Blueberries are a highly nutritious fruit with a sweet, succulent flavor. Among others, they contain a flavonoid called anthocyanin that has a powerful antioxidant effect and numerous health benefits. Among common fruits, blueberries are one of the richest sources of anthocyanins. There is an increasing body of evidence that suggests blueberries and anthocyanins can improve heart, mental and skin health as well as increase bone strength, help reduce high blood pressure, manage diabetes and prevent several types of cancer.
Here are 17 Blueberry benefits for your health and beauty
- Youthful Skin Appearance
Our skin cells wreak havoc as we age because our body’s ability to fight free-radicals declines. Blueberries are high in natural compounds that help fight cell damaging free radicals and these compounds are called antioxidants. One of the main antioxidants in blueberries is anthocyanins which gives blueberries their natural purple-blue hue. The skin cells weaken and show signs of aging when there are more free radicals than antioxidants. Eating blueberries can help your body fight free radicals such as pollution, cigarette smoke, exposure to ultraviolet light from tanning beds or the sun.
- Improves Circulation
Blueberries are linked to improved circulation which is important to generate nutrients and oxygen to the skin in order to repair and heal the damage caused by free radicals. Eating a cup of blueberries per day can ultimately provide you with healthier skin. Improving your circulation sends nutrients to your cells allowing for quicker and more efficient cell turnover. When you include a nutritious diet rich in blueberries it can give your skin the tools it needs to make it healthier and rejuvenate.
- Naturally Boosts Collagen
The high content of anthocyanin promotes collagen production. There were a few skin studies that found by applying anthocyanin from berries to the skin it increased overall collagen production and reduced collagen breakdown. Blueberries contain vitamin C which plays a vital role in collagen production to make strong healthy skin. The vitamin C is also a natural antioxidant that protects the collagen in your skin from damage. Collagen is one of the proteins that gives your skin structure and blueberries can help protect your skin prom fine lines, wrinkles and sagging.
- Supports Wound Healing
Eating blueberries may help heal cuts, minor burns or blemishes due to the high content of vitamin C and K which are both known to be important in wound healing. One Cup of blueberries contains 24% of your daily needs for vitamin K and 16% of vitamin C. When your skin is damaged it experiences acute oxidative stress and inflammation because the free radicals outnumber the antioxidants. Eating a diet rich in blueberries can help speed the skin’s healing process however, blueberries should not be applied topically to any type of open cut, wound or burn as it can lead to a bacterial infection.
- Helps Reduce Acne-Related Inflammation
One of the most common skin conditions that leads to discoloration, redness, swelling, blocks pores and causes inflamed bumps called pustules also known as pimples is acne. Acne not only affects us in puberty but throughout our adult life. Blueberries are a good source of fiber and they are naturally sweet as well as a low source of glycemic carbs which is linked to lower acne related inflammation. Blueberries are high in antioxidants which may reduce several symptoms associated with acne. Eating blueberries will give your skin a boost and satisfy your sweet tooth at the same time.
- Helps Reduce Eczema and Psoriasis Flare-ups
Many people suffer from inflammatory skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Studies have shown that people with these conditions have lower antioxidant levels. Blueberries are an excellent choice to increase the level of antioxidants in your diet and the beautiful thing is blueberries are typically available year-round.
- Assists In Maintaining Healthy Bones
It is important to maintain an adequate intake of minerals and vitamins in order to build and maintain the structure and strength of your bones. Blueberries contain magnesium, zinc, calcium, phosphorous, iron, and vitamin K which are all components of the bones. Zinc and iron are crucial when it comes to maintaining elasticity and strengthening of the bones. Research shows that a low intake of vitamin K is linked to having a higher risk of bone disorders. Blueberries provide an adequate amount of vitamin K which improves the absorption of calcium and may reduce calcium loss which results in healthier bones.
- Helps Lower Blood Pressure
Keeping your blood pressure at a healthy level equals lowering your sodium intake. Blueberries are a perfect choice because they are free of sodium. Research shows that you need a sufficient intake of magnesium, calcium and potassium to regulate your blood pressure. Eating blueberries provides all of these minerals and can lead to a healthy blood pressure.
- Assists In Managing Diabetes
Studies have found that people with type 1 diabetes have low blood glucose levels when they consume high-fiber diets and people with type 2 diabetes may have improved blood sugar, lipid, and insulin levels. Adding blueberries to your diet in can help manage this disease.
- Helps Protect Against Heart Disease
One of the benefits of consuming blueberries for the heart is the absence of cholesterol and the fiber content in them helps to reduce the total amount of cholesterol in the blood which decreases the risk of heart disease. The phyto nutrients, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and folate help support good heart health. Vitamin B6 and folate prevent the buildup of a compound known as homocysteine that can damage blood vessels and lead to heart problems. According to a study from Harvard School of Public Health and the University of East Anglia, in the United Kingdom (U.K.) regular consumption of anthocyanins can reduce the risk of heart attack by 32% in young and middle-aged women. The best results were received when women consumed at least three servings of blueberries per week.
- May Prevent cancer
Research suggests that the powerful antioxidants vitamin C, vitamin A, and the various phytonutrients found in blueberries may help protect cells against damage from disease-linked free radicals, may inhibit tumor growth and decrease inflammation in the body. The research also showed that the antioxidants found in blueberries may help ward off or slow down several types of cancer such as lung, colon, pancreatic, esophageal, mouth, pharynx, endometrial, prostate and pancreatic cancer.
- May Improve Mental Health
There are studies that show the consumption of blueberries can improve mental health by helping people with short-term memory loss and reduce the risk of cognitive damage in older women
- Promotes A Healthy Digestive System
Blueberries have a high fiber content that helps maintain regularity and prevent constipation. Eating blueberries can be an easy “go to” when it comes to a healthful digestive tract.
- Aids In Weight Loss and Management
The dietary fiber in blueberries is an important factor in weight loss and weight management because it functions as a “bulking agent” in the digestive system. Bulking agents reduce your appetite because they make you feel full which in turn reduces your overall caloric intake.
- Promotes Hair Growth
The nutrients in blueberries stimulate the hair follicles which promotes hair growth. If you want long, luscious, healthy hair, you should treat yourself to some delicious blueberries.
- Prevents Premature Greying
Eventually we all turn grey but it can be very upsetting when we get grey hair at an early age. Blueberries can help prevent premature greying which people usually blame on their genes or stress. The truth of the matter is premature greying is usually caused by a vitamin B12 deficiency. Adding a handful of blueberries will provide sufficient amounts of vitamins and can prevent your hair from turning grey prematurely.
- Multivitamins and Minerals
Blueberries are loaded with several plant compounds, vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, iron, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus and potassium. Drinking a cup of juice, either from fresh fruits or dry powder, it’s like taking a multivitamins and minerals supplement. Some of the plant compounds include Anthocyanins, Quercetin, and Myricetin.