When you want a quick and healthy snack, there is little better than fresh blueberries. These small, richly colored berries are sweet and juicy and they are also surprisingly good for you – find out more about the health benefits of blueberries right here.
All About the Health Benefits of Blueberries
One of the most important compounds in blueberries that contributes to their nutritional power is a type of flavonoid. These flavonoids are called anthocyanins and they are also present in other berries like cranberries, and in other richly-colored foods like eggplants and red cabbage. In fact, this compound is the reason these foods are so rich in blue and purple color. And they not only affect the color, but they make blueberries and other fruits healthy, too.
Eating any kind of fruits and vegetables on a regular basis has been linked to better health, but blueberries are particularly beneficial for a number of reasons. The health benefits of blueberries include decreasing the risk of heart disease, helping to protect against diabetes, lowering weight, and increasing energy. These other specific health benefits are also linked to this powerful little fruit.
1) Blueberries for Better Bones
Did you know that blueberries could actually help you build healthier, stronger bones? Blueberries are rich in calcium and phosphorous, as well as iron, manganese, zinc, and magnesium. All these elements combine to increase bone health and strength. In particular, the iron and zinc in blueberries keeps joints and bones strong and flexible. Vitamin K in blueberries is shown to improve the rate at which calcium is absorbed, which is better for your bones.
2) Blueberries Can Help You Lose Weight
Blueberries are low in calories but they are high in fiber which helps you feel full – and which will increase feelings of satisfaction so you are not tempted to overeat. They are low-glycemic foods which means that they stay in the digestive system for a longer amount of time and they help to control blood sugar and appetite.
3) Blueberries May Help You Avoid Cancer
Blueberries contain high levels of antioxidants as well as vitamins that have been shown to help protect against cell damage, which can result in cancer. Certain studies have shown the antioxidants in blueberries help to slow down the growth of tumors, and prevent or slow the growth of certain types of cancer including lung cancer and mouth cancer. In addition, blueberries are a powerful source of folate, which can help in the repair of DNA.
4) Can Blueberries Stop the Signs of Aging?
While it may not be possible to stop the aging process by eating blueberries, the berries could help to reverse and protect against some of the damage that is frequently caused by free radicals. This is, as explained above, down to the antioxidants in the fruit. In blueberries, proanthocyanidins help to turn back the ravages of inflammation, which is at the heart of so many diseases like cancer and heart disease. Eat blueberries and you may not look younger, but your body will feel younger.
5) Eat Blueberries for a Brain Boost
The gallic acid, which is a type of phenol, in blueberries helps to protect the cells in the brain from stress and degeneration. This should help protect against diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, although there is no specific link between blueberries and Alzheimer’s disease. It has been shown that this gallic acid can increase focus and improve concentration.
6) Blueberries to Lower Blood Pressure
Eating blueberries is a good way to help keep your blood pressure low. They contain calcium, magnesium and potassium, and they do not contain sodium, which are all important points when it comes to protecting the heart and keeping blood pressure at a safe level.
It may not look like it since they are so small and juicy, but blueberries contain a lot of fiber. Fiber is essential for promoting a healthy digestive tract and you can get better bowel health simply by snacking on blueberries. Blueberries may even have the potential to be prebiotics and help you to enjoy better gut health.
8) Blueberries for Heart Health
Some studies show that blueberries can decrease your risk of suffering a heart attack. And as well as lowering blood pressure, as described above, blueberries can also lower LDL cholesterol, which is another powerful act for your heart.
9) Diabetes Help with Blueberries
The fiber in blueberries is ideal for improving blood sugar control and for lowering blood glucose levels. And studies have shown that eating berries like blueberries can also help to lower the risk of suffering from diabetes. Eating three or more servings of blueberries a week can lower your risk of diabetes by 7 percent – this is one of the best health benefits of blueberries, and just one of the many reasons why you should add blueberries to your diet.