What are the health benefits of blueberries?
We all know that adding fruits and vegetables to our diets is important when it comes to getting the right nutrients, vitamins and minerals and improving our overall health. One fruit that’s often listed amongst the best superfoods and is revered by many nutritionists and health experts is the humble blueberry.
If you are asking yourself ‘are blueberries good for you?’ or want to know how they can add to your life, read on to learn about the health benefits of blueberries.
Blueberries are high in nutrients and low in calories
Blueberries are incredibly nutrient-dense for their small size, and there are very few calories in blueberries for the benefits they offer. This is thanks to their high water content - they are 85% water! When it comes to nutrients, they contain high levels of natural fibre and are a good source of Vitamin C. Calorie-wise they are good as well at just over 50 calories for 100 grams, making them a great snack for weight loss.
Blueberries can improve heart health
The antioxidants in blueberries have been shown to reduce the levels of oxidised LDL (bad cholesterol) which can lead to heart disease. There is even research to show that eating more blueberries can reduce the risk of heart attacks altogether. This is thanks to the anthocyanins in blueberries, which, are the phytochemicals that give the berry its namesake colouring. These anthocyanins have well researched protective qualities for all of our body but the heart especially due to their positive effect on the body’s blood vessels.
After a 2019 King’s College study into the anthocyanins found in blueberries, Lead Researcher Dr Ana Rodriguez-Mateos said: “If the changes we saw in blood vessel function after eating blueberries every day could be sustained for a person's whole life, it could reduce their risk of developing cardiovascular disease by up to 20%.”
Blueberries can regulate blood sugar
Although very sweet in flavour, blueberries how a low glycaemic index and contain very little sugar. Combine this with their high flavonoid content and they can offer improved insulin sensitivity, helping the body to monitor blood sugar levels. If you are looking to keep your blood sugar down but fancy a sweet treat, blueberries might be the answer.
Blueberries can help lower blood pressure
The stress of life gets to us all, and no one wants to deal with high blood pressure, even the temporary kind, so you should consider packing a few blueberries into your bag on your next spa break in Yorkshire.
High blood pressure, however, is just another item on the list of things blueberries can help fight. Thanks to the anthocyanins, research suggests that eating blueberries might be just as effective as taking blood pressure-lowering medication. We are sure they are much tastier too.
Blueberries can optimise brain function
When getting bogged down with work and worn out from life’s headaches, sometimes our brains can start to not work as well as we would like. Well, enter blueberries once again, as the superfood can help us thanks to the antioxidants they contain which accumulate in the areas of the brain that are necessary for intelligence. They also appear to affect ageing neurons, therefore, combatting age-related decline in older adults and help to improve memory.
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How to incorporate more blueberries into your diet
There are plenty of ways you can incorporate more blueberries into your diet if you are looking to receive their health benefits. The first and easiest is just to eat them fresh, as a snack – why not place a bowl on your desk and munch on them whilst you work?
If you aren’t a snacker, they are also great as toppings, especially on breakfast dishes. Whether you are a porridge lover, pancake maker or just like a bowl of cereal, putting a handful of blueberries on top can add another layer to the flavour and is quick and easy.
Another simple way to add blueberries into your diet is to use them as part of a smoothie. Smoothies are easy ways to get your vitamins and minerals and, by making them yourself, you can choose the exact flavours and ingredients you use. This is a great way to add a few nutrient-dense foods to your day in a sweet and tasty drink – perfect for on-the-go meals.
We are sure that after finding out just why blueberries are dubbed a superfood, you’ll be eating blueberries more often. So, next time you pop to the shops make sure to pick up a punnet or two and snack away knowing doing so helps your body and mind.
For more useful articles and guides, check out the Titanic Spa blog.