In US consumption of blueberries is next to strawberries in terms of regular fruit intake. This fruit contains high level of antioxidant properties compared to other seasonal fruits, which is one of the most prominent blueberries health benefits. This is one of the fruits found mostly in North America and is consumed for centuries given blueberries health benefits. In addition, this fruit has earned great popularity across the globe and has been used in Mediterranean to Asian meals.
The scientific name of blueberries is Vaccinium Corymbosum. Blueberries are shrub fruits from the Ericaceae family. They wear deep texture, spanning from blue to purple-black and covered with protective shell. Blueberries are mostly found during May up to October.
Blueberries Health Benefits
Blueberries are great source of vitamin K, vitamin C along with manganese. These are also rich with fiber content. The most important content in which blueberries health benefits are concealed is their anthocyanins. It is the antioxidant pigments, it is naturally gifted with graceful shade and texture spanning from blue and red to purple. These are rich source of phytonutrients instrumental in offering it an antioxidant effect and work as anti-inflammatory elements.
Rich Source of Antioxidant : The high content of antioxidant nutrients found in blueberries has been found to enhance the defense capacity of body from oxidative conditions, for instance cardiovascular system. It has also been accepted medically that regular consumption of blueberries also guards the nervous system against oxidative conditions. Blueberries health benefits are specifically useful for older people suffering from neurodegenerative diseases. This fruit, in fact can act as entire body antioxidant tool supporting different bodily systems of human being.
Cardiovascular Benefits : Blueberry also supports the cardiovascular system of human body due to its antioxidant properties. It has been proved in a study, if 1-2 cups blueberries are eaten each day for 1 to 3 months consistently it can catapult fat balance in blood and reduce total cholesterol. It can also increase HDL cholesterol and diminish triglycerides. It helps in warding off clogging of blood veins. A recent research revealed that blueberries have a compound – pterostilbene, which has amazing properties of lowering cholesterol levels particularly in case when patients do not respond to conventional drugs. Thus they are very beneficial for people battling with heart disorders and obesity.
Cognitive Benefits : Of late, it has been observed that blueberries are also recommended for cognitive benefits. If consumed 2 to 2-1/2 cups regularly it can not only enhance memory but can also diminish the process of different cognitive disorders associated with aging.
Maintain Sugar Level in Blood : Persons suffering with diabetes, insulin resistance and even obesity can leverage the blueberries health benefits. Research has indicated that blueberries and other types of berries are helpful in regulating the sugar level in person suffering with diabetes.
Beneficial for Eye Health : Fruits and food items rich in phytonutrient antioxidants are considered to be beneficial for healthy eyes and it is found in blueberry, which makes it capable enough to save the retina from any type of damage done by oxygen along with sunlight damage too.
Anti-cancer Benefits : Blueberries health benefits include protection from cancer also. Blueberry is proficient enough to protect against almost every type of cancer including colon cancer, breast cancer, esophageal cancer, along with small intestine cancer.
Beneficial for Brain Health : It is quite astonishing that blueberries can also treat serious illnesses including Alzheimer’s to a considerable level. They can also treat damaged cells of brain as well. Researchers discovered that food equipped with blueberries can improved extensively the learning potential and motor capacity.
Beneficial for Health of Urinary Tract : Blueberries help in treating urinary tract disorders. The accumulation of a few bacteria, for instance b-coli along the inner walls of urinary tract has been instrumental for such infection leading to burning sensation and inflammation in the urine tract. These blueberries eliminate these bacteria from the urinary tract, thus prevents from infection.
Assists in Weight loss / Reducing Belly Fat : According to the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center, it is advised that consumption of blueberries are not only useful in cutting down the belly fat but it is also considered to be beneficial for reducing metabolic disorders.
Blueberries have been used on rates during a research and the results were positive. In this research a blueberry powder was incorporated in the meal of rats. After studying for 90 days, it was found that rats on blueberry based meal had reduced abdominal fat, cut down triglycerides, reduced cholesterol and also enhanced with fasting glucose and the sensitivity with insulin. In addition, their overall health was also found to be better and improved when coupled with low fat meal. This group of rats was also found to have lowered body weight, total fat from stomach and reduces liver mass as well when compared to those rats that were kept on high fat meal or normal food.
An enlarged or over developed liver is the sign of obesity and resistance from insulin which is a sign of diabetes. Nevertheless, further research is required to establish this fact on human body, a similar study has been put forth at the same platform of conference which exhibited that the people, who were at risk for heart disorders, were fed with wild blueberry juice for a consecutive 21 days and the results were positive again. Those people were found to have improved their glucose level and controlled the insulin level.
Constipation & Digestion : Blueberries health benefits also include reduced constipation and improved digestion. The roughage (fiber) present in Blueberries ward off the situation of constipation (having a single piece will not work for you, you need to consume handful of it, say a cup full of blueberries). The sodium, fructose, copper and acids, which the blueberries are rich in, are instrumental in catapulting better digestion.
Some other Blueberries Health Benefits and Facts : Blueberries maintains the freshness, activeness, fitness, sharpness in your body and it is also keep you close to nature. It keeps you in a great and positive mood all day long, due to its anti depressants properties. It will keep you away from medicines for any kind of depression and in turn it will also protect you from the side effects of those anti depressants. Just remember, the darker the texture of the Blueberries, the richer they are in anti oxidants and some other useful medicinal properties.
How to Select and Store
Selecting blueberries can be little tough as these are soft and better consumed fresh. You should select blueberries which are lively and hue color coupled with whitish bloom. Avoid blueberries which are dull in texture, soft and moldy. Shake the container to ensure that the blueberries are moving without clumping together, if case of frozen berries, to get blueberries health benefits. Store blueberries in closed container and consume it within 3 days.
How to Enjoy Blueberries!
Blueberries are most enjoyed fresh, as they tend to loose there benefits with processing. One can easily use fresh blueberries to make a delicious shake or add them to breakfast cereal. It can be made part of your dessert serving or yogurt. Of course, you can always eat it raw and enjoy it's amazing taste!
Warnings Using Blueberry
Blueberry health benefits are great still there are certain warnings that should be followed and considered while using blueberries.
During Pregnancy and for nursing women: Not much has been known and researched about the effect if the same is eaten in large quantity for medicinal purposes. It is advisable to stick to limited quantity of blueberries for pregnant and nursing women.
Diabetes: You should check your blood sugar level if you are a diabetic and using blueberry. Take help of your physician to adjust the dosage of your medication if you are using blueberries.
Blueberry can influence the levels of blood glucose and may interfere with the drugs administered to control blood sugar in the phase of surgery and after it also. Stop taking blueberries for 2 weeks if you are undergoing surgery of any type.
Interaction with Other Medications: Blueberries may interact with medications used to treat diabetes. Blueberry leaves can drop the blood sugar level. So, talk to your physician for this.
Safe Blueberries Dosage Per Day
The right dose of blueberry can be considered keeping in view many factors like the user's age, health background, and many other medical conditions. It is advisable to follow directions on the product container and take advice of your physician before using blueberries.
Blueberries health benefits are several and these are natural remedy for several health disorders, with its amazing taste it is truely a nature's gift to all of us ! It should be included in your fruit diet withiut fail.