The health benefits of blueberries has been studied and the results are in: Blueberries rank high in the antioxidant world. They can reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, which, in turn, can help prevent heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. Blueberries have also been touted as brain food improving cognitive function, a tool to lower blood pressure, a fiber laden aid in weight loss, and a helpful fruit that can improve our immune system.
Blueberries also taste great! We all know that eating fruits and vegetables daily will help keep our bodies in tip top shape, we might as well enjoy dining while we feed ourselves with a goal of obtaining optimum nutrition.
Blueberry Nutritional Profile
Sweet, tart, and juicy, blueberries have lots to offer. We know the health information associated with these little blue fruits is amazing. They are one of the top super-fruits you should add to your diet. Their nutritional profile offers a boon to dieters, health fanatics, and anyone who wants to improve their dietary qualities and up their antioxidant intake.
One cup of these delicious little jewels contains 85 calories. They have 1 gram of protein, 20 grams of carbohydrate and about 3.6 grams of dietary fiber, and as an added bonus, they have no fat. Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Manganese round out the nutritional punch they provide to improve your heart health and memory function.
You can see why eating a cup of these nutritious little orbs is a great way to improve your healthly lifestyle.
Inflammation and Oxidative Stress
Inflammation occurs when the body detects an attack. It could be internal like a virus or external like dirt embedded from a scrape. The body also can mistakenly attack it’s own cells which can lead to a variety of autoimmune diseases. Researchers believe inflammation can predispose us to type 2 diabetes, atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, and obesity. In other words, chronic inflammation is bad for our overall health and well being.
Oxidative Stress occurs when there is an imbalance between your body’s production of free radicals that can cause damage cells and your body’s ability to combat the harmful effects of these roving free radicals.
Researchers have found that by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress helps your body reduce DNA damage thereby lowering your risk of obesity, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. Additionally, blueberries may offer protection against artery hardening and high blood pressure, two leading indicators of heart attack and stroke.
Blueberries are high in compounds called anthocyanins, flavonoids that give fruits their red and blue hues and mark the health benefits of blueberries. We all need a little less inflammation in our lives – time to add some blueberries to your post workout smoothie!
Blueberries And Heart Disease
Heart disease is all too prevalent, improving our diet and reducing stress on our heart is the best way to improve our longevity and quality of life. Eating fruits and vegetables, particularly blueberries, is the perfect way to continue on the road to healthful living.
According a study published in the National Library of Medicine eating one cup of blueberries each day improved the heart function of participants in the study. Blueberries reduced cardiovascular disease and improved cholesterol markers when eaten every day. This simple little fruit made a major impact on the lives of these participants. It can make a difference for you too.
Anther touted benefit of eating blueberries is their ability to help reduce blood pressure, which is also a major risk factor for heart disease. Too many Americans take blood pressure medication. By improving our blood pressure indicators and by reducing weight gain thereby improving your heart health, your doctor should see an improvement in your overall health. Living a long, healthy life with a strong heart is a wonderful life-long aspiration.
Living our best, healthy life is a goal worth making the effort to eat well.
Blueberries And Brain Health
Most of us don’t think about our brain health until it isn’t healthy anymore, and we can’t remember why. It is time to consider the long term effects on what we eat and our mental acuity.
Better memory functions in adults and children is one of the best reasons to add blueberries to your diet. A study on the dietary intake of berries demonstrated that fruits high in flavonoids, particularly anthocyanidins, improve cognitive brain function. Increasing anthocyanidins, like those found in blueberries, were directly related to slower rates of cognitive decline and increased executive function. The study concluded, blueberries are a perfect brain food to reduce memory decline in older adults!
Isn’t that a win/win – gaining better memory just by eating your fruits and vegetables. One of the simples things we can do daily to keep our brains healthy and sharp.
Blueberries And Cancer Research
A recent study by the American Institute for Cancer Research shows that the phytochemicals in blueberries have potential anti-cancer properties. Blueberries may have a role in preventing DNA damage. This is exciting news on the prevention frontier, although more data is needed, it is a move in the right direction. Maybe a glass of blueberry juice a day will keep the doctor away – it is certainly worth the effort considering the potential for improved health.
The potential for blueberries to provide excellent cancer prevention is another great reason to add some of these little fruits to your daily menu.
Blueberries Vitamin And Mineral Health Effects
Blueberries are packed with vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese. To absorb the full benefit of blueberries, nutritionists suggest adding a cup of blueberries to your daily menu.
Vitamin C has a major role in wound healing, strengthens blood vessels, and supports immune functions. It is a key to making collagen for our skin and improving bone formation. Blueberries provide 24 percent of our recommended daily allowance of vitamin C.
Vitamin K is required by our bodies to promote blood clotting.
The mineral Manganese supports our body’s bone health, reduces inflammation, and helps form blood clots. Our bodies only need trace amounts of this mineral, which most of us can supply through eating a healthy and well balanced diet.
Blueberries And Weight Loss
Weight control and weight loss not only improves your overall health, but offers so many additional side benefits.
