Who doesn’t love the taste of a good blueberry? There are so many ways to eat them and serve them, and by far my favorite is to get the blueberry pancakes whenever at the Pancake Pantry anytime I go to visit friends in Nashville.
No matter which way you consume them – all by themselves, baked into a pie, in a blueberry supplement, or otherwise – you can’t deny the multitude of health benefits that they provide. They have to be towards the top of the list of the healthiest fruits (more detail here) in the world.
In What Ways Are Blueberries Healthy?
Low in Calories, High in Nutrients
What’s one thing you want to do when you are trying to lose weight? Eat fewer calories! What’s another step toward weight loss? Getting your vitamins and minerals! Blueberries accomplish both of these goals in one delicious treat. As they are made up of about 85% water, they are relatively low in calories (around 80 calories per serving) and are chock full of fiber, vitamins C and K, as well as manganese.
Blueberries are the absolute granddaddy when it comes to antioxidant superfoods. You’ve probably seen this touted by many health nuts (like me!), and they ain’t lying. They are believed to contain one of the highest levels of antioxidants of any fruit or vegetable. This is because of the high level of flavonoids in them. These antioxidants help to fight free radicals and toxins in the body that make you age prematurely, particularly showing itself in your skin.
There are two types of cholesterol: LDL (the bad cholesterol) and HDL (the good cholesterol). When LDL is oxidated, it can clog up the arteries and lead to heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Blueberries have the ability to fight this oxidation to ward off these vascular issues.
Lower Blood Pressure
Your risk of having a heart attack is closely related to having high blood pressure. Many studies have been performed on the relationship of blueberries and blood pressure. In one particular study, participants consumed 2 ounces of blueberries per day for an 8-week period and noted a decrease in their blood pressure by an average of 5%.
Prevent Heart Disease
As made obvious by the two previously mentioned benefits, fighting bad cholesterol and lowering your blood pressure, blueberries are a strong fighter against the risk factors that contribute to the likelihood of heart disease.
Fight DNA Damage
Part of the reason we age, and visibly manifest the signs of aging, is because of DNA damage. This DNA damage is also a key contributor to the development of cancer. The antioxidant properties of blueberries fight against free radicals that damage our DNA. One particular study has shown a minimization of oxidative DNA damage by up to 20% over a 4-week period.
Enhanced Brain Function
These berries can stimulate the neurons and neurotransmitters leading to your brain. This boosts cell signaling and communication between the different parts of your brain, as well as from your brain to the rest of your body. This increased neural activity can lead to a sharper mind, more mental clarity, and an improved memory.