Blueberries are delicious, nutritious, and versatile fruits. They are packed full of antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins, and they even taste great in smoothies or baked into muffins. Did you know that blueberries also contain powerful health benefits? Read on to discover the reasons why you should add them to your daily diet.
The blueberry was originally cultivated in North America, where it grows wild throughout the northern parts of the country. These berries are high in vitamin C, potassium, manganese, copper, magnesium, folate, and fiber. There are several varieties of blueberries, including the common blueberry, the blackberry, and the cranberry.
Blueberries are loaded with phytonutrients called anthocyanins, which give these little gems their deep purple color. Anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants that boost immunity and fight cancer. In addition, blueberries are rich sources of ellagic acid, which has anti-inflammatory properties and helps prevent heart disease.
- 1 Health Benefits of Blueberries
- 2 Best Ways to incorporate Blueberries into the Diet
- 3 Risks Of Blueberries
- 4 FAQs
- 5 Summary
Health Benefits of Blueberries
Blueberries have been proven to help lower cholesterol levels, boost immunity, fight cancer, prevent heart disease, improve brain function, reduce depression, enhance mood, and much more! They are also high in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins C and K, folate, niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, biotin, copper, manganese, iron, zinc, selenium, phosphorous, magnesium, and potassium. Blueberries are also full of phytonutrients called anthocyanins, which give them their deep purple color.
A study conducted at Tufts University showed that eating two cups of blueberries per day could reduce LDL cholesterol by 4 percent. In addition, they reduced total cholesterol by 2.8 percent. Eating three cups of berries daily lowered both LDL and total cholesterol by 6.9 percent.
In a study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, researchers found that blueberry juice had strong antioxidant activity, especially against free radicals linked to aging. Antioxidants protect cells from damage caused by oxidation. When consumed regularly, antioxidants may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular problems, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease.
The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) says that blueberries are among the foods that offer the best protection against cancer. A study conducted at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington, showed that women who ate about half a cup of fresh blueberries each day cut their risk of breast cancer by 25 percent.
Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst conducted a study on mice and found that eating blueberries helps protect against breast cancer. Other studies have shown that women who ate about 2 ½ cups of berries per day had a lower risk of developing ovarian cancer than those who didn’t eat any fruit.
Prevent Heart Disease
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, people who eat four servings of fruits and vegetables every day have a 30 percent lower chance of having a heart attack than those who don’t. That’s because fruit and veggie intake helps keep blood pressure low, lowers bad cholesterol, and reduces inflammation throughout the body.
Enhance Brain Function
People who consume blueberries every day show improved performance on cognitive tests compared to those who do not eat them. A study published in Neurology found that older adults who ate about 1/2 cup of blueberries each day performed significantly better on memory tests than those who did not eat any.
Research shows that blueberries may help reduce the symptoms of depression. A study published in the journal Psychopharmacology found that depressed patients who took a supplement containing 100 mg of vitamin B-complex along with 200 mg of bilobalide experienced significant improvement in their condition after just one week. Bilobalide is an active ingredient found only in the seeds of Viburnum opulus, a shrub native to North America.
Keep your Blood Vessel Healthy
Blueberries also seem to help keep blood vessels healthy. A study published in Nutrition Journal showed that consuming blueberries could reduce high cholesterol levels and decrease plaque buildup in arteries. Another study found that men who ate blueberry-rich foods were less likely to develop erectile dysfunction than those who did not consume these fruits.
Great Source Of Vitamin C
Blueberries are packed full of vitamin C, fiber, manganese, copper, folate, and phytochemicals like anthocyanins. Eating 1 cup of fresh blueberries provides almost half your daily requirement of vitamin C.
Vitamin C is necessary for proper immune system functioning and bone health, liver. Fiber is helpful for digestion and keeping your digestive tract clean. Manganese is critical for maintaining bones and teeth. Copper is essential for red blood cell formation and iron absorption. Folate, on the other hand, helps prevent birth defects and nerve damage. And finally, phytochemicals like the ones found in blueberries may help prevent cancer and heart disease.
