Know the Health Benefits of Blueberries
Edited by Ermin, Rebecca M., Lynn, Robbi and 4 others
Blueberries are small but powerful fruits. They contain essential nutrients and compounds capable for treating some ailments. They may even--according to research-- prevent the growth of some types of cancer.
Blueberries are considered one of the healthiest of fruits. They are often used for baking purposes and making desserts. Eating raw and fresh blueberries is viewed by experts as being healthier overall than incorporating them with other ingredients. Health professionals claim that eating raw blueberries can provide you the best taste and afford greater benefits to your health. In this page, you will learn the health benefits of blueberries:
- 1 What Are Blueberries? What Are Their Nutrients and Active Compounds?
- 2 Health Benefits of Blueberries:
- 3 How to Make a Blueberry Smoothie and a Blueberry Iced Tea
- 4 Tips & Warnings
- 5 Questions and Answers
- 6 Comments
What Are Blueberries? What Are Their Nutrients and Active Compounds?
Blueberries are native to North America, and people there have been enjoying the fruits, eating them fresh or using them among the ingredients of delicious desserts. Blueberries are perennial flowering plants with indigo-colored fruits. At first, the fruits look pale-greenish in color, and then turn reddish purple. When ripe, they have a very sweet taste. It is no wonder that many people use these fruits for desserts. Below are the nutrients found in blueberries:
- 1The antioxidants are renowned for their natural capabilities in helping prevent many forms of cancer. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the fruits also contain flavonoids - phenolic compounds that can help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.Blueberries have powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins.Advertisement
- 2Among the phytonutrients are the anthocyanins. The other phytonutrients have their own roles and responsibilities in promoting the health. These nutrients can help the body's healthy cells communicate with each other more, helping the entire body work properly and fight against free radicals and other foreign compounds.Blueberries have powerful phytonutrients.Advertisement
- 3In a cup of blueberries, there are about 80 calories. Yes, there are calories, but blueberries are nearly fat-free. Sugar and other processed ingredients can be replaced with blueberries, if you want. As for desserts, you can add blueberries to retain the sweet flavor, instead of using sugar or other sugary foods. Blueberries are good for people who are on a diet, because the calories found in the fruits are not harmful and do not add extra weight. In fact, fiber in blueberries can help control your body weight.Blueberries are low in fat.
- 4This mineral can help form your bones, blood clotting factors, sex hormones, and connective tissues in the body. According to The University of Maryland Medical Center, many Americans have manganese deficiency. If one lacks the said mineral, he or she is prone to weakness, infertility, seizures, and bone malformation. The recommended amount of manganese to consume daily for adult men is 2.3 milligrams and for women is 1.8 milligrams. In blueberries, a 1 cup of serving has 0.40 milligrams of manganese, so you may want to add more to your diet.Blueberries are sources of manganese.
- 5What can fiber do in your body? Of course, fiber can help regulate bowel movements and protect the digestive lining from harmful foreign substances, which may result in colon cancer and stomach ulcers. Fiber in blueberries can protect your digestive tract.Blueberries are rich sources of fiber.
- 6Although vitamin K is not rich in blueberries, you may still want to add a lot more blueberries to your diet if you want to get lots of vitamin K. This vitamin helps normalize the blood clotting, which can prevent you from getting cardiovascular diseases. Vitamin K also plays an important role in strengthening the bones.Blueberries are sources of vitamin K.
The most popular nutrients found in blueberries are the phytonutrients, which are the anthocyanins and the flavonoids. Blueberries are not excellent sources of vitamin K, C, and E. However, these fruits can put you at a lower risk of cancer formation. In the next section, you will learn more about the health benefits of blueberries:
Health Benefits of Blueberries:
- 1According to The University of Maryland Medical Center, more than 50 percent of women will have at least an experience of UTI during their lifetime. UTIs are mainly caused by bacteria trapped in the urinary tract that can lead to an infection. Symptoms may be bearable. However, many women may experience frequent urination with a strong smell and pelvic pain. UTIs are a lot more common in women than men. Blueberries can help fight UTIs. You just have to eat them fresh or use them to make a blueberry tea or a smoothie, which will be discussed later in this article. The compounds found in the fruits are responsible for warding off the bacteria in the urinary tract.Blueberries can help fight urinary tract infections (UTIs).Advertisement
- 2This may be the most widely known health benefit of blueberries - reducing the risk of cancer growths. Like I mentioned above, the phytonutrients, such as the flavonoids and anthocyanins, can help fight against free radicals, which are believed to be among the causes of the development of cancer. According to the researchers of The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, blueberries can help fight against cancer cells to keep them from forming and attack free radicals in the early stages of prostate cancer. Although the research about blueberries as cancer prevention is still ongoing, scientists do believe in the efficacy of the fruits in preventing the early stages of cancer.Blueberries can help reduce the risk of cancer formations.
- 3Neurological disorders can be prevented by drinking blueberry juice or eating fresh blueberries. The phytonutrients, especially the anthocyanins, can help boost the brain's health, helping older adults retrieve memory loss. In a study of nine human participants conducted by Dr. Robert Krikorian, together with his team, at The University of Cincinnati, the researchers concluded that some of their participants who were given blueberry juice had significantly improved memory, based on the understanding of their scores on memory tests, compared to other subjects who were only given with placebos. In this case, blueberries have the capabilities to boost memory and fight against memory loss, brought on by neurological disorders, such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases.Blueberries can help boost the brain health.
- 4Cardiovascular diseases are among the major health concerns in the United States. Obesity, high blood pressure, and high levels of sugar are major risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, such as stroke or cardiac arrest. A recent study claims that anthocyanins in blueberries can help reduce the risk of heart problems, as the phytonutrients belong to a sub-class of flavonoids, essential compounds that can oppose the plaque buildups and improve the heart's health. According to the study, women who consume three servings of fruits a day are less likely to get cardiovascular diseases as they age.Blueberries can help one fight cardiovascular diseases.
- 5Blueberries are rich sources of phytonutrients that are responsible for keeping the eyes healthy. Due to the active properties, flavonoids and anthocyanins, as well as the other vitamins and minerals, blueberries can help delay visual loss. Three or more daily servings of fruits containing phytonutrients are enough to help prevent you from getting as many eyesight problems as you get older. The fruits can also help prevent glaucoma and cataracts.Blueberries can help slow down the development of age-related macular degeneration.
How to Make a Blueberry Smoothie and a Blueberry Iced Tea
You do not have to eat fresh blueberries every day just to get the right amount of nutrients from the fruits. You can try preparing a delicious and special blueberry smoothie or tea. Below are instructions to make a blueberry lemon iced tea and a blueberry smoothie. You may want to add them to your diet.
Making a Blueberry Lemon Iced Tea
- 16 ounces of frozen blueberries
- 3 teabags
- 4 cups of water
- 3/4 cup of sugar
- 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice
- Place the frozen blueberries and the lemon juice into a saucepan and bring them to a boil.
- Stir them occasionally, while boiling for 5 minutes, and then remove from heat.
- Strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Make sure you also squeeze the juice out of the remaining solid pulps and then set aside for later use.
- Pour the four cups of water into a clean saucepan and add the tea bags. Bring them to a boil.
- Let it stand for 6 minutes.
- Turn the heat off and remove the tea bags.
- Add the sugar and the blueberry juice mixture. Stir them well until the sugar dissolves.
- Pour the mixture into a pitcher and refrigerate for an hour.
- Fill your glass with the mixture and add more ice cubes.
- Drink and enjoy your new blueberry lemon iced tea!
Making a Blueberry Smoothie: