The health benefits in blueberries are derived from the high antioxidant, vitamin and fiber content found in them. This fruit can improve cardiovascular health, protect the liver, manage diabetes and improve memory.
Blueberries are low in calories and rich in water and nutrients, and can therefore be included in a weight loss diet. This fruit can be consumed in its natural form or used to make a juices to consume before or after intense exercise. It helps to reduce muscular fatigue and recover the muscles much more quickly.
It is scientifically known as Vaccinium myrtillus and can be added to yogurt, used to make jelly and added to other recipes. This fruit can also be found in supplement form, which is purchased at natural health stores, online or at pharmacies.
The health benefits of blueberries are:
1. Reducing cholesterol
Blueberries are rich in antioxidant compounds like polyphenols and fiber, which help to reduce LDL cholesterol and trigylcerides. This can help reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease, like atherosclerosis and heart attack.
2. Regulating blood pressure
Blueberries contain high quantities of anthocyanins and phytochemicals, as well as antioxidant and antihypertensive properties. These work to improve the function of endothelial cells, which line the inside of blood vessels. This can help to regulate blood flow and control blood pressure, which prevents the development of hypertension.
3. Preventing cancer
Blueberries contain great amounts of phenolic compounds, which are potent antioxidants with anti-cancerous properties. These act to reduce oxidative stress as well as damage to DNA, and can therefore prevent the proliferation of cancerous cells. Blueberries are thought to prevent the development of different type of cancer, like colon, prostate, breat and cervical cancers.
4. Improving cognitive capacity
Blueberries contain anthocyanins, which are compounds with anti-inflammatory and antioxidants that can reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in brain cells. This can improve cognitive function, increase memory capacity, and delay natural aging to prevent the development of neurodegenerative diseases like senile dementia or Alzheimer's.
5. Controlling diabetes
Blueberries contain bioactive compounds with antidiabetic properties that help to reduce sugar levels in the body. They can also improve insulin sensitivity, making this fruit a great option for managing or preventing type 2 diabetes.
6. Preventing UTIs
Blueberries contain antibacterial properties that help to prevent and treat UTIs caused by Escherichia coli
In addition, this fruit is rich in vitamin C, which can help to inhibit the growth of bacteria in the urinary tract.
7. Aiding in weight loss
Blueberries are low in calories and rich in water and fiber. These properties can help to increase satiety and reduce overeating to promote weight loss.
Blueberries also contain antioxidant compounds that help to improve insulin sensitivities. This can reduce fat in the body, making it a great fruit to include in a weight loss diet.
8. Improving gut flora
This fruit contains anthocyanins, which are not fully absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract. They end up acting like a prebiotic, stimulating the growth of good bacteria, like lactobacillus and bifidobacteria, in the gut. These bacteria help to improve the immune system and regulate intestinal function.
9. Protecting the liver
Blueberries contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds that help to reduce fat accumulated in the liver as well as reduce liver cell inflammation from injury. This can help reduce the risk for serious liver diseases like cirrhosis and liver cancer.
10. Promoting muscular recovery
Consuming blueberry juice before or after exercise can help to reduce muscular fatigue and promote muscle recovery quickly. It is irch in antioxidant and anti-inflammatories, which help to prevent oxidative damage in the muscular tissue.
The following table outline the nutritional information in 100 grams of blueberries:
|Components||Quantity in 100 g of fresh blueberries|
|Vitamin C||8.1 mg|
|Vitamin K||19.3 mg|
|Anthocyanins||201.4 to 402.8 mg|
To obtain all the benefits of blueberries, it is fundamental to also maintain a varied and heathy diet and exercise regularly.
Blueberries are a fruit that can be consumed whole in its natural form. It can also be added to juices, smoothies, and jellies, or even taken as tea. Blueberries can be found as a powdered supplement in natural health stores and some pharmacies.
The recommended serving of fresh blueberries is 60 to 120 g every day to ensure all of its benefits are obtained. Blueberry extract powder can be taken as 5.5 to 11 g daily.
1. Blueberry tea
- 1 to 2 tablespoons of dried blueberries
- Blueberry leaves (optional)
- 200 ml of boiling water
How to prepare:
Place the blueberries in a cup and boil the water. Allow to infuse for 10 minutes, then strain and drink.
- 1 cup of blueberries
- 1 cup of boiled or filtered water
- 3 to 5 peppermint leaves
- ½ lemon
How to prepare:
Squeeze the lemon and add the rest of the ingredients into a blender. Mix well and then drink.