Top Ten Blueberry Health Benefits: Nutrition Facts About Blueberries
Health Benefits of Blueberries: Nutrition and Facts
Blueberries have incredible nutrition and health benefits. From their rich color to their amazing qualities, blueberries can provide you with stronger and healthier cardiovascular health, brighter vision and healthy brain function. Plus, a trimmer waistline. Take a look at the ten impressive reasons below for the facts as to why you should include this powerful berry in your daily diet.
Blueberries and Belly-Fat
Blueberries are proven to whittle away belly-fat. Yay! Recent studies have found that a diet of blueberries reduced abdominal fat in rats. Rats? Yes, I know you are not a rat but most studies start out with these pesky little creatures. Anyway, the rats ended up with reduced liver mass, a lower body weight and a lower total fat mass. Why is a smaller liver mass important? Because an enlarged liver has been linked to insulin resistance, obesity and is a flag for diabetes. Also, aside from the reduction of fat loss the study also showed lower triglycerides and bad cholesterol after consuming blueberries. Wait! There is more! Another benefit that was found was improved glucose and insulin levels. Basically, all of these results combined showed positive outcomes in combatting metabolic syndrome. So what does this mean? Blueberries may help reduce your belly-fat, may improve your insulin and glucose levels and they may help promote a healthy metabolism. Go blue!
Blueberries are Brain Boosters
Isn't it time to take care of the ol' noggin? More than a couple studies show blueberries improve brain function and may combat the start and/or progression of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Do I hear a yay for gray? Gray matter needs nutritional love too and blueberries are a healthy addition for boosting your brain function. The nutrients in blueberries include selenium, potassium, copper, zinc, manganese, anthocyanin, vitamins A, C, E and B complex. That is one busy little berry! That isn't even all the nutritional goodness found within a blueberry, but with studies showing damaged brain cells are healed and brain functions are improved, what more can you ask for? Ask for more blueberries!
Blueberries are Heart Healthy
Take heart and have a blueberry! Heart disease is no laughing matter. Take care of your ticker for years to come with a daily dose of blueberries. Blueberries are high in fiber and antioxidants. I'm sure by now you have heard that a fiber rich diet reaps many benefits and antioxidants punch away at cancer cells. Well, they also help dissolve the bad cholesterol that is flowing in your blood. A reduction of bad cholesterol is good for you, but why? Reduced cholesterol levels will improve your chances of avoiding the development of arteriosclerosis. What is arteriosclerosis you ask? Plaque build up in your arteries. This build up narrows the blood flow and hardens the arteries. Not good! Aside from combatting bad cholesterol, the nutrients in blueberries help promote healthy cardiac muscle tissue. Not a bad reason to toss in a few blueberries in your morning cereal or oatmeal.
"Daily Blueberry Consumption Improves Blood Pressure and Arterial Stiffness in Postmenopausal Women with Pre-and Stage 1-Hypertension"— Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (2015)
Blueberries are Cancer Fighters
Muscle up against cancer with a daily cup of blueberries. These babies sure pack a punch of cancer blasting antioxidants. Blueberries have been found to be especially helpful in combatting colon, liver and ovarian cancer.
Vitamins C, copper and phenolic compounds make-up the antioxidant battle team that help inhibit cancer cells from progressing. Some studies even show that the blueberries contain super antioxidants, which may promote death of cancer cells. Now that's impressive!
Also, anthocyanins are the blue pigment found in blueberries. Anthocyanin are a rich source of antioxidants. An interesting fact, the anthocyanins and bioflavinoids in blueberries are more powerful than those found in red wine. Plus, blueberries have less calories than wine. So instead of grabbing for a glass of red you might want to consider a cup of blueberries.
Calories in Blueberries
Blueberries are Low in Calories
- One cup of nutritious blueberries has 85 calories!
- Blueberries are loaded with vitamin C and fiber.
- Just one cup of blueberries will provide you with almost 25% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C.
