Blueberries are packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients which have powerful health benefits, including the ability to boost heart health, lower cholesterol, stop DNA damage, reverse aging, promote weight loss, and boost brain health. Considered a superfood, blueberries can help fight cancer, soothe inflammation, boost immunity, enhance digestion, and prevent hair loss.
Blueberries Nutrition Facts
Blueberries are nutrient-dense, low in calories, and high in fiber. They are abundant in antioxidants, especially anthocyanin, which is responsible for their deep blue color and powerful health benefits. The berries are a rich source of vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, folate, potassium, copper, and manganese. They are low in carbohydrates and sodium, and high in water content.
Health Benefits of Blueberries
Let’s take a look at the powerful health benefits of blueberries.
Promotes Weight Loss
The high fiber content present in blueberries not only promotes digestion but also amp ups weight loss. Studies have shown that it promotes satiety and reduces belly fat. One cup of blueberries contain only 15 grams of carbohydrates and 84 calories. The numbers are really enticing for people trying to manage or lose weight. Frozen blueberries and dried blueberries are great low-calorie snacks.
Rich of Antioxidants
Antioxidants in blueberries are responsible for the free radical scavenging activity in the body. The group of flavonoids, particularly anthocyanin, prevents the body from all types of damage due to free radicals. This includes, cellular structure damage, early aging, and various types of cancer.
The high amounts of iron, zinc, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, manganese, and vitamin K in blueberries aid in strengthening bones. It helps increase bone density and contributes to maintaining bone structure.
Anthocyanin, the powerful antioxidant in blueberries, is responsible for preventing oxidative DNA damage. The abundance of vitamin C is also a big factor for this. This is why blueberries prevent signs of aging like wrinkles, age spots, cataracts, and hair loss, as well as other skin issues.
Lowers Blood Pressure & Cholesterol
The high fiber content, antioxidants, and the ability to dissolve the LDL (bad) cholesterol make blueberries an ideal dietary supplement to cure many heart diseases, while also strengthening the cardiac muscles. High blood pressure which is one of the major reasons for heart attacks and strokes. Blueberries help to lower blood pressure, especially in post-menopausal women.
Blueberries can prove to be extremely valuable for cancer patients, as they contain certain compounds like pterostilbene (an excellent remedy for colon and liver cancer) and ellagic acid. These two in harmony with anthocyanin and other antioxidants like vitamin C and copper can do miracles to both prevent and cure cancer.
Improve Brain Function
Again, the antioxidant properties of blueberries come into play. The anthocyanin, selenium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B complex, zinc, sodium, potassium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese can heal nervous disorders by preventing the degeneration and death of neurons. These essential nutrients also protect brain cells and help restore the health of the central nervous system. These berries can also cure serious problems like Alzheimer’s disease to a great extent. They even heal damaged brain cells and neuron tissues to keep your memory sharp for a very long time.
Flavonoid-rich wild blueberries also help to enhance mood and they are very good antidepressants.
The roughage (fiber) present in blueberries prevents constipation. Also, the vitamins, sodium, copper, fructose, and acids improve digestion by stimulating the correct gastric and digestive juices to move food smoothly and safely through your gastrointestinal system.
Treat Urinary Tract Infection
Blueberries can kill bacterial colonies like E. coli which are responsible for the urinary tract infection. They have a compound formed of large, polymer-like molecules, which inhibit the growth of such bacteria. They also have certain antibiotic properties which add to this effect. So far, this compound has only been found in cranberries and blueberries.
Blueberries can prevent or delay all age-related ocular problems. This includes macular degeneration, cataracts, myopia and hypermetropia, dryness, and infections, particularly those pertaining to the retina, due to their antioxidant properties. Blueberries contain special antioxidants called carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin etc.), flavonoids (like rutin, resveratrol, quercetin etc.), and other antioxidant compounds, which are all very beneficial and essential for ocular health.
Blueberries can boost your immune system and prevent infections. Once your immune system is strong, you won’t catch colds, fever, pox, and countless other communicable diseases spread by bacteria and viruses.
The antioxidants in blueberries not only prevent oxidative stress but also chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is the primary cause of many diseases including arthritis, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s, and even cancer.
What are Blueberries?
Blueberries are tiny indigo-colored edible berries, which are sweet to taste. The plant is a perennial flowering shrub which grows in clusters, especially in North America. They are in close relatives of bilberries, cranberries, and grouseberries. In the botanical world, blueberries are known as Vaccinium corymbosum. There are five major types of blueberries:
- Northern highbush
- Southern highbush
Word of Caution: People who are on warfarin medication should not add blueberries to their diet. The vitamin K content may interfere with the blood thinning and may result in blood-clot.
A final interesting thing to know about blueberries is that the darker the color of the blueberries, the richer they are in antioxidants and other medicinal nutrients. In other words, eat them until your tongue turns blue in order to live a long and healthy life.