Often overlooked and overshadowed by more exotic types of berries, blueberries remain one of the most nutritious and antioxidant-rich fruit types in the world and have been shown to do everything from improving brain health to maintain The strong heart This vibrant fruit may be small, but each serving has a serious impact when it comes to nutrition. In addition, in addition to the long list of health benefits of blueberries, these fruits are also super sweet, low in calories and delicious.
Need more compelling information on why you should add this tasty berry to your diet? Keep reading to learn about the health benefits of blueberries and find some creative ways to squeeze some portions of this superfood into your day.
7 Health Benefits of Blueberries:
Wondering about the health benefits of blueberries and how are they beneficial? These are the seven best health benefits of blueberries:
- High in antioxidants
- It helps fight cancer
- Amplify weight loss
- Increase brain health
- Relieve inflammation
- Support digestion
- Promotes heart health
1. High in Antioxidants:
- Antioxidants are compounds that fight harmful free radicals and provide countless health benefits.
- In fact, antioxidants not only prevent cell damage, but also protect against various types of chronic diseases, such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
- Cranberries are one of the best sources of antioxidants.
- A study in China compared the antioxidant capacity of blueberries, blackberries and strawberries and found that blueberries not only contain the highest total antioxidant capacity, but also contain more than many specific types of antioxidants, including phenols, flavonoids and anthocyanins.
- Wild blueberries are especially rich in antioxidants.
- A study in the British Journal of Nutrition, for example, found that supplementing participants with wild blueberry powder increased serum antioxidant status by 8.5 percent after just one hour.
- Other antioxidant foods include dark chocolate, goji berries, nuts, cloves and cinnamon.
2. Help Fight Cancer:
- Recent research has unearthed some impressive findings about the ability of blueberries to protect against certain types of cancer.
- For example, a 2010 test tube study reported that cranberry extract was able to inhibit the growth and spread of breast cancer cells.
- Another study on animals from the Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville treated rats with breast cancer using cranberry powder and found that it reduced tumor volume by 40 percent.
- Similarly, a study in a test tube in 2007 showed that low blueberry juice in shrubs reduced the growth of several types of cancer, including stomach, prostate, bowel and breast cancer cells.
- Although these results are promising, be sure to consume a variety of berries along with many other fruits and vegetables to really optimize the potential of your diet to fight cancer.
3. Amplify Weight Loss:
- Take a look at the blueberry nutrition profile, and you will quickly see why this berry full of nutrients is excellent if you are looking to lose weight quickly.
- It is low in calories but provides 3.6 grams of fiber per cup, which satisfies up to 14 percent of daily fiber needs with a single serving.
- The fiber moves slowly through your digestive tract, which promotes the feeling of fullness and keeps you full longer to help you lose weight.
- Several animal studies have confirmed the beneficial effects of blueberries on weight loss.
- An animal study published in the journal PLoS One, for example, found that cranberry juice prevented obesity in mice fed a high-fat diet.
- Another animal study conducted by the Cardiovascular Center and the Michigan Comprehensive Medicine Program showed that blueberry consumption was associated with a reduction in belly fat for obese rats.
- Be sure to combine blueberries with a nutritious and complete diet and lots of physical activity to further promote weight loss.
4. Increase Brain Health:
- One of the most impressive health benefits of blueberries is their ability to improve brain health.
- There have been many studies that suggest that eating blueberries could improve memory and cognition.
- In a recent 2016 study published in the European Journal of Nutrition, it was found that consuming a cranberry drink improves cognitive performance compared to a placebo in 21 children.
- Another study showed that drinking wild cranberry juice daily for 12 weeks was able to improve the memory of older adults.
- In addition, blueberries are loaded with antioxidants, which can protect the brain from free radical damage and promote healthy brain aging.
- In addition to blueberries, other brain foods that can help improve memory and focus include avocados, beets, green leafy vegetables and nuts.
5. Relieves Inflammation:
- Although inflammation is a normal immune response that helps protect your body from diseases and injuries, chronic inflammation is the root of most diseases.
- In fact, inflammation is believed to contribute to a wide range of conditions, such as cancer, autoimmune diseases, heart disease and even depression.
