Everything You Need to Know About Blueberries

Everything You Need to Know About Blueberries

Fresh blueberries are a popular summer treat. They have a sweet flavor, and they are succulent and nutritious.

Blueberries can be eaten freshly picked or incorporated into a variety of recipes. They can also be purchased frozen.  They have been shown to protect against heart disease and cancer and can also help maintain bone strength, mental health, and healthful blood pressure.

Fast facts on blueberries

Blueberries contain a plant compound called anthocyanin. This gives blueberries both their blue color and many of their health benefits.

Blueberries can help heart health, bone strength, skin health, blood pressure, diabetes management, cancer prevention, and mental health.

One cup of blueberries provides 24 percent of a person recommended daily allowance of vitamin C.

People who use blood-thinners, such as warfarin, should speak to their doctor before increasing their intake of blueberries, as the high vitamin K content can affect blood clotting.

Benefits

Blueberries are a nutritious, delicious berry that can be used in a variety of meals.

A type of flavonoid called anthocyanin gives blueberries many of their health benefits. Flavonoids are plant compounds that often have a powerful antioxidant effect.

Anthocyanin is responsible for the blueberry's characteristic blue color. It also contributes to the numerous advantages of blueberries.

Consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables has long been associated with a reduced risk of many lifestyle-related health conditions.

Many studies have suggested that increasing consumption of plant foods such as blueberries decreases the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and overall mortality. Plant foods may also promote hair and skin health, increased energy, and overall lower weight.

Freezing blueberries is often discussed by experts. It is often said that the freezing process can diminish the potency of the blueberry's health benefits. One study showed that over the course of 6 months in storage, the anthocyanin degraded by 59 percent.

However, this is not confirmed, and different sources take different stances on whether freezing blueberries reduces their impact on health. When in doubt, buy fresh, organic blueberries.

Although more research is needed, blueberries are strongly linked to various different elements of healthful living.

1) Maintaining healthy bones

Blueberries contain iron, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and vitamin K. Each of these is a component of bone. Adequate intake of these minerals and vitamins contributes to building and maintaining bone structure and strength.

Iron and zinc fulfil crucial roles in maintaining the strength and elasticity of bones and joints.

Low intakes of vitamin K have been linked to a higher risk of bone fracture. However, adequate vitamin K intake improves calcium absorption and may reduce calcium loss.

 

2) Skin health

Collagen is the support system of the skin. It relies on vitamin C as an essential nutrient, and works to help prevent skin damage caused by the sun, pollution, and smoke. Vitamin C may also improve collagen's ability to smooth wrinkles and enhance overall skin texture.

One cup of blueberries provides 24 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C.

 

3) Lowering blood pressure

Maintaining low sodium levels is essential to keeping blood pressure at a healthful level. Blueberries are free of sodium.

 

They contain potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Some studies have shown that diets low in these minerals are associated with higher blood pressure. Adequate dietary intake of these minerals is thought to help reduce blood pressure.

 

However, other studies have counteracted these findings. For example, a 2015 study of people with metabolic syndrome found that daily blueberry consumption for 6 weeks did not affect blood pressure levels.

 



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