Blueberries are incredibly healthy and nutritious! The fact that they are sweet, colourful and can be enjoyed both fresh and frozen is just a tasty bonus, yum!
Good to know fact: blueberries can be frozen for up to 1 year! That ‘s right… a whole 12 months….! So start freezing and don’t consume them all at once – if you can 😛
10 health benefits of blueberries that are supported by research.
Low in calories but high in nutrients
They are amongst the most nutrient dense berries and are power packed with fibre, vitamin C, vitamin K and Manganese. They are also about 85% water, and an entire cup only contains 84 calories with 15g of Carbohydrates.
King of Antioxidant Foods
Antioxidants are so so important… why you may ask? Because they protect our bodies from damage caused by free radicals, unstable molecules that can damage cellular structures and contribute to ageing and diseases like cancer. Blueberries are believed to contain the highest antioxidant capacity of ALL commonly consumed fruit and vegetables.
Reduces DNA damage, which may help protect against ageing and cancer
Oxidative DNA damage is part of everyday life. DNA damage is part of the reason we grow older, and it also plays an important role in the development of diseases. Because blueberries are hight in antioxidants, they can help neutralise some of the free radicals that cause damage to our DNA. It seems that a cup of blueberries a day might just keep the doctor away!
Protects cholesterol in the blood from becoming damaged
Oxidative damage is not limited to our cells and DNA. It is also problematic when our circulating LDL lipoproteins (the bad cholesterol) are oxidised. Fortunately for us the antioxidants in blueberries are strongly linked to reduced levels of lipoproteins, a crucial step in the pathway towards avoiding heart disease.
May lower blood pressure
Blueberries appear to have significant benefits for people with high blood pressure. Regular blueberry intake has been shown to lower blood pressure in numerous studies.
May help prevent heart disease
Again, eating blueberries may lower blood pressure and oxidized LDL. There is some evidence that regular blueberry consumption can help prevent heart attacks.
Helps maintain brain function and improve memory
Oxidative stress can accelerate the brain’s ageing process, having negative effects on brain function. According to studies the antioxidants in blueberries tend to accumulate in areas of the brain that are essential for intelligence. They appear to directly interact with ageing neurons, leading to improvements in cell signaling. The bottom line is that the antioxidants in blueberries seem to have benefits for the brain, helping to improve brain function and delaying the age-related decline.
Anthocyanin in Blueberries can have anti-diabetic effects
Blueberries are moderate in sugar compared to other fruit. The bioactive compounds in blueberries appear to outweigh any negative impact of the sugar when it comes to blood sugar control. Several studies have shown that blueberries have anti-diabetic effects, helping to improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels.
May help fight urinary tract infections
Urinary tract infections are a common problem in women. It is well known that cranberry juice can help prevent these kind of infections. Blueberries are related to cranberries and contain many of the same active substances as cranberry juice, and these substances can prevent certain bacteria from binding to the wall of the urinary bladder.
May help reduce muscle damage after strenuous exercise
Strenuous exercise can lead to muscle soreness and fatigue. This is driven, in part, by local inflammation and oxidative stress in the muscle tissue. Blueberry supplementation may reduce the damage that occurs at the molecular level, minimising soreness and reduction in muscle performance.
So do not let the size of these little powerhouses fool you!