The sweet, succulent and nutritious blueberries are the most popular treat on a warm summer day. Not only these delights taste amazing but they can nourish you from the inside out. Packed with lots of good antioxidants, blueberries shown to protect the body against illnesses related to heart or even cancer being in the same time great to maintain your bone strength, mental health or a healthy blood pressure.
It is known that only one cup of berries contains 24% of the daily dose of Vitamin C, 5 % of daily Vitamin B6 and 36 % of daily Vitamin K.
The same one-cup serving also provide:
- 9 milligrams (mg) calcium
- 41 mg of iron
- 114 mg of potassium
- 9 mg of magnesium
- 18 mg of phosphorus
- 1 mg of sodium
- 24 mg of zinc
- 9 mg of folate
Blueberries also contain copper, beta-carotene, choline, vitamins A and E and a type of flavonoid called anthocyanin that both give blueberries their color and lots of their health benefits because of its antioxidant effect.
But let’s see exactly what can blueberry do for our health:
- Deliver healthy antioxidants
Among all fresh fruits, blueberries have the highest antioxidant content, boosting the immunity system, preventing infections and fighting bacterial diseases.
- Help with digestion
Blueberries are rich in fiber, preventing constipation and promoting digestive regularity for a healthful digestive tract. As a matter of fact, one cup of these tiny treats provides the body 14% of your fiber daily dose, suppressing the appetite in the same time, so you’ll feel satisfaction and fullness while eating them. This is one of the reasons, blueberries are used in weight loss diets, functioning like a "bulking agent" in the digestive system. They increase satiety, reducing this way your overall calorie intake.
- Improve skin health
Rich in Vitamin C, blueberries support collagen production, preventing this way skin damage caused by pollution or UV rays. They also fight the ageing signs, having the ability to smooth wrinkles and enhance overall skin texture, giving it a full, plump, youthful look!
- Promote healthy bones
Being rich in calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, phosphorus and Vitamin K, all important nutrients in maintaining the strength and elasticity of bones and joints, blueberries contribute to healthy, strong bones, lowering the risks of bone fracture, improving calcium absorption and reducing calcium loss.
- Support healthy blood pressure
Blueberries are free of sodium but they do contain calcium, magnesium and potassium. Studies shown that an adequate intake of these minerals can help reduce blood pressure, keeping it at a healthful level and preserving cardiovascular health. So, if you suffer from high blood pressure, consuming blueberries can help you obtain noticeable reductions in blood pressure, can help you reduce the total amount of cholesterol in the blood, protecting the blood vessels and supporting your heart health.
- Boost brain functioning
Consumption of blueberries improve mental health, reducing the risk of cognitive damage because of the antioxidants. They are critical to counteract brain’s ageing process, enhancing short-term memory, motor coordination and improving overall cognitive functioning.
- Managing diabetes
Consuming lots of fiber can regulate the blood glucose levels, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes in adults. Once cup of berries has 3.6 grams of fiber, so consuming three servings per week, you can improve the insulin levels.
- Preventing cancer
Most of blueberries compounds can help cells against damage, from their powerful antioxidants (Vitamin C, Vitamin A and their various phytonutrients) to the folate content that has a tremendous role in DNA synthesis, preventing the formation of cancer cells, because of DNA mutations.
- Facilitates Hair Growth
Blueberries contain proanthocyanidins, known to stimulate the hair growth, accelerating the transition from telogen to anagen, the stages in which the hair follicles produce new cells. Also, they can reverse premature graying that occurs because of B12 deficiency. Ageing makes the hair loose its pigment but since blueberries are a good source of vitamin B12, this condition known as pernicious anemia of which gray hair is a symptom can be reversed.
The antioxidants can also decrease inflammation in the body, inhibiting tumor growth and slowing down lung, mouth, endometrial, pharynx, pancreatic or colon cancer.
Vitamin C, Vitamin A and the various phytonutrients in blueberries function as powerful antioxidants that may help protect cells against damage from disease-linked free radicals.
Other studies have suggested that these tiny treats also decrease the risk of obesity, increasing overall energy and promoting a good immunity system.
Having all these health benefits of blueberries in mind, we might consider increasing their consumption, giving our body the gift of good health.