All good things come in small packages. And this is 100 percent true for blueberries. The little berry fruit is a pack up of the most powerful antioxidants, and a kickass to diseases. Blueberries rank second to strawberries in the U.S. fruit consumption chart. They are not only tasty and popular, but also loaded with 20 types of antioxidants that help in keeping your body healthy naturally. The little fruit helps in all aspects from preventing severe diseases like cancer to keeping your skin soft and glowing. The best part is that this extremely healthy food is also very flavorsome and can be used to make pastries, cupcakes, smoothies and all kinds of delicacies.
Let’s have a look at 16 health benefits of blueberries.
1. Highest Source of Anti-oxidants
Blueberries are loaded with antioxidants, like anthocyanins, vitamin A, B complex, C, E, iron, zinc, copper, selenium, etc., which help in boosting the immune system of the body. Due to this property, blueberries reduce the oxidative stress in the cardiovascular system of the body. So, this yummy fruit basically provides you with a whole body antioxidant support system.
2. Protects the Vision
A compound, called anthocyanoside, is responsible for reducing vision loss, and blueberry is very rich in that compound. According to the reports published in the study of the “archives of ophthalmology”, eating 3 servings of blueberry every day will reduce the risk of ARMD (age related macular degeneration), which is the prime cause of loss of vision in adults, middle-aged and older people.
3. Get Rid of Belly Fat
This fruit can also help you in getting rid of the stubborn belly fat naturally. The research at the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Centre proved that the polyphenols, which are found in blueberries, can easily break down the belly fat. It also cuts down the risk of metabolic syndrome. Hence, eating blueberries would not only pleasure your taste buds, but also regulate the metabolism of your body.
4. Cognitive Benefits
One of the recent researches has found a very exciting benefit of blueberries. According to this research, blueberries can actually decrease the memory loss and other cognitive problems that come with aging. In this research, older aged people (average age: 76 years) were given this super-fruit in the form of juice. Participants had 2 to 3 cups of juice everyday for 12 weeks, and it was found that it was actually very beneficial for improving the memory.
5. Cardiovascular Benefits
The antioxidant defenses of blueberry are especially known for the protection of the cardiovascular system. According to various researches in this area, regular consumption of blueberries (average of 1-2 cups every day) for over a period of one to three months improves blood fat balance, reduces bad cholesterol, lowers triglycerides and improves HDL cholesterol. Not only that, it’s also found that regular intake of this tasty fruit also helps in maintaining the blood pressure. Therefore, it’s very beneficial for individuals suffering from cardiovascular problems or high blood pressure.
6. Strong Bones
A blueberry is a great source of manganese, which plays a very important role in the growth and strength of bones. A research in 2010 proved that animals that were fed on ration containing freeze dried blueberries had much better bone mass than those animals that were fed on rations that contained no blueberries. They help a lot in the bone development of the children and to restore the bone strength in the adults and older people.
7. Digestive Disorder
Blueberries are not only affluent in antioxidants and vitamins, but are also a great source of fiber, which has a significant role in keeping the digestive system hale and hearty. It’s found that one cup raw blueberries contain as much as four grams of fiber. The soluble fiber in blueberry draws fluid into your gut, thereby increasing the bowel movement and helping you to get rid of constipation. Regular intake of blueberries ensures a healthy digestion.
8. Healthy Heart
Regular consumption of blueberries will also maintain a healthy heart and protect you against heart attacks. It contains some compounds that widen the arteries and control the plaque build-up, which is the main reason behind heart attacks. According to the nurse’s health study, women, who eat three to four servings of blueberry each week, are 32 percent less likely to get a heart attack.
9. Effective against Cancer
Researchers have found that blueberries contain phenolic compounds that work against cancer cell build-up. A significant finding of the research is that women, who had a high intake of blueberries, were 34% less likely to develop ovarian cancer than those, who had low or no blueberry diet.
