The indigo-colored blueberries have reached superstar status regarding their unique health benefits. May to August is the peak harvest season of blueberries; let’s discuss what these tiny berries offer us nutritionally.
The health benefits of blueberries abound if you look at the scientific literature. You’ll be amazed.
Blueberries contain a rainbow of antioxidants. They are rich in vitamin K, manganese, vitamin C, fiber, and copper.
Wild blueberries that belong to the tropical regions of Central and South America contain two to four times more antioxidant levels than the blueberries available in the US. The two species are Cavendishia grandifolia and Anthopterus wardii.
Organic blueberries contain more phenol and anthocyanin antioxidants than traditionally grown berries. Wild blueberries are a rich source of phytochemicals called polyphenols.
Boosts brain health
The possibilities are endless regarding blueberries. Organic blueberries improve your brain function and sharpen your memory. Blueberries are excellent stress relievers and reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers from the University of Cincinnati found that participants who consumed the blueberry powder showed vast improvement in their cognitive abilities when compared to the group taking a placebo.
The researchers say that the cognitive development of the participants was due to the anthocyanins present in the blueberries. These nutrients give the fruit its deep blue-purple coloring. A team of researchers from England found that regular supplementation of blueberries improved spatial working tasks.
Do you know that blueberries have anti-aging properties? Scientists gave blueberry extract to old rats as part of their experiment. To their surprise, the old rats learned things quickly, improving their motor skills. The mice were 19 months old, equivalent to 60-65 years of the age of humans. The blueberries-supplemented old mice did a great job on the inclined rod or spinning rod, the coordination tests. The young mice could stay for 14 seconds, but the blueberry-fed rats stayed for 10 seconds. Though it may not be equivalent to the young rats, there was a marked improvement in their coordination. When their brains were examined, the scientists found that the brain cells of the old rats communicated better.
Enhances eye health
During the WorldWar11, pilots in the British Royal Airforces regularly consumed blueberries. According to the stories, their vision and health improved, and they could accomplish their work accurately.
The ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity test) shows that blueberries introduce more antioxidants into the body than most other fruits and vegetables. Free radicals are the primary cause of macular degeneration.
The antioxidants supply missing electrons to free radicals and balance the cell. This action neutralizes free radicals and renders them inactive to damage the collagen matrix of healthy cells and tissues. Thus antioxidants prevent macular degeneration and promote vision health.
Multiple studies have found that a regular diet of blueberries lowers the risk of breast, bladder, lung, colon, skin, small intestine, and esophagus cancers.
The Rutger University scientists found that an antioxidant called pterostilbene reduced the rate of precancerous lesions of the colon by 57% in animals that received the blueberry diet. 1 ½ cups of blueberries brought these stunning results.
Blueberries have been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol. They control the lipoprotein oxidation that causes the hardening of arteries. According to various studies, these wonder berries also lower high blood pressure by as much as 6 percent.
The beautiful indigo berries reduced the risk of heart attack by 32 percent in a study that included more than 90,000 nurses.
Research shows that long-term regular consumption of wild polyphenol-rich blueberries helps prevent or improve pathologies associated with metabolic syndrome, including diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
How to enjoy blueberries
Add fresh or dried blueberries to your cold breakfast cereals. Add frozen blueberries to your smoothies. Layer yogurt and blueberries in wine glasses and top with crystallized ginger for a deliciously elegant dessert.