Big News About Blueberries!
5 Proven Health Benefits of Blueberries
Blueberries are sweet, nutritious, very popular and often labeled as a superfood. Blueberries are low in calories and good for your health; packed with vitamins and nutrients and a natural antioxidant for added protection against foreign agents and illness.
Here are 5 proven health benefits of blueberries:
1. Blueberries are low in calories and high in nutrients
Blueberries are from the blueberry bush, a flower shrub that produces berries with a bluish, purple color. They are high in manganese, vitamin A, potassium, iron, silicon and an excellent source of fiber. The high amounts of manganese make blueberries very good for preventing many disorders.
2. Blueberries are a natural antioxidant food due to their deep purple color
Blueberries have the highest antioxidant capacity of all the popular fruits and vegetables. The main antioxidant compounds in blueberries belong to a family of polyphenols antioxidants called flavonoids. Flavonoids appear to be the berries’ antioxidant with the greatest impact. Antioxidants protect the body from free radicals, unstable molecules that can damage your cell and contribute to the forming of diseases like cancer. These molecules also result in aging.
3. Blueberries Reduce DNA Damage, Which May Help Protect Against Aging and Cancer
Due to oxidative stress, DNA damage is an unavoidable part of life. It is said to occur tens of thousands of times per day in every cell in your body. DNA damage is part of the reason we grow older. It also plays an important role in the development of some diseases like diabetes and cancer. Because blueberries are high in antioxidants, they can neutralize some of the free radicals that damage your DNA. In one study, 168 people drank 34 ounces (1 liter) of a mixed blueberry and apple juice daily. After four weeks, oxidative DNA damage due to free radicals was reduced by 20%. These findings agree with smaller studies that use either fresh or powdered blueberries (13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source, United States Department of Agriculture Research Service).
4. Anthocyanins in Blueberries Have Anti-Diabetes Effects
Blueberries provide moderate amounts of natural sugar compared to other fruits. One cup (148 grams) holds 15 grams of sugar, which is equivalent to a small apple or large orange. However, the bioactive compounds in blueberries outweigh any negative impact of the sugar when it comes to blood sugar control. Research suggests that anthocyanins in blueberries have beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism. These anti-diabetes effects occur with both blueberry juice and extract that doesn't have added sugar. Blueberries show major improvements in insulin sensitivity. Improved insulin sensitivity should lower the risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
5. Blueberries Can Help Maintain Brain Function and Improve Memory
Oxidative stress can accelerate your brain's aging process, negatively affecting brain function. According to animal studies, the antioxidants in blueberries may affect areas of your brain that are essential for intelligence. They appear to benefit aging neurons, leading to improvements in cell signaling. Human studies have also yielded promising results. In one of these studies, nine older adults with mild cognitive impairment consumed blueberry juice every day. After 12 weeks, they experienced improvements in several markers of brain function (25Trusted Source, United States Department of Agriculture Research Service). A six-year study in over 16,000 older individuals found that blueberries and strawberries were linked to delays in mental aging by up to 2.5 years.
Who knew eating blueberries could do so much on the inside? Well now you do so be sure to include this superfood on your grocery list next trip. Go blueberries!
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