Health Benefits of Blueberries
I’m a huge lover of all berries – raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and strawberries and now I live in the UK I can grow my own again!
They always look so pretty in front of the camera and adding a touch of gorgeous natural light to these babies you can get some lovely images. Check out my other blog posts here on photography tips and watch out for more on food photography tips coming soon!
In the meantime, I thought I’d share a few benefits of how much these gorgeous berries are for us…..
Blueberries are sweet, nutritious and very popular with children and adults.
Often labelled a “superfood,” they are low in calories and incredibly good for you.
They are so tasty and convenient that many people consider them to be their favourite fruit.
Here are 3 health benefits of blueberries that are supported by research.
1. Blueberries are Low in Calories, But High in Nutrients
The blueberry is a flowering shrub that produces berries that are coloured blue to purple, also known as blueberries.
It is strongly related to similar shrubs, such as those that produce cranberries and huckleberries.
Blueberries are small, around 5-16 millimetres in diameter, and have a flared crown at the end.
They are green in colour at first, then change to blue-purple as they ripen.
These are the two most common types:
- Highbush blueberries are the most commonly grown species in the US.
- Lowbush blueberries are often referred to as “wild” blueberries. They are typically smaller and richer in some antioxidants.
This is what typical blueberries look like:
- Fibre 4 grams.
- Vitamin C: 24% of the RDA.
- Vitamin K: 36% of the RDA.
- Manganese: 25% of the RDA.
- Then it contains small amounts of various other nutrients.
They are also about 85% water, and an entire cup contains only 84 calories, with 15 grams of carbohydrates.
Calorie for calorie, this makes them an excellent source of several important nutrients.
2. Blueberries are the King of Antioxidant Foods
Antioxidants are important.
They protect our bodies from damage by free radicals, unstable molecules that can damage cellular structures and contribute to ageing and diseases like cancer
Blueberries are believed to contain the highest antioxidant capacity of ALL commonly consumed fruits and vegetables.
The main antioxidant compounds in blueberries belong to a large family of polyphenols, called flavonoids.
One group of flavonoids, in particular, anthocyanins, is thought to be responsible for much of the beneficial health effects.
They have been shown to directly increase antioxidant levels inside the body.
Blueberries have the highest antioxidant capacity of all commonly consumed fruits and vegetables. Flavonoids appear to be the major antioxidant compounds.
3. Blueberries Reduce DNA Damage, Which May Help Protect Against Ageing and Cancer
Oxidative DNA damage is part of everyday life.
It is said to occur tens of thousands of times per day, in every single cell in the body.
DNA damage is part of the reason we grow older, and it also plays an important role in the development of diseases like cancer.
Because blueberries are high in antioxidants, they can help neutralize some of the free radicals that cause damage to our DNA.
In one 4-week study, 168 participants were instructed to drink 1 litre (34 ounces) of a mixture of blueberry and apple juice, every day.
At the end of the study, oxidative DNA damage due to free radicals was reduced by 20%.
These findings have also been supported by smaller studies using either fresh or powdered blueberries.
Several studies have shown that blueberries and blueberry juice can protect against DNA damage, a leading driver of aging and cancer.