Blueberry is more than just a topping on your favorite cheesecake – it can be a lot more. In this article, you will discover some health benefits of blueberry that you probably didn’t know yet.
In addition, at the end, I will share to you a heart helper smoothie made from blueberry. So, read until the end to make sure you don’t miss a thing about this special fruit.
But before we go to the list, it is important to talk a little bit about blueberries.
Blueberries are a very popular, tasty fruit native to North America but grown commercially across the Americas and Europe. It is closely related to cranberries, bilberries, and huckleberries. They’re low in calories, potentially regulating blood sugar levels and aiding heart and brain health.
Blueberries are an excellent source of several vitamins, beneficial plant compounds, and antioxidants.
They have a pleasant, sweet taste, and often eaten fresh, frozen or juiced. They can be used in a variety of baked goods, jams, and jellies, as well as for flavorings.
The two most common types of blueberries are:
Highbush blueberries: The most common cultivated variety in the US.
Lowbush or “wild” blueberries: Typically, smaller and richer in some antioxidants.
Here are 10 Proven Health Benefits of Blueberries:
#1 Low in Calories but High in Nutrients
Blueberry contains about 85% water, and an entire cup contains only 84 calories, with 15 grams of carbohydrates and this makes them an excellent source of several important nutrients.
#2 King of Antioxidant Foods
Blueberries are believed to have one of the highest antioxidant levels of all common fruits and vegetables. The main antioxidant compounds in blueberries belong to a family of polyphenols antioxidants called flavonoids. One group of flavonoids in particular — anthocyanins — is thought to be responsible for much of these berries’ beneficial health effects. Therefore, Blueberries increases antioxidant levels in your body.
#3 Reduce DNA Damage, Which May Help Protect Against Aging and Cancer
Several studies suggest that blueberries and blueberry juice reduce DNA damage, which is a leading driver of aging and cancer development. Because blueberries are high in antioxidants, they can neutralize some of the free radicals that damage your DNA. Therefore, it plays an important role in the development of diseases like cancer.
#4 Protect Cholesterol in Your Blood from Becoming Damaged
The antioxidants in blueberries have been shown to reduce a predominant risk factor for heart disease by preventing oxidative damage and “bad” LDL cholesterol. Blueberries are good for the heart, but regular consumption is recommended to see real results.
#5 Blueberries May Lower Blood Pressure
Regular blueberry intake is tied to lower blood pressure in numerous studies. If you are a person with high blood pressure which is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, including stroke, you can consume 2 ounces or 50 grams of blueberries per day in span of eight weeks.
#6 Help Prevent Heart Disease
Some evidence indicates that eating fruits rich in anthocyanins — such as blueberries — is associated with a reduced risk of heart attacks. A study found that those with the highest intake of anthocyanins — the main antioxidants in blueberries — were at a 32% lower risk of heart attacks compared to those with the lowest intake.
#7 Help Maintain Brain Functions and Improve Memory
Certain compounds in blueberries may help brain functions and delay mental decline. The antioxidants in blueberries may affect areas of your brain that are vital for intelligence. During a short study, people drinking the blueberry juice showed improvements in blood flow to the brain, cognitive function and activation of brain After just 12 weeks.
#8 Anthocyanins in Blueberries May Have Anti-Diabetes Effects
Blueberries have anti-diabetes effects by improving insulin sensitivity and lowering blood sugar levels. They are low in sugar compared to other fruits. Research suggests that anthocyanins in blueberries have beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism. These anti-diabetes effects occur with both blueberry juice and extract. Improved insulin sensitivity should lower the risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
#9 Help Fight Urinary Tract Infections
Like cranberries, blueberries contain substances that can prevent certain bacteria from binding to the wall of your bladder, thus help prevent UTIs. These compounds are called anti-adhesives and help prevent bacteria like E. coli from binding to the wall of your bladder. Blueberry can also serve as a remedy for both diarrhea and constipation aside from preventing UTI.
#10 Blueberries May Reduce Muscle Damage after Strenuous Exercise
One study suggests that blueberries may aid muscle recovery after strenuous exercise, though more research is needed. The scientists believe blueberry supplements may lessen the damage that occurs at a molecular level, minimizing soreness and reduced muscle performance.
The health benefits of blueberry are mainly because of anthocyanidins. They are exceptional antioxidants found in red/purple fruits and vegetables, reported to be effective in preventing and reversing a variety of health conditions.
As promised, here is the recipe for Heart Helper Smoothie — Blend beetroot, apple, blueberries and ginger that creates a smooth and nutritious drink with depth and zing.
- 2 small raw beetroots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 small apple peeled, quartered and cored
- 50g blueberries
- 1 tbsp grated ginger
- 1 can of coconut water
Procedure: Put the beetroot, apple, blueberries and ginger in a blender, top up with coconut water then blitz until smooth.
*Goes well with healthy banana bread
If you have questions or additional information about blueberry health benefits, feel free to share them below us.