How Blueberries Are Good For Your Health

Nutrient Content

Vitamins

Excellent Source of: 

  • Vitamin K – 36%
  • Vitamin C – 24%

Also a Source of:

  • Vitamin E – 4%
  • Riboflavin – 4%
  • Vitamin B6 – 4%

Minerals

Excellent Source of: 

  • Manganese – 25%

Also a Source of:

  •  Copper

Other

Good Source of: 

  • Fiber – 14%

Also a Source of:

  • Antioxidants – Anthocyanins
  • Omega 3s

*All nutritional info from (1)

How Blueberries Prevent Chronic Disease

Blueberries are touted as one of the best fruits to incorporate into your diet. They are a good source of omega 3s, and multiple studies have shown that blueberries have one of the highest antioxidant capacities of any fruit. (2)

How Blueberries Help to Prevent Alzheimer's

Berries have been identified as a possible resource for Alzheimer’s prevention. Blueberries have been shown, although in small sample sizes, to improve memory function in elderly adults (when they were provided a blueberry juice supplement). (2) Blueberries are also a good source of the plant-based omega 3 alpha-linoleic acid. (3) ALA has been shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, modestly. (4) Further and more extensive studies need to be conducted to confirm these initial findings.

How Blueberries Help Prevent Cancer

Blueberries contain a number of anti-cancer properties

  • Antioxidants: As mentioned earlier, blueberries have one of the highest antioxidant activities of any food on the planet. Antioxidants do not provide nutrients themselves but provide several protective mechanisms to prevent cancer. Specifically, they protect DNA damage, regulate cell growth, and protect essential nutrients in our cells. (5) One class of antioxidants found in blueberries is anthocyanins. Anthocyanins give blueberries that deep blue color and have been studied for their potential health benefits. Animal studies have shown promising results regarding anthocyanins and the prevention of cancer. (6,7) It is important to note that, in these studies, the antioxidants were most effective when the whole fruit was consumer, rather than alternative supplementation. (7) These findings are consistent with many other studies that show whole fruit consumption is the most effective preventative technique.
  • Inflammation: Anthocyanins are also touted for their anti-inflammatory properties, and they have been studied for effectiveness in reducing inflammation associated with cardiovascular diseases. (89) Chronic inflammation has been identified increasing the risk of a number of chronic diseases, cancer being one of them. Limiting inflammation with lifestyle changes may be one of the most effective methods for preventing inflammation-induced conditions. Blueberries provide anti-inflammatory properties through the antioxidants and omega 3 sources. (10)
  • Fiber: Fiber is crucial for cancer prevention, especially gastrointestinal cancers. (11) This evidence further emphasizes the importance of obtaining your nutrients from the whole food source.

How Blueberries Help Prevent Cardiovascular Disease

Consuming blueberries has been shown to directly reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. One study showed that consuming 1 cup (one serving) of blueberries reduced participant’s risk of cardiovascular disease by as much as 15%. (12)
  • Anthocyanins: As mentioned previously, anthocyanin-rich foods, such as blueberries, can help to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. (13)
  • Soluble Fiber: Soluble fiber, which can be obtained from many fruits including blueberries, has been shown to appreciably promote cardiovascular health due to its ability to lower LDL cholesterol levels. (14)

How Blueberries Help Prevent Diabetes

Blueberries have been shown to help reduce your risk of diabetes. (15)
  • Insulin Resistance: Insulin Resistance is a characteristic of type 2 diabetes. This studied showed that blueberries could help prevent this condition, but further tests are needed to confirm these results. (16)
  • Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes: Being a good source of fiber, blueberries can help prevent blood sugar spikes by slowing digestion, helping to further prevent insulin resistance. (17)
  • Fruit Consumption: Fruits, in general, are an effective strategy for diabetes prevention and management, so why not make your fruit of choice the one with the most promising health benefits! (18)

Blueberries Promote a Number of Health Benefits

Blueberries promote a number of health benefits beyond prevention of chronic diseases. Many of these benefits also come from their high antioxidant capacity.

How Blueberries Promote Mental Health

Consumption of fruit and vegetables has been associated with good mental health. (19) Blueberries are of particular interest, as they are one of the only fruit sources of omega 3s. Alpha-linoleic acid is the plant-derived omega 3 found in blueberries, and serum concentration of ALA is inversely associated with depressive symptoms. (20

Blueberries have also been shown to help improve mood in adolescents and combat depressive symptoms. (21) Further studies are needed to confirm this association in adults.

How Blueberries Promote Vision

The anthocyanins in blueberries help prevent vision loss. These antioxidants readily pass into our eye cells and protect against damage from sources like UV light. (22)

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