Blueberries, with their high fiber content, can decrease weight gain that leads to obesity. Research shows “that excess body fat increases the risk of at least 12 different cancers,” including mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophageal, lung, stomach, and colorectal cancers.
Eating blueberries adds fiber, water, vitamins, and minerals to our diet. The fiber not only sweeps through our system; combined with the fruits water content, it helps to keep us feeling full. Dieting is hard work, we need all the assistance we can get, and blueberries can provide a nutritional punch while improving your heathy, upping your executive function, and filling up your tank of antioxidants.
Mom was right – eat your fruits and vegetables.
10 Ways To Add Blueberries To Your Diet
Full of big words like anthocyanins and polyphenol antioxidants, blueberries are a powerful little fruit. Blueberries provide our bodies with protective powers to support a healthy lifestyle. By adding a cup full of these little health heroes to your daily menu, you set yourself up for a big heart health improvement, lower blood sugar levels, improved mental health, better bone strength, all while enjoying a fiber filled treat.
Quick tips: keep in mind, cooking blueberries destroys the vitamin C naturally found in the fruits. So adding them fresh or frozen will provide the most protective power on the vitamin C front.
Below are 10 ways to up your blueberry consumption by adding fresh or frozen, anthocyanins packed berries to your meals and snacks.
- Stir them in Oatmeal
- Blend them in Smoothies
- Toss them in Fruit Salads
- Sprinkle them in Garden Salads
- Stir them in Pancake Batter
- Soak them in Chia Puddings
- Add them to Overnight Oats
- Layer them in Yogurt Parfaits
- Boil them into Jams and Jellies
- Enjoy them by the handful
Buy Fresh Now And Freeze For Later
Fresh is best, and that goes for blueberries too. When eating blueberries fresh from the garden or farmers market, they provide a sweet and tart, juicy pop to your daily menu. Choose fresh, organic blueberries from your local farmers market and buy enough to eat now and some to freeze for later.
When they are out of season, enjoy frozen blueberries in your smoothies and other healthy recipes. Try freeze-dried blueberry powder to supplement your blueberry intake.
How To Freeze Blueberries
Freezing blueberries is a quick and easy process. When you freeze your own fresh picked or farmers market selected blueberries, you will have beautiful, healthy berries for everyone to enjoy year round. As you spend a few minutes preparing your berries for freezing, contemplate on the improved heart health they will provide you and your family. Knowing that you are providing your body with the best fuel possible makes the task at hand more enjoyable.
- Thoroughly wash the berries and allow them to completely dry on a towel
- Spread them out in a single layer on a baking sheet (preferably with a lip so they don’t roll around your freezer!) and freeze for 30 minutes. This turns them into little individual berry spheres and helps the berries from creating frozen clumps.
- Transfer them to a freezer bag where they will keep in the freezer for about six months.
- Use them in all kinds of wonderful, fiber filled recipes.
Freeze Dried Blueberry Powder
When blueberries are not in season and your freezer stash is depleted, you might want to try Blueberry powder. This powder packs the same powerhouse antioxidants as fresh blueberries, but has a handy, long shelf life. Freeze dried blueberry supplements are a good augmentation for your fresh and frozen alternatives.
Mix a spoon full in your yogurt for that blueberry flavor without all the added sugar from the “real fruit mixed in” yogurt types. Freeze dried blueberries are also perfect for smoothies and protein shakes, just add a scoop for an easy nutrition boost. Mix the powder with oil and vinegar for a flavorful, uniquely hued vinaigrette. The powder adds a wonderful color to whatever it is mixed in with.
You will love having this freeze dried blueberry powder at your fingertips to add all those wonderful anthocyanins to your daily diet.
Everyone can grow blueberries. They are an excellent plant to get you started on your gardening journey. They can make you into a “green thumb” gardener without a tremendous amount of work.
Blueberries are an easy fruit to grow. There is nothing as delicious as picking a handful and eating them right off the bush. Imagine grabbing a cup of blueberries and add them to your breakfast plate as you dine on your patio. Delish!
Suitable for large garden spaces or planting in patio pots, growing blueberries is a rewarding gardening experience. Great for a beginner or young gardener, blueberry plants reward you with pretty little flowers that grow into delicious and health improving blue orbs.
To explore more about growing blueberries, read our review, All About Jewel Blueberries. This is a great little plant if you have limited growing space. Adding the exercise associated with gardening will only enhance the benefits you will receive from growing blueberries!
You can find a wide selection of Blueberry bushes that will suit your hardiness zone and garden space restrictions on Amazon. Whether you have a large orchard or a small patio garden, growing your own blueberries is the best way to get these fresh little gems into your daily diet.
What Do You Love About Blueberries?
The health benefits of blueberries is clear. They can improve so many aspects of our life and they taste amazing!
We invite you to share you favorite way of eating these gorgeous little blueberries with the rest our readers. Type your comment below and share what you love about blueberries.
Excited for more blueberry content? Then check out our blueberry page to learn all about how to grow, care for, and harvest this delicious fruit!