Blueberries are one of those fruits that not only look good, and taste good, but are good for you.
In the early 20th century, people didn’t think blueberries could be domesticated, but Elizabeth White, the daughter of a New Jersey farmer, was determined to grow a flourishing industry for cultivated blueberries. In 1911, she teamed up with USDA botanist Frederick Coville to identify wild plants with the most desirable properties, crossbreed the bushes and create vibrant new blueberry varieties. Coville and White harvested and sold the first commercial crop of blueberries out of Whitesbog, N.J., in 1916.U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council
That’s a little history but doesn’t explain how the blueberry is beneficial. Like any fruit, vegetable, or herb that’s been around for centuries, blueberries stand out as a fruit that can help with your health. In
Want to know why? Well, here you go.
1. Blueberries are Low in Calories
We all try to watch what we eat to avoid packing on the weight, so any tasty food that’s low in calories is a winner.
“Blueberries are among the most nutrient-dense berries. A 1-cup (148-gram) serving of blueberries contains:
Fiber: 4 grams
Vitamin C: 24% of the RDI
Vitamin K: 36% of the RDI
Manganese: 25% of the RDI
Small amounts of various other nutrients
They are also about 85% water, and an entire cup contains only 84 calories, with 15 grams of carbohydrates.”-healthline.com
2.Wild Blueberries Promote Vascular Health
Just by eating a cup or less of blueberries, you can help your heart. Your heart has to work harder when your vascular system isn’t working correctly, so one way to keep circulating your blood is to choose to eat these blue gems.
3. Cancer Reducer
I don’t know how many times I’ve mentioned how to prevent and or help cure cancer on my blog. I know you can’t prevent every form, but by eating foods that are high in antioxidants, like blueberries, watching your stress level, and drinking pure water, you CAN prevent cancer of many forms.
“Antioxidants work by neutralizing free radicals, atoms that contain an odd number of electrons and are highly unstable. Free radicals can cause the type of cellular damage that is a big factor in cancer development.” -Foodrevolution.org.
4. They are a Good Source of Vitamin K
Vitamin K is a clotting agent that our bodies need to help stem the flow of blood when we suffer from a wound. It also helps with bone metabolism and regulating blood calcium levels.
This wonderful berry helps with insulin sensitivity not only in Type 1 diabetes but
Studies have found that people with type 1 diabetes who consume high-fiber diets have low blood glucose levels, and people with type 2 diabetes who consume the same may have improved blood sugar, lipid, and insulin levels. One cup of blueberries contributes 3.6 grams (g) of fiber.Medical News Today
A large 2013 cohort study published in the BMJ suggested that certain fruits may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes in adults.
Over the course of the study, 6.5 percent of the participants developed diabetes. However, the researchers found that consuming three servings per week of blueberries, grapes, raisins, apples or pears reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes by 7 percent.
6. Rich in Antioxidants.
Did you know, according to certain studies, that blueberries are rated number one among fruit when it comes to antioxidants? Just 100 grams of blueberries can contain up to 9.2 mmol of antioxidants.
7. Boosts and Improves Brain Function
Antioxidants can counteract stress, which helps slow the process of aging in your brain. They also help with areas of the brain associated with intelligence, according to certain studies.
8. Help Fight Urinary Tract Infection
Because of the close relation to cranberries and similar substances labeled anti-adhesives, blueberries can help fight a urinary tract infection. Certain types of bacteria like E. coli bind to the wall of your bladder and anti-adhesives help prevent that.
9. Heart Disease
“The fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and phytonutrient content in blueberries supports heart health. The absence of cholesterol from blueberries is also beneficial to the heart. The fiber content helps to reduce the total amount of cholesterol in the blood and decrease the risk of heart disease.”
Vitamin B6 and folate prevent the buildup of a compound known as homocysteine. Excessive buildup of homocysteine in the body can damage blood vessels and lead to heart problems.Medical News Today
10. Skin Health
Based on the high amount of Vitamin C, which helps to build collagen, this fruit is priceless. Damage to your skin caused by the sun, smoke or other pollutants sometimes leaves you cringing when you look in the mirror. Don’t worry though, just remember to eat a cup of blueberries which will provide you with 24% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C.
The Bottom Line
Blueberries are healthy for you due to a flavonoid called anthocyanin, which is a compound full of antioxidants. Anthocyanin is also the reason this fruit is blue and offers the multiple benefits listed above.
“The word anthocyanin comes from the Greek words anthos (meaning flower) and kyanos (meaning blue). Anthocyanins are natural pigments that run the range from dark red to blue, to indigo, and deep violet depending on the acidity level of the pigment itself. The pH level runs the gamut in anthocyanins, the lower the pH level, the redder the pigments get, but when it increases it goes from red to purple, to blue, to green and then yellow.
When mashed up or cooked, a chemical reaction takes place and the pH level increases, hence why the berries turn deep indigo or violet color as opposed to remaining in their raw, blue state.”-The Spruce Eats
“Wild blueberries are particularly potent. They are smaller than the cultivated versions most often found in your supermarket, with about twice the number of berries per pound. They also have less water and a higher skin-to-pulp ratio. That means the wild versions have a more intense flavor and double the antioxidant content.” -Foodrevolution.org
There are many ways to eat a blueberry. Frozen, fresh, in jelly or jams, blended in smoothies, baked in muffins, waffles I could go on and on.
The point is, start adding blueberries to your meal plan. Not only will you benefit as far as your health is concerned, but you will be able to enjoy something delicious and beautiful.