Fruit has always been associated with good health and a staple diet. Most nutritionists will recommend a healthy combination of both fruit and vegetables. Berries, specifically, are praised for the various health benefits they provide, and Blueberries are arguably the most accessible of these nutritional powerhouses.
Let’s take a closer look at blueberries and see what they can do for you.
1. They’re amazing antioxidants
We’ve all heard about antioxidants and that they are good for us, but why? It has to do with molecules in our body that are called “free radicals”.
Free radicals are unstable atoms that can damage cells, causing illness and ageing, more free radicals equals more oxidative stress, and ultimately more damage to cells, which leads to degenerative processes, as well as “normal” ageing.
Out of all the common fruit, we can find on the market, Blueberries contain the most antioxidants. The main type of this compound found in these berries are polyphenol antioxidants, also known as flavonoids. One antioxidant found in Blueberries, anthocyanins, is especially important for the health benefits they offer.
2. Very nutritious and low in calories
If you are looking for something nutritious to add to your diet without jacking up your calorie intake, berries are a great choice.
Here is the list of approximate content of one cup of blueberries:
Fat: 0.49 g
Carbs: 22 g
Vitamin C: 14.4 mg
Vitamin K 28.6 µg
Vitamin B6: 0.07 µg
Vitamin A IU: 80 µg
Folate: 9 µg
Vitamin A RAE: 4 µg
Vitamin: B12 0 µg
Vitamin E: 0.84 mg
Potassium: 114 mg
Iron: 0.41 mg
Sodium: 1 mg
Blueberries contain a lot of things our bodies need to function properly and are the embodiment of the low energy density and high nutrient density foods we all need more of.
3. They improve brain function and memory
The ageing of our brain is additionally impacted by the deterioration of our brain function through oxidation stress.
suggest that cognitive ageing could be delayed by up to 2.5 years in those who consume greater amounts of flavonoid-rich berries.
4. Cardiovascular benefits.
According to a new study
in the American Journal of clinical nutrition, eating 100g of blueberries a day reduces risk factors for cardiovascular disease by up to 12- 15%.
The research team stated that blueberries and other berries should be included in dietary strategies to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, particularly among at risk groups.
5. Lowering blood pressure
Another big factor in the heart disease story is high blood pressure. Blueberries have been shown to reduce blood pressure by 4 – 6% by eating 50g of fruit on a daily basis
6. Recovery of muscles after training
As most professional athletes and coaches will tell you, exercising itself isn’t as difficult as the process of recovery.
Muscle soreness and fatigue are common with high-intensity training. Our muscles develop thanks to induced muscle trauma which occurs as a result of training.
The consumption of Blueberries, before, during, and after physical training has been found to improve the rate of recovery of muscle performance.
7. Diabetes prevention
Blueberries have a positive effect on combating type 2 diabetes as well as metabolic syndrome, which are the two most prominent health issues currently.
Again, the prime compound that helps switch this positive effect on are anthocyanins. It helps with insulin resistance
, and anti-diabetes properties can be taken advantage of by consuming blueberries in juice and extract form.
8. Repairing DNA damage
One of the biggest factors in the ageing of our bodies is the oxidation of our cells. It’s a process that occurs 10,000+ times a day for each cell.
Again blueberries can help with this by fighting free radicals. Their antioxidant effects can help reduce the oxidation effects
by as much as 20%.
Cell oxidation doesn’t just impact our ageing, but also the potential of developing cancerous cells.
Creating a diet that is well-balanced is a never-ending battle. Having a diverse diet that includes healthy foods without additives is a goal that may seem unreachable, but it can be done.
Regardless of what your diet looks like right now, adding blueberries to it is definitely a good idea – unless you are allergic, of course. Blueberries are great because they can be consumed in a variety of ways whilst still remaining beneficial to your health. Look around and find recipes for smoothies and other meals to help you include blueberries into your daily meals.