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Everything you need to know about blueberry and benefits of blueberries

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Blueberries (Cyanococcus genus Vaccinium), besides having commonly-recognized taste properties, are also a valuable source of health-promoting bioactive compounds. Originally native to North America, people all over the world have recognized the power of these tiny berries for centuries – devouring them as succulent snacks or incorporating into dishes due to their medicinal properties.

People love them because they are sweet when it ripens, nutritious, and versatile. Did you know that blueberries also have some hidden health benefits? Read on to find out more about the amazing health benefits of blueberries!

Blueberry Nutrition Facts

Blueberries in a fresh form is composed of 84% water , 14.6% carbohydrates, 0.7% of proteins and 0.4% of fats. The average energetic value of a 100-g serving of fresh blueberries is estimated at 64Kcal1.

Blueberry Nutritional Value

Total Energy (Kcal)64
Carbohydrate14.6g
out of which Sugars9.36g
Protein0.7g
Fats0.31g
Calcium, Ca12mg
Iron, Fe0.34mg
Magnesium, Mg6.2mg
Phosphorus, P13mg
Potassium, K86mg
Manganese, Mn0.423mg
Minerals
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid8.1mg
Vitamin K19.32mg
Vitamins

Blueberry Benefits

Blueberries and weight loss.

Fresh blueberries consists of 84% of water. This makes the blueberry fruit very low in calorie. Moreover, blueberries are also a good source of dietary fiber that constitutes 3%–3.5% of fruit weight. Eating fruits that are rich in water content and dietary fiber has been proven to help you lose weight, as they contain an incredibly low amount of calories.

Blueberry consumption may help to reduce blood pressure and reduce arterial stiffness.

The increased flavonoid content in blueberries supports nitric oxide production which helps to reduce blood pressure and arterial stiffness.

Anthocyanins in Blueberries May Have Anti-diabetic benefits

Blueberries contain moderate amount of sugar (9.6g per 100g).However, many studies have shown that consumption of fruits like blueberries which are rich in phenol compounds may reduce Insulin Resistance (IR) and reduce the incidence of type-2 diabetes.

It is also reported that consumption of blueberry has improved Insulin Sensitivity (IS) in individuals. Improved insulin sensitivity is important to maintain healthy blood glucose levels and may lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Blueberries are packed with antioxidants ( polyphenolic compounds and anthocyanins)

Blueberries, often referred to as “superfood” is famous for their antioxidant properties and for the abundant amounts of polyphenolic compounds and anthocyanins.

The anthocyanins offers highest health benefits.

About 60% of the total polyphenols in ripened blueberries are Anthocyanins. There are around 487 mg of anthocyanins in 100 g of blueberries2.

Anthocyanins in Blueberries May Have Anti-Oxidisation and Anti-aging benefits

Most physiological changes in our body is initiated by oxidation. As a rich source of antioxidants, blueberries can improve metabolic antioxidant status and thereby reduce the damages of cellular components. Moreover, Anthocyanins in blueberry can protect DNA from oxidation damage in blood cells3

In fact, blueberries have one of the highest antioxidant capacities among all fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants are important because they help to protect your cells from damage. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause damage to your cells, and blueberries are full of antioxidants that help to neutralize free radicals. This helps to prevent cell damage, which can lead to a number of serious health conditions.

Blueberries may help to lower your risk of heart disease

Heart disease is a leading cause of death worldwide, but there is some evidence to suggest that blueberries may help to lower your risk of developing heart disease.

The Anthocyanins not only prevents cells and DNA from oxidisation but also prevent the LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) being oxidised. Furthermore, one study6 has shown that a daily intake of 1 cup of blueberries significantly elevated HDL (good cholesterol) levels, nitric oxide bioactivity. The study concluded that 1 cup per day of A half-cup per day of anthocyanin-rich blueberries is associated with a markedly reduced risk of cardiovascular and cardiometabolic diseases.

Anthocyanins in Blueberries may help to improve your cognitive function.

Studies have shown that blueberry consumption can improve cognitive function and memory, even in older adults with age-related cognitive decline. Research has also shown that blueberries may help protect the brain from damage caused by oxidative stress and reduce the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. This is due to the presence of anthocyanins, which are a type of flavonoid. Anthocyanins have been shown to help protect the brain from damage and improve communication between brain cells.

5. Blueberries may reduce the risk of cancer

Some animal studies suggest that consuming anthocyanins may help reduce tumour growth. Meanwhile, other studies show that people who eat plenty of flavonoid-rich foods have a lower risk of several types of cancer — including colon cancer, oesophageal cancer, ovarian cancer, stomach cancer, prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, and endometrial cancer.

6. Blueberries are a good source of fibre.

In addition to being high in antioxidants, blueberries are also a good source of fibre. Fibre is important for maintaining a healthy digestive system and preventing constipation. Fibre has also been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes

7. Blueberries can boost immunity.

Blueberries can boost your immune system and it has the properties of reducing inflammations.

