Have you ever heard of this saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away?” Good.
Here’s something else you should know: “A cup of blueberries a day keeps the heart doctor away.”
Because blueberries are all-year-round fruits, they are available in shops and markets whenever you need them. A few types of blueberries include Lowbush, Northern Highbush, and Southern Highbush.
What are the benefits of eating blueberries?
Blueberries are one of the richest sources of anthocyanin. Anthocyanin is a pigment that gives blueberries its blue ripening color.
A cup of blueberries (150g) has the possibility of reducing your chances of cardiovascular diseases by up to 15 percent.
Studies conclusively show the extent to which blueberries helped in the treatment of coronary artery disease, hypertension, and other illnesses.
But all these numbers and statistics are only the tip of the nutritious blueberry benefits iceberg.
In the rest of this article, we go over more detailed benefits this super fruit offers.
1. Helps protect the heart
One of the many blueberry benefits is that it helps to protect the heart. And it also enables the heart to function well at optimum capacity.
Consider one study research involving a group of people with a high risk of cardiovascular illness.
The researchers found that daily consumption of blueberries helped to increase good cholesterol levels. Participants in the study also experienced a reduction of stiffness in arteries.
Perhaps the most interesting finding was how the blueberry helps the blood flow.
It turns out that this super fruit contains a substance called cyclic guanosine monophosphate. And this substance relaxes muscle cells and improves blood flow had increased.
2. Helps to prevent cancer
One recent research published in the Journal Nutrition Research found that a daily intake of blueberries increased the natural killer T-cells in the body.
These cells are white blood cells that play an active role in the immune system.
They protect the body against viruses and bacteria. The white blood cells identify these invaders and destroy them before they turn cancerous.
Blueberries are also rich in antioxidants. This, in turn, helps to neutralize free radicals that help in the development of cancer cells.
3. Helps fight diabetes
Here’s something surprising about the many blueberry benefits: The American Diabetes Association calls blueberries the ‘Diabetes Superfood’.
This is so because of its nutrient-dense when it comes to kicking away diabetes.
Blueberries help with insulin sensitivity. In 2010, researchers from Louisiana State University published a revealing finding in the Journal of Nutrition.
They reported that the group of people who consumed blueberry smoothies kept their insulin levels in check. And this goes a long way to reduce their chances of diabetes.
4. Helps to improve bone strength
As we age, our bone strength begins to decline. There are several ways to restore or bone strength and one of these ways is by the daily intake of blueberries.
Blueberries contain flavonoids and these are rich in Vitamins A, C and E, and carotenoids.
These work together to reduce bone loss and improve strength through their anti-oxidizing activities.
Also, blueberries contain magnesium, iron, phosphorous, calcium, manganese, zinc, and vitamin K. All these nutrients play critical roles in bone formation and bone strengthening.
5. Helps to protect the skin
As we said earlier, blueberries are packed with loads of vitamins A, C, and E. Apart from their bone-strengthening abilities, blueberries also keep our skins in perfect conditions.
Vitamins A (Retinol, retinal, retinol, and retinoic acid – active forms) and E in blueberries help slow down your aging process, prevent UV damage, helps with skin cell production.
This is by stimulating fibroblasts. These are cells responsible for the development of tissues that keep skin firm and healthy in the deep layers of your skin.
Vitamin C has antioxidizing properties that neutralize free radicals. But that’s not all; they also help to repair dead skin cells and replace them.
6. Helps with sight
Among the many blueberry benefits, is sight improvement. Blueberries contain carotenoids that work on the eye. They are lutein and zeaxanthin.
These substances improve night vision and reduce inflammation in the eye. Vitamin E, also found in blueberries help to maintain general eye health.
Zinc is also found in blueberries. They help to fight off night blindness.
7. Help prevent urinary tract infections in women
This is some piece of good news for the ladies. Why? Blueberries contain powerful antioxidants. I’ll explain.
Some of their roles include preventing infections in the urinary tract.
Also, blueberries help to convert dietary compounds that bind iron in your urine. This prevents infections from getting into the digestive tract.
This bond keeps bacteria from causing a problem in the tract. Take this study for example.
Researchers found that as a result of the intake of blueberries, there were some positive results in the treatments and prevention of UTIs.
You can easily see why blueberries are a superfood. They have some great effects on our bodies. From our physical to our mental health, we should not take for granted the many blueberry benefits.