7 Amazing Benefits of Blueberries for Your Health…!
Blueberries are often a popular part of Thanksgiving celebrations in different forms and ways.No one knows for sure how blueberries were associated with the holiday season, but historians say it had something to do with Native Americans, who used blueberries not only as food and medicine, but also to make dyes for clothes and blankets.
As for healthy foods, blueberries are at the top of the list because of their high content of nutrients and antioxidants, they are known as a super food. Not to mention that half a cup of blueberries contains only 25 calories.
Potential health benefits of consumption of cranberries include reducing the risk of urinary tract infections, the prevention of certain cancers, improved immune function, reduced blood pressure and more.This feature of the MNT Knowledge Center is part of a collection of articles on the health benefits of popular foods.
Potential Health Benefits of Blueberries
Consumption of fruits and vegetables of all kinds has been associated for a long time with a lower risk of many adverse health conditions. The following health benefits have been associated with blueberries:
1. Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
Blueberries are well known to help prevent urinary tract infections . Cranberry is perhaps best known for its role in the prevention of UTIs, especially for cases with recurrent infections. The high level of proanthocyanidins (PAC) in blueberries helps to reduce the adhesion of certain bacteria to the urinary tract walls and in turn fight against infections.
A study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology in February 2016 reported that although cranberry capsules have been shown to help eliminate urinary tract infections , cranberry juice is much less effective.
The reason for this is that an extremely large concentration of cranberry is needed to prevent bacterial adhesion. This amount of concentration is not found in the juices we drink.Cranberry juice, especially juice concentrates found in grocery stores, will not treat a UTI or bladder infection. It can offer more hydration and possibly wash the bacteria out of your body more effectively, but the active ingredient in blueberry takes a long time to reach your bladder.
2. Cardiovascular Disease
Some evidence suggests that polyphenols in blueberries may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) by preventing platelet aggregation and reduce blood pressure through anti – inflammatory mechanisms.
Research has shown that cranberries are beneficial to retard tumor progression and have shown positive effects against prostate, liver, breast, ovary and colon .
4. Dental Health
The same proanthocyanidins in cranberries help prevent urinary tract infections also may benefit oral health by preventing bacteria to teeth join , according to researchers at the Center of Oral Biology and Department of Dentistry at Eastman Medical Center Of the University of Rochester. Blueberries can also be beneficial in preventing gum disease.
Nutritional Profile of Blueberries :
Blueberries are a good source of vitamin C, fiber and vitamin E.1
1. Vitamin C
It is a powerful natural antioxidant able to block some of the damage caused by free radicals and increase the body’s resistance against infectious agents, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. The sailors had a blueberry time aboard their ships to prevent scurvy due to its high content of vitamin C.
2. The fiber
Blueberries contain vitamin C, fiber and vitamin E. According to the Department of Internal Medicine and Nutritional Sciences Program at the University of Kentucky, high fiber intakes are associated with significantly lower risk for developing coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension , diabetes , obesity and certain gastrointestinal diseases.
Then the increased fiber intake has also been shown that low blood pressure and cholesterol levels , improves insulin sensitivity and improves weight loss for the obese.
3. Vitamin E
A fat-soluble antioxidant involved in immune function that can help prevent or delay chronic diseases associated
with free radicals.Blueberries also contain vitamin K, manganese and a variety of phyto-nutrients, natural plant chemicals that help protect the body from harmful free radicals and provide anti – inflammatory and cancer – preventing properties.
How to incorporate more blueberries into your diet ?
Blueberries are native to North America and are grown on approximately 40,000 acres in the northern United States and Canada. Fresh blueberries are harvested in September and October. They can be refrigerated for up to two months before use and can also be frozen for later use. Choose blueberries that are firm to the touch and without wrinkles.
Blueberries can also be enjoyed dry or in a can , but be careful with added sugars. Check the ingredient label and make sure the product contains only blueberries. If you choose to drink cranberry juice, it is often mixed with other fruits and added sweeteners. Look for the juice that has blueberries as the first ingredient.
While cranberry sauce is an important part of any Thanksgiving meal, there are many other ways in which this fruit can be incorporated into your diet throughout the year.
More tips for enjoying blueberries :
- Include a small handful of frozen blueberries in a fruit smoothie.
- Add the dried cranberries to your oatmeal or whole grain cereal.
- Mix the dried or fresh blueberries in your favorite cupcakes or cookie recipe.