Blueberries are often touted as one of the healthiest fruits you can eat, and there's plenty of science to back that up. Blueberries contain antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals that can help reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, and other health issues. Learn about the proven health benefits of blueberries here!
1. Boost Immunity
A single cup of blueberries provides 70% more antioxidants than a serving of strawberries. Antioxidants help increase your immune system by preventing free radicals from forming and attacking healthy cells, ultimately decreasing your risk for infections. In addition to being rich in antioxidants, blueberries are also filled with vitamin C, which helps support immunity because it boosts white blood cell activity and antibody production. It's best to eat fresh berries in season when they're most abundant and affordable; however frozen varieties can be just as nutritious. No matter how you choose to eat them, blueberries offer protection against common ailments such as colds and flus by strengthening your immune system year-round.
2. Lower Risk of Cancer
Studies have shown that blueberries can reduce inflammation, which is one of cancer's biggest causes. This means that if you're trying to lower your risk for developing certain types of cancer, including breast cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer, then eating more blueberries could help. In fact, in vitro tests have shown that a particular compound in blueberries called pterostilbene has anti-inflammatory properties as potent as aspirin! By reducing inflammation in your body, you'll also be lowering your risk for heart disease and other chronic diseases. So next time you're at the grocery store or farmer's market, consider picking up some fresh blueberries or mango leaves — they really are worth it!
3. Speed Up Weight Loss
Not only are blueberries low in calories, but they’re also jam-packed with disease-fighting nutrients. Researchers have linked foods like blueberries to lower cholesterol levels and improved insulin sensitivity—which can help you shed pounds faster. And when it comes to weight loss, most people don’t think about how essential vitamins and minerals can impact their progress. However, research suggests that certain vitamins—particularly vitamin C and E—may help improve athletic performance while promoting weight loss. So if you struggle with keeping pounds off or need a little extra boost to hit your goals, add these delicious fruits to your diet plan today!
4. Reduce The Risk of Alzheimer's
Studies have shown that blueberry consumption can reduce oxidation, which is a chemical process that damages cells and impacts memory and cognitive function. This effect might be related to anthocyanins, antioxidant pigments found in berries like blueberries that appear to slow aging. In one study, older adults who drank a drink containing anthocyanins for 12 weeks showed improved short-term memory. Another study found that drinking juice with similar amounts of antioxidants for three months improved cognitive functioning in older adults by an average of 15% compared to those who drank juice without added antioxidants.
5. Fight Inflammation
Blueberries are high in flavonoids, which help fight inflammation. Inflammation is a major factor in numerous diseases including cancer, arthritis and cardiovascular disease. Research suggests that flavonoids like those found in blueberries may help reduce inflammatory responses by as much as 30 percent. Reducing inflammation can lead to improved overall health and better recovery from exercise or injury. If you want to improve your health but don’t want to take medication, eating a handful of blueberries every day might be an easy way to do it.
6. Prevent Diabetes and High Blood Pressure
Eating blueberries and costus igneus can help you maintain a healthy weight, which is key to preventing obesity-related health problems like diabetes and high blood pressure. Diets that are high in fiber have also been shown to reduce cholesterol levels and help prevent heart disease. The antioxidants found in blueberries help slow aging, which means these tiny fruits may also delay age-related conditions such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Finally, eating blueberries is an easy way to consume more nutrients like vitamin C (eating watermelon too!), manganese, magnesium and zinc—nutrients that are essential for proper immune function. A lack of immune system regulation has been linked to numerous health conditions including allergies, arthritis and asthma.
7. Enhance Eye Health
Research suggests that blueberries can help improve vision and prevent or slow age-related macular degeneration, a common cause of blindness in older adults. Improve Brain Function: Even if you don’t have senior moments, blueberries can still benefit your brain health by helping maintain memory function and even protecting against Alzheimer’s disease. Prevent Diabetes: Studies have shown that antioxidants from berries help protect against insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, making them an important fruit for weight loss. Lower Risk of Heart Disease: The combination of fiber, vitamin C and phytonutrients like anthocyanins lower heart disease risk factors like total cholesterol and blood pressure.
8. Improve Circulation
Blueberries are low in calories and packed with nutrition, making them a great choice for healthy snackers. Their high antioxidant count keeps your body running smoothly, boosting circulation in areas like your brain and heart. Plus, blueberry skins contain cyanidin-3-glucoside and cyanidin-3-rutinoside—two natural compounds that slow capillary deterioration (AKA age spots). Pile on blueberries at breakfast, lunch or dinner to help protect your capillaries from cell damage!
9. Strengthen Bones
Blueberries are a good source of manganese, a trace mineral that plays an important role in bone health. The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends getting 1,500 milligrams per day (mg/day) to increase bone density and decrease your risk for fractures. Blueberries provide 31 percent of your daily manganese needs and roughly 3 percent of your daily calcium needs when eaten as part of a healthy diet. Calcium helps improve muscle function in bones and it also encourages bone cells to absorb more manganese. This means you'll get both minerals at once! Manganese is essential for many processes in our bodies. For example, it is involved in energy production, bone formation and repair and blood sugar regulation.
10. Prevent Macular Degeneration
Like other berries, blueberries are a good source of antioxidant anthocyanins, which protect against cellular damage that can lead to a number of age-related diseases. Macular degeneration is a type of retinal disease common in older adults that results in impaired central vision. Many people believe that increasing their intake of anthocyanins can help them protect themselves from macular degeneration and other eye conditions. One study involving more than 14,000 women found an association between higher intakes of foods rich in anthocyanins and lower risks for developing cataracts and macular degeneration (Nyland et al., 2006).
How Many Calories in Blueberries?
Blueberries are a delicious and healthy fruit, but how many calories do they have? The answer may surprise you. A small blueberry muffin packs just over 200 calories, and those calories come from both fat and sugar. While there’s nothing wrong with indulging in a sweet treat every now and then, it’s best to keep your calorie intake moderate when enjoying treats like these. Over-indulging in sugary treats can lead to weight gain, which can lead to health problems like diabetes or heart disease down the road. Sticking to whole fruits can be a good way to reduce your overall calorie intake while still getting all of your favorite nutrients!
How Many Carbs in Blueberries?
Contrary to popular belief, blueberries are not low in carbs; they contain about 31 grams per cup. Of those 31 grams, about 14 come from sugar and another 5 from dietary fiber. If you’re watching your carbohydrate intake, it’s best to limit your intake of blueberries since they contain so much sugar. But if you can fit them into your diet and enjoy them while keeping track of how many carbohydrates you're consuming, then a handful (or two) will do your body good. The carbs in blueberries are mainly present in their skin and their seeds; eat more berries than leaves when preparing or eating them to benefit most from their vitamin and mineral content without consuming too many carbs.
The Bottom Line
Dieticians recommend adding blueberries to your diet if you’re looking for an easy way to increase your intake of nutrients and dietary fiber. In fact, one cup of fresh blueberries contains approximately 8 grams (g) of dietary fiber. If you’re not used to consuming high-fiber foods, start by gradually increasing your intake. A sudden influx of fiber can cause gas and bloating—something most dieters don’t want!