Summary:

As you can see, there are many reasons to include blueberries in your diet. As a low calorie fruit, blueberries may help with weight loss. If you’re looking for a delicious way to improve your health, look no further than these little berries! So, next time you are looking for a healthy snack, reach for some blueberries instead of unhealthy junk food. Your body will thank you!

Frequently asked questions

Are Wild blueberries better than Cultivated Blueberries?

Every day, all around the world, people enjoy blueberries. Where do they come from? How did they become the fruit we know and love today? Let’s take a closer look at the history and origin of blueberries.

Blueberries are native to North America and have been consumed by humans for centuries. The first recorded mention of blueberries was by a botanist named John Clayton in 1686. He noted that the native Americans in Virginia were eating them.

The early colonists also ate blueberries and even used them as a dye for their clothing. In the 18th century, blueberries were cultivated in gardens in New England. It wasn’t until the early 1900s that blueberry farms started to appear in commercially.

Today, blueberries are grown all over North America, Europe, and Asia. And thanks to advances in transportation and packaging, we can enjoy fresh blueberries all year round!

While you can find wild blueberries growing in some parts of the world. most of the blueberries consumed today come from farms. There are two main types of cultivated blueberries: highbush and lowbush.

High Bush Blueberries

Highbush blueberries are the type that you’re probably most familiar with. They’re larger than lowbush blueberries and have a sweeter flavour. Most highbush varieties are hybrids of two wild species: Vaccinium corymbosum and Vaccinium angustifolium.

Low Bush or Wild Blueberries

Lowbush blueberries, on the other hand, are native to North America and grow wild in states like Maine, Michigan, and New Hampshire. They’re smaller and tart than highbush blueberries but are also full of flavour. Lowbush blueberries are sometimes called “wild” or “baked” blueberries because they’re often used in pies and other baked goods.

The earliest known cultivated blueberries were grown in New Hampshire in the early 1900s. Two farmers, Fred Coville and Elizabeth Coleman, began crosses of native highbush blueberry species in an attempt to develop larger and more flavourful berries. After years of hard work, they finally succeeded in creating a new variety that they named “Rubel.” This new cultivar quickly became popular with growers and consumers alike and was soon being grown all over the country.

Today, there are over 600 different varieties of cultivated blueberries grown all over the world! Although North America is still the largest producer of blueberries, countries like Chile, Argentina, Turkey, and China are also major players in the global market. No matter where they’re grown, though, one thing is for sure: blueberries are here to stay!

How to add Blueberries to your diet?

There are many ways to enjoy blueberries. Of course, they can be eaten fresh as a healthy snack or added to any number of dishes such as cereal, oatmeal, muffins, or pancakes. Blueberry jam is another popular way to enjoy these little fruits. Blueberries can also be frozen for long-term storage or made into tasty blueberry juice or wine.

My experience with wild blueberries

Wild blueberries are often found in the Scottish mountains. Whenever I go for a walk or hike in Scottish mountains, I stop to pick up wild blueberries whenever I see them. They are small and boast a flavour completely different than farm grown blueberries. Moreover, they can be picked absolutely free of cost.

How to add Blueberries to your diet?

There are many ways to enjoy blueberries. Of course, they can be eaten fresh as a healthy snack or added to any number of dishes such as cereal, oatmeal, muffins, or pancakes. Blueberry jam is another popular way to enjoy these little fruits. Blueberries can also be frozen for long-term storage or made into tasty blueberry juice or wine.

References

  • Blueberries, raw, FoodData Central (usda.gov)
  • Isaza, Adrian & Singh, Ram & Watanabe, Shaw. (2021). Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals in Metabolic and Non-communicable Diseases.
  • Peter J Curtis, Vera van der Velpen, Lindsey Berends, Amy Jennings, Martin Feelisch, A Margot Umpleby, Mark Evans, Bernadette O Fernandez, Mia S Meiss, Magdalena Minnion, John Potter, Anne-Marie Minihane, Colin D Kay, Eric B Rimm, Aedín Cassidy, Blueberries improve biomarkers of cardiometabolic function in participants with metabolic syndrome—results from a 6-month, double-blind, randomized controlled trial, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 109, Issue 6, June 2019, Pages 1535–1545, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqy380
  • Baoru Yang, Maaria Kortesniemi, Clinical evidence on potential health benefits of berries, Current Opinion in Food Science, Volume 2, 2015, Pages 36-42,
  • Sónia Norberto, Sara Silva, Manuela Meireles, Ana Faria, Manuela Pintado, Conceição Calhau,Blueberry anthocyanins in health promotion: A metabolic overview,Journal of Functional Foods,Volume 5, Issue 4,2013.
  • Curtis PJ, van der Velpen V, Berends L, Jennings A, Feelisch M, Umpleby AM, et al. Blueberries improve biomarkers of cardiometabolic function in participants with metabolic syndrome—results from a 6-month, double-blind, randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr 2019;109 (6):153545.