Blueberries are a popular fruit that are small and blue-purple and incredibly nutritious and good for you. They are often labeled as a “super food” because of their high nutrient count. A cup of blueberries contains 84 calories only! Blueberries contain vitamin A, vitamin E, calcium, iron, potassium, sodium, zinc, manganese, phosphorus, copper, folate, choline, and beta-carotene.
Here are 8 health benefits of blueberries that are supported by research.
1. King of Antioxidants
Blueberries are believed to contain the highest amounts of antioxidants among all fruits and vegetables. This antioxidant is known as anthocyanins, and as we know, antioxidants protect our cells from free radical damage. They help prevent cancer by inhibiting tumor growth and slowing several types of cancers such as lung, mouth, colon, pancreatic, prostrate, and endometrial and pharynx.
2. Prevention of Heart Disease
Vitamin 6 and folate, which are found in blueberries prevent a certain compound known as homocysteine from building up. Excessive accumulation of homocysteine in the body leads to the damage of blood vessels which can then lead to heart problems. The regular consumption of anthocyanins according to a recent study from the Harvard School of Public Health can reduce the risk of heart attack by 32% in women.
3. Weight Loss and Healthy Digestion
Blueberries contain fiber that is important in weight loss management because it increases one’s feeling of being full so that you do not need to continue eating more thus lowering your calorie intake. Fiber also helps assists in good digestion thus preventing constipation and overall promoting a healthy digestive tract.
Vitamin C is essential in supporting the skin’s collagen which works in our bodies to prevent damage to our skin as a result of the sun, smoke, and other pollutants. Vitamin C also helps collagen to smoother wrinkles and improve the overall skin texture, thus promoting clear, radiant, healthy looking skin.
5. Managing Diabetes
Due to their high fiber content, studies have shown that blueberries can lead to improved blood sugar levels, lipids and insulin levels both in type 1 and type 2 diabetics.. A cup of blueberries contains 3.6 grams of fiber.
6. Mental Health Improvement
The antioxidants in blueberries help to improve the functioning of the brain and delaying the aging of the brain. In a study with 9 elderly participants who displayed mild cognitive impairment, the consumption of blueberry juice every day for three months showed marked improvements in several parts of the brain functions.
7. Fighting Urinary Tract Infections
Blueberries are related to cranberries and contain substances called anti-adhesives which can help prevent bacteria in urinary tract infections. This is particularly helpful to women who suffer more.
8. Reduced Muscle Damage
Blueberries may reduce the damage caused by strenuous exercises at the molecular level, thus minimizing soreness and inflammation. A study of 10 female athletes showed that blueberries accelerated muscle recovery after intense leg workouts.
Indulge in some blueberries today! They are sweet, colorful and incredibly nutritious.