The super-food era is at its all-time high now. Be it the power packed protein bars or exotic fruits, people have experimented with the best, giving the dietary charts an all new dimensions.
One among these super-foods is the very nutritious, Blueberry. It is an excellent source of vitamin C, that also helps in iron absorption and protects cells against damage. Blueberries are one such wonder-food which offers so many advantages and has multiple benefits. Let’s discuss the benefits of blueberries to understand this fruit better.
Understanding The Blueberry Fruit:
When you eat blueberries, you get the twin benefits of taste and health. The delicious blueberries are one of the most common berries. Though being small in size, it is packed with antioxidants and many important nutrients.
Blueberries primarily grow across Southern Canada and along the East Coast of the United States. The harvest season of Blueberries starts mostly in May and lasts till mid of August. But it varies depending on the location.
What makes blueberry look so colorful? Behind the red, blue and indigo color of the fruit, is the presence of phytochemicals and naturally occurring plant compounds which makes it such a vibrant delight. Blueberries are not blue, but deep purple which is the color of the anthocyanin, a pigment found in it.
Blueberry Fruit Nutrition:
The King of Antioxidant Foods, Blueberries has anthocyanins, a group of flavonoids which bring in a plethora of nutritional benefits. Let us look how.
|Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||240 kJ (57 kcal)|
|Dietary fiber||2.4 g|
|Vitamin A||54 IU|
|Vitamin C||9.7 mg||12%|
|Vitamin E||0.57 mg||4%|
|Vitamin K||19.3 μg||18%|
|Thiamine (B1)||0.037 mg||3%|
|Riboflavin (B2)||0.041 mg||3%|
|Niacin (B3)||0.418 mg||3%|
|Pantothenic acid (B5)||0.124 mg||2%|
|Vitamin B6||0.052 mg||4%|
|Folate (B9)||6 μg||2%|
Is that enough? Nope, blueberries also contain beta-carotene, copper, folate, choline, manganese, and vitamins A and E. Now that you have looked at the vast nutrition value of blueberries, let’s see how it helps in boosting health, skin and hair.
Here Is A List Of Blueberry Benefits:
Blueberries are strongly linked to healthy living. And the benefits of blueberries are ample proof of it.
1. Healthy Bones:
The minerals such as iron, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, manganese, zinc and vitamin K are components of bone. When they are taken in required quantity during the day, they contribute to maintaining bone strength and elasticity of bones and joints. Bear it in mind that low intake of vitamin K has been linked to high risk factor of bone fracture. Eat a diet rich in vitamin K to improve calcium absorption and reduce calcium loss.
2. Healthful Skin:
Collagen stimulates a healthy and good-looking skin. And vitamin C, an essential nutrient, helps the collagen prevent skin damage caused by harmful sun rays, pollution, and smoke. In fact, vitamin C improves the collagen’s ability to smoothen wrinkles and improve the skin texture. Did you know, one cup of blueberries provides 24 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C?
3. Reduces High Blood Pressure:
To keep BP at a healthy level, it is important to maintain low sodium levels. Blueberries are thankfully sodium-free. A 2015 study done on people with metabolic syndrome shows that blueberry consumption on a daily basis for 6 weeks did not affect BP levels.
4. Diabetes Management:
According to studies, people with type 1 diabetes who take high-fiber diets have low blood glucose levels. Whereas people with type 2 diabetes who consume the same can have improved blood sugar, lipid, and insulin levels. A cup of blueberries as you read above has 3.6 gm. of fiber.
5. Protecting Against Heart Ailments:
Blueberries support heart health owing to the fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin B6 and C, and phytonutrients. With no cholesterol present in them, blueberries can be your heart’s best friend. Fiber content also reduces the total cholesterol present in the blood and reduces the chances of heart disease.
6. Cancer Prevention:
Powerful antioxidants such as vitamin A and C and phytonutrients in blueberries protect the body cells from free radical damage that can cause cancer. According to research, antioxidants can inhibit tumor growth, decrease inflammation in the body, and ward off cancer of the various organs. Blueberries also have folate which contributes in DNA synthesis and repair.
7. Improves Mental Health:
Studies give conclusive evidence that eating blueberries helps on two counts – improves short-term memory and aids in motor coordination.
8. Enables Healthy Digestion:
Eating of blueberries helps maintain a healthy gut and digestive tract because of the fiber content. Since it’s a good laxative, it prevents constipation. It also gives a feeling of fullness and reduces appetite.
9. Hair Care:
Beauty practitioners endorse blueberries for getting thick and beautiful tresses of hair. It also slows down the aging of hair, hence delaying the greying. Blueberry intake will promote in maintaining dark and thick hair for a good span of time
You must be eager to know about the existence of blueberries in India. Though blueberry farming is limited in India, it has successfully started growing in our country with the use of correct cultivation practices.
Side Effects of Blueberries:
Blueberries are considered safe when consumed in food. However, avoid taking leaves of the blueberry fruit. Blueberries should be avoided in the following situations:
1. During Pregnancy And Breastfeeding:
Pregnant and breastfeeding moms should take blueberry as food, not as medicine.
Blueberry consumption might lower blood sugar levels in people suffering from diabetes. Monitor your blood sugar if you have low BP and accordingly adjust your intake of blueberries. Consult your health care provider on diabetes medications.
Taking blueberries might affect blood glucose levels and interfere with the control of blood sugar during and after surgery. Stop eating blueberries at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
FAQS on Blueberries:
Q.1 How should one pick blueberries? What is the safe process?
A. Avoid picking blueberries which have a hint of red. It means they are not ripe enough to be plucked and eaten. The ripe ones fall off easily with a tug or a gentle rub. To increase shelf life, chill berries soon after picking.
Q.2 What is the calorific value of blueberries?
A. A cup of blueberries fulfills 17 percent of your daily fiber requirements, 36 percent of your daily vitamin K needs, and 25 percent of your daily necessity of vitamin C and manganese with only 80 calories. Blueberries are fat-free, are low in sodium and have a moderate amount of sugar.
Q.3 What are the food items that go well with blueberries?
A. Blueberries can be paired with sweet dishes and savory items. They can be used in cooking and baking, so are extremely versatile.
The content used here is for reference purpose only and is not a substitute for advice given by a physician, pharmacist or any other licensed health care professional.
Now that you know so much about blueberries, do incorporate it into the daily diet. If you are a diabetic, keep in mind your insulin levels while consuming blueberries. But yes, blueberries are a powerhouse of health and you will be glad you ate it. Write your comments and tell us how you found this post. Also, share it with your friends and family members.