Why You Should Eat More Blueberries
Did you know, bluberries are in season in the United States of America through April to late September?
Did you also know that July is National Blueberries Month? In light of July being National Blueberries month, I thought we should celebrate the cute little guys!
So let’s talk about why you should eat more blueberries.
First of all, you should know that the average adult should be eating 1.5-2 cups of fruit a day.
Additionally, you should be trying to eat the rainbow when it comes to eating fruit. This is so that you can make sure you’re getting a variety of nutrients.
When you take in to account their nutrient profile and current research, it’s easy to see why these berries should be included into your daily servings of fruit!
Their Nutrient Profile
Blueberries are rich in the free-radical fighting antioxidants called anthocyanins.
Anthocyanins give blueberries their deep blue color.
Health benefits associated with anthocyanins include regulation of the human body’s immune response and anti-inflammatory properties (Lila 306).
This means blueberries could help boost the immune system and reduce inflammation.
Vitamin C Content:
Blueberries are rich in the vitamin C which is an antioxidant.
In fact, just a 1/2 cup serving of blueberries provides you with over 10% over your daily vitamin C needs (based on a 2000 calorie diet).This makes them a good source of vitamin C.
Well, vitamin C helps boost the immune system and fight off free radical damage.
Vitamin C is also an important cofactor for the formation of collagen in the body (Sizer and Whitney 254). Collagen plays an important role in building your body’s connective tissues (think bones, teeth, skin).
So, having enough vitamin C plays a huge role in bone and skin health.
Additionally, vitamin C plays a role in protecting iron in the digestive tract from oxidizing, thus, keeping it in its bioavailable form absorption (Sizer and Whitney 254).
Blueberries and Cancer
In a study conducted on rats, researchers found that rats fed blueberries produced more tumor-suppressing proteins than the rats not fed blueberries (Wood 11). Researchers believe Tumor-suppressing proteins to assist in protecting the body against cancer (Wood 11).
Researchers go on to suggest that blueberries have anti-cancer effects because they increase the amount of tumor-suppressing proteins in the body. Specifically, it is thought that blueberries might help prevent breast cancer.
Blueberries and Bone Health
Osteoporosis is a degenerative bone disease that impacts many people today. It involves the weakening of your bone structures and can be extremely painful.
In a study conducted on rats (surprise!), they found that rats fed a diet enriched with blueberries has more bone mass than those who weren’t fed blueberry-enriched diets (Wood 11). T
he increase in bone mass of rats fed a diet enhanced with blueberries prove that they play a significant role in bone health and development.
Blueberries and Heart Heath
Blueberries lower the risk of the development of heart disease because they lower cholesterol levels and the reduce the amount unhealthy fat deposits formed in blood vessels.
∇ Cholesterol Levels
In a study conducted on hamster (who like us can develop high-cholesterol from a high-fat diet), researchers found that the hamsters fed a diet enriched with blueberries has lower cholesterol levels than the hamsters who didn’t (Wood 9).
Researchers, however, still haven’t identified what specific compounds in blueberries cause them to lower cholesterol.
Because cholesterol is a risk factor in the development of heart disease, the ability of blueberries to help lower high cholesterol makes them a heart-healthy choice.
Blueberries can help aid in the reduction of unhealthy fat deposits inside blood vessels (also known as Atherosclerosis).
Fatty deposits from Atherosclerosis can form lesions that increase the risk for cardiovascular disease (Wood 10). A study conducted on mice who were identified as predisposed to developing lesions in blood vessels found that a diet with blueberries helped reduce their risk of forming the lesions (Wood 10).
In fact, lesions sites in mice who were fed blueberries were 39-58% smaller than the mice, not fed blueberries (Wood 10).
Having fatty deposits in your blood vessels is another risk factor for the development of heart disease. Because blueberries help reduce fatty deposits in the blood vessels, it makes them a heart-healthy food as they are lowering the risk of developing heart disease.
∇ Decreased capillary permeability and fragility (Lila 306)
Blueberries are antioxidant-rich powerhouses that have been found to provide a variety of health benefits.
In this post on why you should eat more blueberries, several key points are made.
Based off of the above discussion, blueberries can help reduce the risk of heart disease development and cancer.
They also play a role in reducing inflammation, boosting the immune system, bone health, and iron absorption.
With the key benefits in mind, It’s easy to see why some might call this berry a super fruit!
Now that we know a little bit more about what blueberries offer our bodies, let’s honor them this National Blueberries Month! Check out my Blueberry Mousse, Blueberry Chia Pudding, Berry Cashew Dessert Bar, or my Berry Watermelon Honey Mint Fruit Salad recipes to celebrate!
Wood, Marcia. “Blueberries and Your Health: Scientists Study Nutrition Secrets of Popular Fruit.” Agricultural Research, vol. 59, no. 5, May 2011, pp. 9-13. EBSCOhost, cscc.ohionet.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=cookie,ip,uid&db=a9h&AN=60990274&site=ehost-live.