10. Blood Sugar Benefits
People diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance must include blueberries in their diet. Researchers have shown that blueberry consumption has a very strong effect on blood sugar regulation. It wouldn’t let it spike too high or get too down, and maintain a balance. Apart from that, blueberries fall in the category of low GI (Glycemic Index) food, which is helpful for people suffering from diabetes.
11. Bladder Infections
Blueberries are especially helpful in bladder infections. Homeopaths have been using this fruit for treating inflammation in the bladder and kidney for a long time. The fiber in blueberry also helps the digestive system to function well by removing the excess bile. Tannins work as an astringent for inflammation in the kidney or bladder.
Another interesting fact about blueberries is they make excellent anti-depressants. They keep you fresh, active, fit and in a good mood. So, you don’t need to spend money on medicines. Just remember that the darker the berry is, the better it is in terms of its antioxidant content and medicinal value.
13. Brain Health
There have been many studies and experiments where scientists have come across the effects of blueberry on the brain health of an individual. People at USDA research center have been studying the effects of blueberry on the brains of animals and they have found blueberries to be extremely beneficial for the brain functions. In fact, the memory loss, which is caused by aging, can also be reverted back with a regular blueberry rich diet. Another study by Robert Krikorian at the University of Cincinnati tested the effects of blueberry on humans and found that people, who ate blueberries on a regular basis scored much higher on memory tests than people, who ate less or no blueberries.
14. Blueberries for UTI
Blueberries are extremely helpful in treating urinary tract infections. Cranberry, blueberries and pomegranate are a must have for people with UTI problems. These fruits have compounds, which prevent bacteria from adhering to the tract walls, hence preventing the chance of infection. They include natural antioxidants and anthocyanins, which are known to treat ulcers, hemorrhoids, sore throat, diarrhea, etc. It will also give you some relief in the urinary pain while treating it.
15. Healthy Immune System
A very interesting study at Oregon State University tested the effects of about 446 compounds on the human body. They found that a chemical, called pterostilbene, which is found in blueberries, can have a significant impact on the immune system of humans. So, for a healthy and active immune system, make sure you eat a diet comprising of blueberries.
16. Rich Source of Vitamin C
Blueberry is well-off in vitamin C, which has a very crucial role in our life. It’s required for the growth and repair of the tissues. It also aids the body in making collagen, which keeps the skin healthy. It also assists in boosting the immunity of the body and protects your skin and hair against many problems, like pollution, UV rays, etc.
Blueberries are tiny indigo berries that taste sweet.
The blueberry plant is a flowering shrub which grows in North America. They are similar to bilberries, cranberries, and gooseberries.
Blueberries have fighting Oxidative benefits; this is why eating blueberries regularly will help reduce signs of aging like wrinkles, age spots, and acne.
Lowers Bad Cholesterol
A high fiber diet and antioxidants in blueberries may help bring the LDL (bad) cholesterol down. Making them an ideal dietary supplement to combat diseases while also strengthening the cardiac muscles. Blueberries also contain potassium, calcium, and magnesium, which help in reducing blood pressure.
More extensive population studies are needed to confirm the efficacy of these result, preliminary findings suggest that daily blueberry consumption may reduce blood pressure and arterial stiffness.
These antioxidants may help in preventing chronic inflammatory diseases.
Another benefit of blackberries is the Flavonoid is a natural mood enhancer and acts as an antidepressant.
Anthocyanin in blueberries has been found to help detox heavy metals from your body as in lead, mercury, and arsenic.
These compounds are only beneficial if combined with exercise and a healthy lifestyle.
There are five major types of blueberries:
Blueberries can be added to many recipes to give a great sweet taste. Blueberries are often used as toppings or added to various dishes like over baked foods, oatmeal, yogurts, pancakes, smoothies or salads.
A few tips to follow while buying and storing blueberries fresh, frozen, and dried form.
Frozen blueberries last longer they are great for snacking.
Fresh berries are more flavorful but go bad quicker than frozen.
Dried blueberries are great for keeping with you since they do not
need to be refrigerated.