Better Eye Health
The antioxidant content of blueberries makes them great for promoting good eye health. A study published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research showed that blueberries may help prevent cataracts. These little gems also have powerful anti-inflammatory qualities that may help treat arthritis pain.
Best Ways to incorporate Blueberries into the Diet
Blueberries are one of nature’s most bountiful gifts. They have been cultivated since ancient times and were once referred to as “the king of berries.” They are rich in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals that help boost your immune system, fight cancer, and keep you healthy. Here are some of the best ways to incorporate them into your diet:
A smoothie is a great way to get your daily dose of fruit. Add 1 cup fresh blueberries to your blender along with 1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks, 2 cups of low-fat milk, and ice cubes. Blend until smooth. Top with whipped cream if desired.
Spread 1 slice of whole wheat bread with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and top with 1 cup of fresh blueberries. Place another slice of bread on top and toast in a hot skillet over medium heat. Serve immediately.
Combine 1 cup fresh blueberries, 1/2 cup dried cranberries, 1/2 banana, and 1/4 cup chopped walnuts in a bowl. Toss together gently and serve.
Add 1 cup fresh blueberries and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon to a bowl of oatmeal cooked according to package directions. Stir well before serving.
Top 4 ounces of plain Greek yogurt with 1/2 cup fresh blueberries and sprinkle with ground flaxseed. Enjoy!
Mix 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup rolled oats, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl. Add 1/2 cup fresh or thawed frozen blueberries. Mix well and spoon batter into muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until golden.
Risks Of Blueberries
Blueberries have been around for centuries, and they were originally cultivated for their medicinal value. Today, people eat them fresh in salads, jams, pies, muffins, and even smoothies. Blueberries are high in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins C and K, folate, and manganese. They may protect against heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s. In fact, blueberries are considered to be the “superfood” of berries. But what about risks? What if someone eats too much of these delicious fruits? Are they harmful? How do we know? Let’s find out!
If you overdose on blueberries, then you could experience gastrointestinal issues, including nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. You might also get headaches, dizziness, insomnia, and muscle weakness. These symptoms go away after two weeks, depending on how severe the poisoning was. If you ate too many at once, then you would need to drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
Some people are allergic to blueberries. Symptoms include itching, rashes, and hives. If you suspect you are allergic, then stop eating them immediately. If you continue to eat them, then you should seek medical help.
Acute Kidney Injury (AKI)
Acute kidney injury occurs when your kidneys fail to remove toxins from your body. AKI can happen when you consume too much alcohol, take certain medications, or have a fever. However, some foods can cause AKI as well. One of those foods is blueberries. Blueberries contain oxalates, which can damage your kidneys. Oxalates are naturally occurring compounds found in spinach, rhubarb, strawberries, nuts, beans, lentils, broccoli, kale, and cauliflower.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a condition where your blood pressure is higher than normal. People who suffer from hypertension often have a diet high in sodium and low in potassium. Eating blueberries can raise your potassium levels, making it easier to lower your blood pressure.
Eating lots of blueberries can increase your risk of having a stroke. A study published in 2015 showed that consuming blueberries increased the risk of having a stroke by 33%. Having a stroke can lead to brain damage, paralysis, and death.
Consuming blueberries daily may decrease sperm count and motility. Sperm counts are decreased by 30% among men who consumed blueberries daily compared to men who didn’t. Motility is decreased by 10-20% in men who ate blueberries daily
Can I eat Blueberries everyday?
Blueberries are high in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins C and K, folate, and manganese. They may protect against heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s. However, excessive of these nutrients causes harm to our body.
Does Blueberries contains sugar?
Blueberries contain moderate amounts of sugar and not have major impact on blood sugar levels.
Do Blueberries lower Lower Cholesterol?
Eating two cups of blueberries per day could reduce LDL cholesterol by 4 percent. In addition, they reduced total cholesterol by 2.8 percent. Eating three cups of berries daily lowered both LDL and total cholesterol by 6.9 percent.
Blueberries have been around for centuries, and they were originally cultivated for their medicinal value. Today, people eat them fresh in salads, jams, pies, muffins, and even smoothies. Blueberries are high in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins C and K, folate, and manganese. They may protect against heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s. In fact, blueberries are considered to be the “superfood” of berries.