Blueberries are most often associated with cheesecakes or muffins. Aside from making that cheesecake or muffin extra yummy, blueberries can indeed be named a superfood. This means that blueberries health benefits are practically limitless as they are full of nutrients not found in other fruits.
If there is one thing I’m missing here in the tropics, then it is an abundance of fresh berries. But shortly that may come to an end. Traveling to Europe in a week, and apart from stuffing myself with fresh berries, I’m planning to try and take some shoots and/or seeds back with me to Cambodia.
So if everything works out… I might become the “Berry-lady” of Kampot. Blueberries, raspberries and of course my absolute favorite, strawberries, are the first ones I’m going to try. Feeling very excited about this project as I know how to grow my berries and I’m teaming up with my lovely neighbor, who knows everything about growing in the tropics.
I’ll keep you all posted on the progress of growing berries in the tropics….
But let’s talk blueberries today 😉
What’s Inside Blueberries?
First off, blueberries’ natural color is due to the flavonoid anthocyanin, which also provides the vibrant blue, purple, and dark red hues of red cabbage, cranberries, eggplants, and blueberries. Anthocyanin also contributes to blueberries’ various health benefits.
A cup of blueberries has 84 calories, 3.6 grams dietary fiber, 21 grams carbohydrates, 1.1 grams protein, and not an ounce of cholesterol. A cup of blueberries also gives 36% of the body’s vitamin K requirements, 5% of vitamin B6 needs, and 24% of vitamin C the body needs.
Blueberries are also rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, manganese, copper, zinc, folate, choline, beta-carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin E. Adding to blueberries’ antioxidant capacity are phenolic compounds like kaempferol, chlorogenic acid, myricetin, and quercetin.
So real nutrient powerhouses if you ask me!
The Health Benefits of Eating Blueberries
#1 Lower Blood Pressure
Less salt intake is important to keep blood pressure in check. Naturally, blueberries are sodium-free and also have magnesium, calcium, and potassium. These three nutrients have been found to decrease blood pressure naturally.
ALSO READ: How To Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally
#2 Maintenance of Healthy Bones
The vitamin K, zinc, manganese, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus and iron found in blueberries all work together in building and keeping the body’s bone strength and structure.
#3 Cancer Prevention
Vitamin A, vitamin C, and blueberries’ other phytonutrients are antioxidants that help protect the cells against damage from free radicals. These phytonutrients decrease body inflammation, inhibit tumor growth, and help ward off certain cancers like colon, prostate, pancreatic, endometrial, pharynx, mouth, and lung cancer.
Collagen, which is the support system of the skin, needs vitamin C to promote its ability to improve overall skin texture and slow down aging and formation of wrinkles.
Find more blueberries health benefits below!
#5 Satiety and Weight Loss
Dietary fiber is deemed an important factor in weight management and weight loss by acting as the digestive system’s “bulking agent.” Foods high in fiber reduce appetite and increase satiety, which makes you feel fuller longer and thus lowering overall intake of calories, making it an exceptional fruit to snack on during the day.
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Blueberries’ phytonutrients, vitamin B6, vitamin C, folate, potassium, and fiber content — together with the fruit’s absence of cholesterol — work together to support cardiac health. Fiber helps in lowering blood cholesterol and helps decrease heart disease risk.
FYI: There are restrictions when it comes to eating blueberries. If you are on blood thinners like warfarin (Coumadin), you should be careful when eating foods rich in vitamin K, which is linked to blood clotting.
It would not be wise to eat blueberries alone to reap the benefits, even if it is deemed a superfood. What is important is that the overall eating pattern should be optimized for attaining good health and for disease prevention. It is best to eat various foods than to eat individual foods as they are key to proper health. To experience blueberries health benefits, you can add bits of the fruit into your daily meals.
You can use blueberries as toppings on cereal, yogurt, waffles, or oatmeal. You can even enjoy a daily blueberry smoothie. Blueberries can also be folded into muffins, bread, and other baked goods. Your salads would be made even more interesting with blueberries. Or just eat a handful of them as a healthy, filling snack.
Thanks for reading. I hope this information was helpful. Until next time!
Crazy cat lady, life and food lover, certified biologist, and holistic health coach.