Blueberries are native to North America. These are flowering plants with indigo-colored, sweet, succulent berries. these are one of the most popular summer dishes because of their yummy taste and numerous health benefits!
There are two species of blueberries-
- Smaller species are known as lowbush blueberries
- Larger species are known as highbush blueberries
Blueberries are richest in antioxidants among all fruits, vegetables. they contain anthocyanin, polyphenols. they are also rich in vitamin C, Vitamin K, vitamin A, potassium, phosphorus, calcium.
Blueberries help to decrease the cancer risks, obesity, heart diseases, diabetes, aging, digestive problems, eye diseases, diabetes and helps to improve mental health, skin health and much more.
Nutritional profile (per 100g)
- Energy 240KJ
- Carbohydrates 14.49g
- Fiber 2.4g
- Fats 0.33g
- Protein 0.74g
- Beta carotene 32 μg
- Vitamin A 54IU
- Niacin 0.418mg
- Pantothenic acid 0.214mg
- Folate 6μg
- Vitamin C 9.7mg
- Vitamin E 0.5mg
- Vitamin K 19.3μg
- Calcium 6mg
- Iron 0.28mg
- Magnesium 6mg
- Manganese 0.336mg
- Phosphorus 12mg
- Potassium 77mg
- Sodium 1mg
- Zinc 0.165mg
- Water 84g
1. Combats aging signs
Free radicals damage the skin and promote signs of aging like wrinkles, cataracts, osteoporosis, hair loss and pigmentation. Blueberries have a high concentration of antioxidants which make them perfect for controlling the signs of aging. This is mainly due to the presence of Anthocyanin, which controls the oxidation of free radicals and neutralizes their further damage to the skin. it is also responsible for the blue color of berries. The abundance of vitamin-C is also a big factor for reducing aging signs.
2. Treats urinary tract infections
In UTIs, the inner wall linings of urinary tract get affected by bacterial colonies. this infection results in inflammation and causes a burning sensation during the passage of urine and some other complications also. For treating this condition, blueberries can be beneficial. they contain a compound formed of large, polymer-like molecules which restrict the growth of bacteria. It also has some antibiotic properties . These molecules remove these bacteria off the urinary tract walls , thus preventing the infection. as per the researchers, only cranberries and blueberries contain this compound.
3. Improves vision
Blueberries are packed with antioxidants (carotenoids, flavonoids), vitamin C, vitamin A , zinc, and phosphorus; which all are very beneficial for maintaining eye health. blueberries help to prevent eye problems like macular degeneration, dryness, cataracts and much more which are related due to damage by free radicals. these radicals degenerate retina of the eye, which leads to blindness. eating blueberries regularly can help you get better vision and away from these problems.
4. Maintains a healthy brain
The antioxidants, vitamins( A,C,E), minerals (zinc, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium) present in blueberries help to prevent the damage of neural cells. these essential nutrients protect the central nervous system. These also help to heal the damaged nerve cells, making brain sharp and also cure brain disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.
5. Aids in digestion
Fiber, vitamins, copper, sodium helps to improve digestion. These stimulate digestive juices and help food move smoothly through the gastrointestinal tract and get digested properly.
6. Keeps away from cancer
In addition to antioxidants there are certain compounds that add on to destroy these cancerous cells. Blue Berries contain compounds like Pterostilbene ( works excellent for colon and liver cancer) and Ellagic Acid which, like Anthocyanin and other antioxidants( vitamin c, copper) destroy the tumor-causing cells and help prevent cancer risks.
7. Keeps Heart Healthy
Anthocyanin, in blueberries keeps cholesterol levels in the blood under control. Cholesterol possesses the risk of getting clogged in the blood vessels which obstructs the blood flow, leading to heart attacks or stroke. Blueberries act by digesting the cholesterol, maintaining a proper blood lipid profile.
8. Builds immunity
Blueberries, are rich in antioxidants, vitamins that wards off free radicals. They also contain copper (a very effective immune builder and also has anti-bacterial properties), zinc, iron which all add in strong immune.
Iron raises hemoglobin and oxygen concentration in blood, which promotes a strong immune system. This further prevents infections such as cold, coughs, smallpox and other communicable diseases thus helps in building immunity against diseases.
9. Helps to lose weight
Blueberries are low in calories and high in fiber content. The fiber gets dissolved in water and gives a feeling of full for a long time, thus controlling appetite.
10. Helps in Building Strong and healthier bones
Blueberries in addition to strong immune also help in building up strong bones. This is because of the high content of calcium, vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese. These minerals help strengthen the bones, reducing the risk of breakage or osteoporosis.
11. Promotes new hair growth
Blueberries contain chemicals called Proanthocyanidins, which activate the hair follicle cells which begins to form a new hair strand, thus promoting hair growth.
12. Treats anemic conditions
Blueberries are a rich in folate and iron and are especially useful in controlling anemia. It helps to promote the production of new red blood cells. Therefore, keeps away from health problems like fatigue, irritability, etc. It is also advised to pregnant women to control the fetal growth disorders.
13. Maintains blood pressure
Blueberries have been proved to be beneficial for cardiovascular health. The anthocyanin pigment in them acts as a vasodilator. It controls the raise in blood pressure by dilating the major arteries of the body.
Blueberries are the mild anti-depressants. They boost the serotonin levels in the body which are related to overcoming depression.
15. Helps in managing diabetes
The high amount of dietary fiber keeps the digestion and metabolism of the body well maintained. These berries help to control type 2 diabetes. They are not high in sugar content, the reason they are recommended for diabetic patients.
Tips to incorporate blueberries into your diet
There are plenty of recipes by which you can add your blueberries in your diet. Eat along with salads, or with your lunch or breakfast. You can also add them in your cookies, sandwiches or any food item you prepare. Here are some basic things, if you don’t want to prepare any recipe then just try these simple things and enjoy this superfood
- You can eat a handful of berries early morning. You can keep them in refrigerator overnight to enjoy chilled taste
- You can also try blueberries smoothie. Blend some blueberries with a little amount of yogurt, milk, lime zest adding some ice cubes. Serve chilled.
- You can also try dessert. Heat the frozen berries and add little amount of sugar with a touch of brandy(optional) and with a touch of yogurt or cream. Enjoy the family meal.
- You can also try blueberry coconut pie. You just need to put berries over your prepared pie. It adds to its looks as well as taste, making a healthy pie.
- Stick to normal food amounts if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Eating blueberries in excess amount can harm your health.
- Blueberry may lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Be careful and monitor you sugar levels in case of diabetes. Consult your doctor before eating them.
- Blueberries can interfere with your blood sugar levels and also might affect blood glucose levels. It is better to stop eating blueberries for 2 weeks or more of your surgery.
Always take advice from your doctor before eating anything which you are not sure about. You may be allergic to that or if under any medications then you should never take a risk. Eat in limited amount and enjoy the health benefits.