Use blueberries in granolas, cereals or smoothies for a more nutritious low calorie, fiber filled meal.
Blueberry Nutrition Facts
Blueberries Boost your Immunity
Obviously blueberries are loaded with antioxidants, but did you know they are comprised of properties that are antibacterial and antiviral? Another fact, blueberries have the highest levels of antioxidants than any other fruit. Blueberries are rich in vitamins C, A, E and B complex. They also contain iron, selenium, copper and zinc. Even the blue shade of blueberries provides us with bioflavenoid and antioxidant rich anthocyanin. All of these wonderful elements will boost your immunity and help keep colds, infections and cancer causing free-radicals at bay.
Blueberries Keep Your Eyes Healthy
Keep your eye on the prize and enjoy healthy vision. Age related vision problems like cataracts, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy can be prevented with regular servings of fruit such as blueberries. The various vitamins, minerals and lutein found in blueberries are known to help maintain ocular health. Also, blueberries contain anthocyanosides, which reduce vision loss, eye strain and promote a healthy retina.
Blueberries Have Fiber!
Fiber should be an important part of your diet. Why not add blueberries during your day and keep things moving? Plus, fiber also helps you feel satisfied for longer periods of time between meals.
One cup of blueberries will provide you with 4 grams of fiber. That is equivalent to just about 15% the daily recommended serving of fiber. Not bad!
Blueberries Have a Low Glycemic Index
Keep your insulin in check and control your sugar levels with blueberries.
Low glycemic levels in foods mean that energy will be released for an extended period of time. You will feel fuller longer and won't feel the crash you feel with high gycemic foods. Basically, high glycemic foods are high in sugar and low in fiber.
Know your glycemic levels. Levels are identified by GI (Glycemic Index)
- Low: 55 or less
- Medium: 56 - 69
- High: 70 or above
The GI of blueberries is low with a value of 53.
Blueberries: Books, Studies and Findings
What is reason number ten to eat blueberries? Proof. Blueberries have been proven to be a healthy superfood. Take a look at the following books, studies and findings of this wonderful little berry.
Feed Your Brain, Lose Your Belly by, Larry McClearyThe New Glucose Revolution Low GI Guide to Diabetes: The Only Authoritative Guide to Managing Diabetes Using the Glycemic Index by, Jennie Brand-Miller
Short-term blueberry-enriched diet prevents and reverses object recognition memory loss in aging rats,David Malin, May 2010:These results suggest that a considerable degree of age-related object memory decline can be prevented and reversed by brief maintenance on blueberry diets.
Dietary intakes of berries and flavonoids in relation to cognitive decline, Elizabeth E. Devore ScD, Jae Hee Kang ScD, Monique M. B. Breteler MD, PhD, Francine Grodstein ScD, April 2012: Greater intakes of blueberries and strawberries were associated with slower rates of cognitive decline.
Strawberries, Blueberries, and Cranberries in the Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Perspectives, Arpita Basu and Timothy J. Lyons, November 2011: ...blueberries lowering systolic and diastolic blood pressure and lipid oxidation and improving insulin resistance...
Prospecting Antioxidant Capacities and Health-Enhancing Phytonutrient Contents of Southern Highbush Blueberry Wine Compared to Grape Wines and Fruit Liquors,Wade Yang, Senem Guner, Cheryl Rock, Akshay Anugu, Charles Sims, Liwei Gu, 2012: Results show that blueberry wines could be more potent than most red, Rose and white wines in health enhancement and disease prevention from the antioxidant perspective.
Dietary supplementation with blueberry extract improves survival of transplanted dopamine neurons, 2006: The exact mechanisms contributing to poor neuronal survival in cell transplantation paradigms for Parkinson's disease (PD) are unknown. Supplementation with dietary blueberry extract (BBE) prevents oxidative stress-associated impairment of striatal motor function during aging and restores lost motor function in aged rats.
© 2012 Marisa Hammond Olivares