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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Best Food to Eat If You Have PTSD

If You Have Experienced Trauma, Eat This Right Now

Quiz: What is the best food to eat if you have experienced trauma?

  • a) strawberries
  • b) avocados
  • c) chocolate
  • d) blueberries
  • e) milk

If you answered d) blueberries, you are correct according to a recent study on PTSD, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Carly Hennigan on istock
Source: Carly Hennigan on istock

There are over 7 million people every year who struggle with PTSD. This suggests an urgent need for safe, natural ways to help people heal their bodies and minds in conjunction with support and counseling.

The Study:

To summarize the study, researchers indicated that eating blueberries may help to change the biochemical markers that lead to depression and suicidal tendencies associated with PTSD,

In this study, researchers focused on the role of a gene called SKA2. This is a gene that has been found to be expressed at abnormally low levels in people with PTSD.

The study took a group of rats with PTSD (in rats it is exhibiting fear instead of curiosity when presented with an unfamiliar object). Rats with PTSD-like effects express SKA2 at low levels compared with normal laboratory rats without PTSD. Then, the researchers assessed how eating a diet rich in blueberries impacted their PTSD-like behaviors and SKA2 levels.

How Many Blueberries

The PTSD-like rats ate the equivalent of about two cups of blueberries per day for a person vs. another group who were fed a regular rat diet.

The result: The researchers found that SKA2 levels increased compared to those rats who were fed a normal diet. This suggested that the blueberries had a beneficial effect.

Other Blueberry Benefits:

In addition to the biochemical changes in the expression of genes mentioned in this study, the benefits of blueberries are many The healing effects of blueberries also include anti-inflammatory properties. This helps reduce oxidative stress and free radicals that wear down the body when you are feeling stressed. Also, blueberries boost your serotonin level.

The Take-Home Message:

Consider eating a cup or two of blueberries each day to help nurture your body and brain whether you are feeling stressed, blue, or experiencing symptoms of PTSD.


More from Susan Albers Psy.D.
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