Blueberries-Nutritional Benefits

Blueberries-Nutritional Benefits

Health Benefits of Consuming Organic Raw Blueberries

Blueberries nutritional benefits are amazing, and they have one of the highest antioxidant capacities among all fruits and vegetables.

Immunity- Organically grown berries turned out to have significantly higher concentrations of total phenol antioxidants and total anthocyanin antioxidants than conventionally grown berries, as well as significantly higher total antioxidant capacity.

They are anti-inflammatory and can seriously boost your immune system and prevent infections. The best way to protect yourself from colds, flu, fever, and countless other diseases spread by bacteria and viruses is by maintaining a strong immune system.

One cup of these berries delivers 14% of the recommended daily dose of fiber and nearly a quarter of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C.

Brain Function- Blueberries and their essential nutrients protect brain cells and help to restore the health of the central nervous system. 

Research suggests that they can improve memory, and slow down or postpone the onset of other cognitive problems frequently associated with aging.

Diabetes-Blueberries provide clear health benefits for blood sugar regulation. Berries in general are considered low in terms of their glycemic index and have a favorable impact on blood sugar regulation in persons already diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Heart Health- These berries are an ideal dietary supplement in support of overall heart health, as well as strengthening the cardiac muscles.

Studies of blood composition, have shown blueberry consumption to improve blood fat balances, including reduction in total cholesterol, raising of HDL cholesterol, and lowering of triglycerides.

Regularly eating these berries has also been shown to help protect the blood components from oxygen damage that could lead to eventual clogging of the blood vessels. 

Berry intake can result in increased eNOS activity, and this result is viewed as helping to explain some of the unique health benefits of blueberries for the cardiovascular system and supporting healthy blood pressure.

Cancer- Blueberries can do miracles to both prevent and cure cancer. Proven to be extremely valuable for cancer patients, they contain certain compounds like Pterostilbene (an excellent remedy for colon and liver cancer).

Aging-  You can lessen the signs of aging like wrinkles, age spots, cataracts, osteoporosis, hair loss, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease by eating blueberries daily. 

Urinary Tract Infection- Surprisingly beneficial in inhibiting and treating urinary tract infections, these berries have compounds formed of large, polymer-like molecules which inhibit the growth of bacteria. These heavy molecules scrub bacteria off the walls along the urinary tract, thereby preventing infection.

Healthier vision- Due to their exceptional antioxidant properties, blueberries can prevent or delay most age-related eye problems like cataracts, macular degeneration, myopia and hypermetropia, dryness, and infections.

 

Constipation & Digestion- The roughage (fiber) in a couple handfuls of  these wonder berries prevents constipation, while the vitamins, sodium, copper, fructose and acids improve digestion.

Blueberries-Nutritional Benefits

There are a wide variety of phytonutrients found in blueberries. Phytonutrients function both as antioxidants, and as anti-inflammatory compounds in the body. Some of the more well documented health benefits attributed to consuming blueberries are a direct result of these phytonutrients. 

Types of Blueberries

Blueberries belong to the Ericaceae family of plants, and also to the Vaccinium genus. Within this  genus, are three groups of berries.

High-bush  The most commonly cultivated form and the type we see most often in the grocery store.

Growing to 6–12 feet tall and wide. They are often found in dense thickets. High-bush blueberries are also the kind you’re most likely to find available for purchase at local garden centers and plant nurseries. 

Low-bush Commonly referred to as “wild blueberries.” They typically grow less than 2 feet in height and often stay even lower, at 8-12 inches from the ground. Low-bush species produce berries of a smaller size than high-bush and even though they can be found growing wild in many parts of the U.S. are not commonly found in grocery stores.


Rabbit-eye 
 Native to the southern U.S. these berry bushes can grow up to 20 feet in height. 
They are less frequently cultivated than the high-bush variety, but when cultivated, can grow to heights of 4-10 feet tall.

 

Brief History of the Blueberry

Packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, and a tangy flavor, this delicious summer berry belongs to the heath (Ericaceae) family whose other members include the cranberry and bilberry as well as the azalea, mountain laurel, and rhododendron. Blueberries are typically small in size and  are the fruits of a shrub that grow in clusters. The tiny seeds are surrounded by a semi-transparent edible flesh.

They range in color from blue, to maroon, to purple-black, and have a white-gray waxy “bloom” that covers the berry’s surface and serves as a protective coat. Most of the species of high-bush berries were originally found almost exclusively in North America.

Indigenous American Indians have harvested and eaten these berries, one of the few fruits native to North America for hundreds of years, and the cultivation of this berry was widespread among the tribes. They also used the potent fruit medicinally to treat coughs.

 

Final Thoughts

If you are really looking to up your intake of antioxidants, then blueberries or organic blueberry juice is a must. I enjoy blueberries and drink the juice- I find that Lakewood has a superior organic product that I trust. If you would like to try Lakewoods Organic Blueberry Juice you can find it here at Amazon.com.

 

 

PS: I hope you enjoyed this article. Join the conversation and let me know of your experiences with Blueberries – share your experiences below and join me on other interesting articles at healingbodyandmind.org

 

To your good health,

Tom

images courtesy of pixabay.com and commons.wikimedia.org

 


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