- Thanks to its high antioxidant content, blueberries have been shown to have a significant anti-inflammatory effect on the body.
- A 2014 test tube study even found that the polyphenols found in blueberries helped reduce the activity of several inflammation markers.
- Similarly, an animal study published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology also found that cranberry extract was effective in reducing swelling in rat legs.
- Celery, broccoli, pineapple, salmon and chia seeds are just a few other anti-inflammatory foods that should be included in a diet to fight disease.
6. Strengthen Digestion:
- With 3.6 grams of fiber in each cup, including a portion or two of blueberries can help you meet your fiber needs while promoting regularity and healthy digestion.
- When you eat fiber, it travels through the digestive tract without digesting, adding volume to the stool to keep you regular.
- In fact, an analysis in the World Journal of Gastroenterology analyzed the results of five studies and found that increasing dietary fiber intake could help increase stool frequency in those with constipation.
- Combine your blueberries with plenty of water, physical activity and other fiber-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds to keep your digestive system functioning efficiently.
7. Promotes Heart Health:
- There is no doubt that a healthy heart is a key component of general health.
- Your heart is responsible for pumping blood through the body to provide your tissues with the oxygen and nutrients necessary to thrive and survive.
- Unfortunately, coronary heart disease is one of the leading causes of death, and accounts for approximately 31.5 percent of all deaths in the United States.
- High triglycerides, high cholesterol and increased blood pressure are just some of the main risk factors for heart disease that can put pressure on your heart and force you to work harder.
- Studies show that eating blueberries could help reduce some of the risk factors for heart disease.
- A 2015 study, for example, found that eating blueberries daily for eight weeks resulted in lower blood pressure and arterial stiffness in 48 women.
- Another study published in the Journal of Nutrition reported that the administration of cranberry supplements produced a greater decrease in blood pressure and oxidized LDL cholesterol, two major risk factors for heart disease, compared to a control group.
- Of course, the health benefits of blueberries in heart disease are limited unless they are combined with a balanced diet, a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise.
Nutritional Picture of Blueberries:
Cranberries are nutrient-rich foods, which means that there are not many calories in cranberries, but they contain a good amount of vitamins and minerals. The nutritional profile of blueberries is especially high in fiber, vitamin K, manganese and vitamin C.
One Cup of Raw Blueberries Contains Approximately:
- 84 calories
- 4 grams of carbohydrates
- 1 grams of protein
- 5 grams of fat
- 6 grams of dietary fiber
- 6 micrograms of vitamin K (36 percent DV)
- 5 milligrams of manganese (25 percent DV)
- 4 milligrams of vitamin C (24 percent DV)
- 1 milligrams of vitamin B6 (4 percent DV)
- 1milligram of thiamine (4 percent DV)
- 1milligram riboflavin (4 percent DV)
- 8 milligrams of vitamin E (4 percent DV)
- 1 milligrams of copper (4 percent DV)
In addition to the nutrients listed above, blueberries also contain some niacin, vitamin A, folic acid, pantothenic acid, zinc, iron, magnesium and phosphorus. It is this blueberry nutrition profile that provides all the wonderful health benefits of blueberries.
Blueberries Vs Blackberries and Raspberries:
There are tons of berry varieties out there. From blueberry to strawberry and Indian gooseberry, it can be a bit confusing when you’re standing in the production hall, wondering which one you should add to your cart. Blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are three of the most common berries, and it can be easy to confuse them.
“All are small, dark and full of antioxidants and important nutrients”.
Raspberries and blackberries share most similarities in appearance, since they belong to the same family of plants. Both have many individual cells that stand out to create an irregular appearance, but the blackberry is usually larger with cells that tend to bulge more than raspberries. Raspberries can also vary in color from a dark red to a dark purple color comparable to blackberries. However, there are many differences that distinguish these three types of berries. Raspberries and blackberries usually have a sour taste, while blueberries are much sweeter. Nutritionally speaking, blackberries are the lowest in calories per gram and contain the highest amount of vitamin K. Raspberries are higher in vitamin C and contain almost 2.5 times the amount of fiber than blueberries. Meanwhile, blueberries have been shown to have a greater antioxidant capacity than blackberries. Because of these small differences in nutrition, the health benefits of blackberries may differ from the benefits of raspberries or blueberries. However, all can be healthy dietary additions and help promote better health. Include all three in your diet and take advantage of the unique health benefits provided by each.
Where to Find and How to Use Blueberries?
Wild blueberries grow in southern Canada and on the east coast of the United States in low-lying shrubs. There are also other cultivated and cultivated varieties worldwide, from Europe to Asia to Australia and beyond. The blueberry harvest season typically falls in May through mid-August, although this may vary depending on your location and the type of blueberries near you. When picking blueberries, they must be ripe enough to remain blue and require only a light touch to pick up. Be sure to wash them thoroughly before savoring the sweet taste. However, if there are no blueberry plants growing near you, don’t be afraid. These days, you probably have no problem finding a pint of blueberries on the shelf of your local supermarket. You can also find common and wild blueberries in the frozen fruit section of many stores. Opt for organic whenever possible since conventional blueberries are often loaded with harmful pesticides.
You can add blueberries to almost any recipe to increase sweetness. Try them in pancakes or baked goods to increase the antioxidant content of your dish. Alternatively, try spraying them with oatmeal or yogurt, or enjoy them as you do in a guilt-free way to satisfy your sweet tooth.
To take full advantage of the many health benefits of blueberries, simply take out a bowl and enjoy, no other ingredients are required. However, if you are looking to mix it, there are many delicious ways to incorporate blueberries in your favorite recipes. Try some of these blueberry recipes to get started:
- Pumpkin and blueberry pancakes
- Blueberry Pudding
- Blueberry Cookies
- Gluten free blueberry muffins
- Cranberry sauce
The health benefits of blueberries were not a secret to Native Americans. For centuries, this fruit was revered for its potent medicinal properties and was even used in the kitchen to provide an additional dose of flavor to the dishes. However, English settlers who arrived in the United States did not believe that blueberries could be tamed. In 1893, Elizabeth White, the daughter of a blueberry grower in New Jersey, began adding blueberries to her family’s local crop. Fifteen years later, botanist Frederick Coville began conducting experiments with blueberries, seeking to determine the best wild plants for breeding, and partnered with White to help cross and create some of the delicious blueberry varieties we now know and love. The first commercial crop of Highbush blueberries was sold by the pair in 1916, just over 100 years ago.
Today, blueberries have gained popularity. In 1974, the USDA declared the “National Blueberry Month” in July, and in 2003, New Jersey chose the blueberry as its official state berry. In 2012, blueberries were found in almost 4,000 products, including food, cosmetics and pet products. As the evidence demonstrating the long list of health benefits of blueberries increases, there is no doubt that we will continue to see more of this delicious blue berry.
Precautions When Consuming Blueberries:
- Cranberries are generally considered safe for most people and can be consumed with a minimal risk of side effects.
- However, some people may be allergic to blueberries. If you experience any symptoms of food allergy, such as itching, swelling or difficulty breathing after eating blueberries, discontinue use and talk to your doctor immediately.
- People who take anticoagulant medications, such as warfarin, can also continue to consume in moderation, since blueberries are rich in vitamin K, which can interact with these medications.
- Also, be sure to opt for organic blueberries whenever possible to avoid exposure to pesticides. You should also look for fresh blueberries instead of dried ones, since dried blueberries contain a concentrated amount of vitamins and minerals and also have more calories and sugar.
Final Thoughts on The Health Benefits of Blueberries:
- Cranberries are low in calories but loaded with antioxidants, fiber, vitamin K, manganese and vitamin C, along with many other important micronutrients.
- There are many health benefits of blueberries, which include better heart and brain health, increased regularity, reduced inflammation, protection against certain types of cancer and increased weight loss.
- Opt for fresh organic blueberries, and enjoy them raw to get the most rewards in terms of nutrition.
- Cranberries can also be incorporated into your favorite recipes to add a touch of sweetness.
- In combination with a healthy diet and lifestyle, a portion or two of blueberries every day can provide some important health benefits.