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The health benefits of blueberries

Blueberries are sweet, tasty and highly nutritious, which is why they are such a popular superfood.

We are going to explore the various health benefits of blueberries in this blog:

The antioxidant properties of blueberries

Blueberries are known as one of the most powerful superfoods and contain a high content of antioxidants.

Antioxidants are powerhouses in the body and protect the body from free radical damage.

Free radicals are molecules that are unstable and can cause damage to the cells in the body, resulting in aging and disease. An antioxidant works to engulf the free radical molecule and prevent this damage from occurring. 

The main antioxidant compound in blueberries is called flavonoids. In particular, blueberries are rich in anthocyanins. Flavonoids can protect the body against aging, memory loss, and confusion.

Benefits of eating blueberries

The consumption of fruits and vegetables have long been associated with healthy living as there are many health benefits to the body, the hair, and the skin.

1. Maintaining healthy bones

Due to the nutrient content of blueberries, specifically the iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin K properties, which all form components of the bones structure and play a vital role in the development of strong healthy bones. The iron and zinc in blueberries maintain the strength and elasticity in bones and joints, keeping them freely movable. 

While vitamin K is necessary in the body to assist with calcium absorption. A lack of calcium can lead to fragile bones, and an increased risk in fractures and broken bones.

2. Maintaining healthy skin

Blueberries are high in vitamin C, which is not only a powerful antioxidant on its own, but also helps the production of collagen in the body. Collagen is the protein responsible for firming the skin. The increase in collagen helps to prevent aging, sagging and wrinkles, and reduces the effects of damage on the skin, resulting from the sun, pollution, or daily habits.

3. High in fiber

Berries, in relation to the overall fruit category, are one of the best sources of dietary fiber. Blueberries help to maintain a healthy digestive system by maintaining regularity and preventing constipation. Foods rich in dietary fiber help the body feel fuller for longer, by slowing down the movement of food through the digestive system, therefore reducing the appetite. In this way, blueberries can be used to build a healthy digestive system and maintain a healthy weight. 

4. Provide many nutrients to the body

Not only are blueberries rich in antioxidants, but they are also a major source of vitamins and minerals to the body, and their low-calorie count makes them a fantastic addition to a daily diet.

5. Fight inflammation

Blueberries are a natural anti-inflammatory, reducing redness, swelling, or inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation, which is the body’s response to infection or injury, can be a result of stress, unhealthy diet, or inadequate activity in the body.

6. Lower cholesterol

The absence of cholesterol in blueberries is beneficial to the body, and to the health of the heart. Blueberries prevent LDL (low density cholesterol) from becoming damaged, reducing the risk of heart disease. Blueberries block the absorption of fats and cholesterols into the bloodstream, which are consumed in the daily diet.

The impact of eating blueberries on your health

1. Blueberries are powerful antioxidants

Blueberries are said to be one of the highest antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables, and directly increase the antioxidant levels in the body. 

2. Blueberries lower blood pressure

Consuming blueberries has proven to lower blood pressure. High blood pressure is a major risk for people suffering or genetically predisposed to heart disease.

3. Blueberries help prevent heart disease

Linked with decreasing blood pressure, blueberries, and specifically the anthocyanins found in blueberries, also decrease the risk of suffering a heart attack and help to prevent heart disease.

4. Blueberries boost brain function

Stress and the effects of daily living can negatively affect the functioning of the brain. Antioxidants in blueberries benefit the neurons in the brain, which improve the signals transmitted to the cells. This aids brain functioning and delays the onset of mental decline. 

5. Blueberries reduce muscle damage

Before a workout, a dose of blueberries provides energy in the form of glycogen to the muscles, which can improve the length of a workout. During a good workout, the muscles of the body are put under strain, which could result in muscle soreness or fatigue- that feeling of a stiff muscle that tends to linger a few days after the workout. Consuming blueberries may lessen the damage that occurs in the muscle, which will increase the performance of the muscles, minimise muscle soreness or fatigue, and aid in muscle recovery.

6. Blueberries are vitamin powerhouses

Blueberries are rich in vitamin C as well as vitamin A, both powerful antioxidants. Vitamin C is known for its immune boosting properties, and its ability to help fight colds and flu’s. So next time you are feeling the onset of a cold, reach for that tub of blueberries. 

Vitamin A boosts the health of the eyes and assists in reproductive health in a woman. 

Blueberries also contain B vitamin folate, which improves DNA production, especially in pregnant women, and lowers the risk of heart disease. 

What nutrients will you get from blueberries?

Blueberries are low in calories and high in nutrients. Blueberries help increase satiety, and allow the body to feel fuller for a longer period, due to the fiber and high-water content. 

Blueberries are amongst the most nutrient dense berries – a serving of 148grams (a cup) contains:

  • 84 calories
  • 4g of fibre
  • 1.1 g of protein
  • 0.49g fat
  • 21.45g carbohydrates
  • 14.74 g sugar
  • 14.4 mg (24% of the RDA of vitamin C)
  • 0.0286mg (36% of the RDI of vitamin K)
  • 0.007mg (5% of the RDA of vitamin B6) 
  • 9mg calcium
  • 0.41mg iron
  • 114mg potassium
  • 18mg phosphorus
  • 1mg sodium
  • 0.24mg zinc
  • 9mg folate
  • 9mg magnesium

Adding blueberries to your diet

Including blueberries in your daily diet has many benefits to the body and can improve the overall health of the body. Here are some ways that blueberries can be included in your diet. 

  1. Blueberries can be added to any cereal or breakfast for a great boost of antioxidants and brain power in the morning.
  2. Fresh or frozen blueberries can be added to smoothies for a great burst of flavour. 
  3. Blueberries can be added to a salad, with a variety of nuts and greens. 
  4. Blueberries may be used in desserts or muffins.
  5. Blueberries can be made into a syrup, compote, or coulis, and added to breakfast cereals, desserts, or anything that needs a burst of natural sweetness. 
  6. Blueberries can be preserved for when they are not in season by drying them or making jam or juice concentrate. 
  7. Add blueberries to your water, coconut water, or even nut milk with some crushed ice.

While blueberries are healthy, they can also be made into a sweet and delicious treat. Reward yourself with an indulgent blueberry pie for learning so much about the health benefits of blueberries!

Blueberry pie recipe

Interested in learning more about nutrition and healthy eating? Check our Nutrition Course

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