress, toxic chemicals and infections. At its worst, your immune cells will start to attack themselves, causing an autoimmune disorder.

Helping your body process glucose.

For those with diabetes, this delicious fruit is especially helpful. They help process glucose efficiently for energy by increasing its sensitivity to insulin and by managing blood sugar. At the same time, blueberries are good for eye health and protect the retina, which is particularly important if you are a diabetic.

They contain iron, magnesium, manganese and potassium. The berries also contain salicylic acid which helps thin blood and reduce pain. Increase in the production of dopamine also happens when you eat them. Dopamine is produced naturally in your body and helps you to feel well. Some diseases, such as Parkinson’s, cause patients to be low in this natural chemical so for these seniors in particular, eating blueberries is important.

The most important thing about blueberries is they taste great and are also fun to pick! Look for areas in your vicinity where they grow wild. Bring your pails, go picking and celebrate blueberries this July!