If you love blueberries, we have good news for you. They are one of the healthiest fruits you can eat! In this article we’ll discuss blueberry nutrition, including calorie and sugar content, as well as some of the top health benefits of blueberries.
Blueberry Nutrition Facts
Blueberries are packed with essential vitamins and minerals. In fact, there is even some evidence that they fight cell damage that can lead to cancer.
Vitamins In Blueberries
Blueberries are high in a variety of vitamins, making them an excellent choice to add vitamins to your diet and improve your overall nutrition.
Blueberries are low in calories and high in vitamins like vitamin C and vitamin K1.
Vitamin C is an important vitamin for immune health. A cup of blueberries contains about 24 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C for adults. Vitamin C improves your immune system and also helps keep your skin healthy.
Vitamin K1 plays an important role in maintaining healthy bones and blood.
Blueberries are also an excellent source of minerals such as manganese. This mineral plays an important role in maintaining your metabolism, especially in processing carbohydrates, amino acids, proteins, and lipids.
Healthy fiber is an important digestive aid. Some research has even suggested that eating fiber reduces the risk of colon cancer, since it promotes digestive health and speeds up bowel movements. A cup of blueberries provides about 3.6 grams of fiber.
One of the most remarkable health benefits of blueberries is their high levels of antioxidants. These compounds help your body fight against harmful or abnormal cell development caused by free radicals. These can lead to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other serious conditions. Blueberries have higher levels of antioxidants than almost any other fruit!
Blueberries are also full of healthy plant compounds, including anthocyanins, quercetin, myricetin, kaempferol, and chlorogenic acid. Some of these have antioxidative properties, while others provide other health benefits. Many of them fight the development of abnormal cells, which can lead to cancers and other illnesses.
Why Blueberries Are So Good For You
The bottom line is that blueberries are so good for your health because they contain a complicated network of vitamins and minerals. These compounds are disease fighters that promote health cell development and discourage abnormal cell development. There are countless reasons why blueberries are a great snack!
The Amazing Health Benefits of Blueberries
So now that we have talked in general about some of the amazing compounds in blueberries, let’s talk about what these vitamins and minerals actually do. Here are some of the top health benefits of blueberries.
Blueberries Fight Cell Damage
Blueberries’ high levels of antioxidants and plant compounds are the main reason why they can help fight cell damage. These antioxidants target free radicals in your body, which create cells that have the potential to turn deadly.
That means that the vitamins in blueberries play a role in fighting off harmful diseases like cancer and heart disease.
Blueberries Slow Aging
These same compounds may also fight aging, especially in your brain. Neutralizing the free radicals in your body reduces the risk of developing not only cancers, but also age-related brain conditions like dementia.
These vitamin compounds also improve neuron function so that cells in your brain can communicate more effectively. This plays a major role in slowing age-related brain deterioration and may even improve memory.
Blueberries Are Good For Your Heart
Another thing that these plant compounds target is oxidation in your bloodstream. This can lead to the production of bad cholesterol, which increases your risk of developing heart disease. Antioxidants like the ones found in blueberries neutralize these threats and may reduce your risk significantly.
Similarly, they may also help regulate your blood pressure. High cholesterol and high blood pressure are major factors in the development of heart disease. By targeting these processes, antioxidants help reduce your overall risk of a future heart attack.
Blueberries Can Help Regulate Blood Sugar
Despite their natural fructose content, blueberries are actually a good choice for those at risk of developing type II diabetes. That is because they contain plant compounds called anthocyanins. These help lower insulin resistance so that your body can maintain healthy blood sugar levels more effectively.
Blueberries Can Help Fight Inflammation
Blueberries have some anti-inflammatory compounds. These can be beneficial for repairing muscle damage after exercise or aiding with reducing inflammation related to arthritis and other diseases.
What About Sugar?
If you remember your grade school science, you know that fructose and sucrose are essentially the same when it comes to blood sugar, especially for diabetics.
But although blueberries contain natural sugars, their sugar content is fairly low in comparison to many other fruits. A cup of blueberries contains roughly 15 grams of sugar, about the same as an apple.
However, as we mentioned above, blueberries also contain blood sugar regulating properties. So while you shouldn’t indulge unchecked, especially if you are diabetic or at risk of developing diabetes, a moderate amount of blueberries every day might be very good for your sugar levels.
Other Side Effects/Health Risks Of Blueberries
Although there are many health benefits of blueberries, moderation is key. Eating a large amount of blueberries, especially in a short period of time, may cause blood sugar spikes and an overdose of fiber. Don’t be surprised if you experience unpleasant constipation, gas, or bloating after eating a lot of blueberries.
If you take blood thinners, a large amount of blueberries could be dangerous. That is because blueberries contain high levels of vitamin K, which is related to your body’s ability to clot. For this reason, vitamin K can interact with blood thinners.
To get the most out of the potential health benefits of blueberries, eat them in moderation. They are best as a single part of a healthy diet full of variety.
Simple Healthy Blueberry Ways To Enjoy Blueberries
Blueberries are delicious eaten fresh and on their own. But if you prefer to include them in your diet another way, there are tons of great recipes you can try.
We’ve talked all about the health benefits of blueberries, but there are still a few important things you might be wondering. Here are the top questions that others had about the nutritional benefits of blueberries.
Can Blueberries Help With Weight Loss?
If you are trying to lose weight, blueberries can be a great choice. High-fiber foods help you feel full and improve digestion so the feeling of satiety lasts longer. This will help you lower your calorie consumption throughout the day.
Foods high in fiber also contain compounds that improve your metabolism so you can follow a healthier eating schedule in the long term.
Can I Eat Blueberries That Are Red In Color?
If you are picking blueberries in the wild or in a garden, avoid any berries that are red in color. These might be poisonous. However, if your berries come from a supermarket or professional farm, it is safe to eat blueberries that vary in color. A red tint to commercial blueberries simply means they aren’t quite ripe yet.
How Should I Select Blueberries?
When choosing blueberries, look for ones that are even in size, with unbroken skin. A silver tint on the outside is normal. Meanwhile, the fruit itself should be deep blue or almost black. Avoid blueberries that are red, since this means they are underripe, or soaking through the container. Wet berries can mean bruised or overripe fruit.
How Should I Store Blueberries?
Unfortunately, blueberries have a short shelf life. To make them last as long as possible, wash and dry them before storing them in the fridge. This should help them last as long as 10 days.
Blueberries are an amazing health food when eaten in moderation. There’s no need to worry about blueberry calories — simply enjoy the health benefits of this delicious fruit.
If you have a favorite blueberry recipe, share it in the comments below!
Curious about other fruit nutrition? Click here for more articles about the nutritional value and benefits of other kinds of fruit.