Scientific Health Benefits of Blueberries Discovered by Grill Heat Aid

Posted by John Bloomfield on

Scientific Health Benefits of Blueberries Discovered by Grill Heat Aid

Blueberries are one of the healthiest fruits, not only due to their high vitamin C content, but also antioxidants, phytonutrients, and fiber that are protective against oxidative stress. Blueberries also contain a bioactive compound called anthocyanin," a type of antioxidant-rich flavonoid responsible for the coloring and many health benefits of blueberries. 

In addition to antioxidants, blueberries are rich in nutrients such as iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, and potassium, as well as vitamins C, E, and K. But if you're still wondering how many calories are in blueberries or how much fiber is in blueberries. 

Here is the nutritional information for 1 cup of blueberries, according to the USDA:

  • 84 calories
  • 1 gram protein
  • 0 grams of fat
  • 21 grams carbohydrate
  • 4 grams of fiber
  • 15 grams of sugar

Super Source of Antioxidants: Blueberries are a powerhouse of antioxidants, especially anthocyanin, which gives it its deep blue colour, as well as helps in removing free radicals from the blood, and thereby protecting the body from developing various diseases, including cancer. It is said that blueberries have the highest antioxidant capacity among all commonly consumed fruits and vegetables. And its regular consumption is found to not only help the cardiovascular system, but also protect against neurodegenerative diseases and digestive diseases.  

Boosts Immunity: A study done by Oregon State University found that resveratrol in red grapes and pterostilbene in blueberries could help boost the human immune system by raising the activity of a gene called human cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide, or CAMP gene, which is involved in immune function. The CAMP gene is the subject of much study, as it has been shown to play a key role in the "innate" immune system, or the body's first line of defense and ability to combat bacterial infection. The innate immune response is especially important as many antibiotics increasingly lose their effectiveness. Moreover, the flavonoids present in blueberries also have anti-inflammatory properties and can significantly reduce the risk of catching cough and cold.

Good Source of Vitamins, Minerals, and Fiber: Blueberries are a great source of vitamins and minerals, particularly Vitamin C. It is also low on sugar content; one cup of blueberries is said to contain 15 grams of sugar, which is equivalent to a small apple, and its bioactive compounds nullifies any negative impact of the sugar. Blueberries are a good source of dietary fiber as well and aid in digestions too.

Regulating Blood Sugar: Several studies have found that blueberries are beneficial for those suffering from blood sugar related problems such as diabetes and insulin resistance. These berries help in regulating the sugar level and are also good for those with obesity. They have a low GI value (glycemic index), and one to two cups of blueberries, along with other flavonoid-rich fruits can give you the much-needed health boost when consumed regularly.

Reduces Risks of Heart Disease: Because blueberries are loaded with antioxidants, they help keep a check on the cholesterol level. Studies have revealed that these components help improve blood fat balance and prevent clogging of the arteries. Moreover, these flavonoids aid in lowering blood pressure, thereby cutting down the risk of heart diseases. As such, they are good for the heart and promote heart health.

Support heart health: In a study by the American Heart Association (AHA), participants who ate blueberries (and strawberries, another good source of anthocyanins) three or more times during the week lowered their risk of heart attack by 32 percent. Blueberries are also filled with heart-healthy fiber, and diets rich in fiber have been linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, according to the AHA.

Help reduce the risk of cancer: By now, you (hopefully) understand that blueberries are loaded with antioxidants. In fact, they're believed to have one of the highest concentrations of these disease-fighting compounds out of all fruits and veggies. Why is this important? Because antioxidants protect your body from free radicals, which include cancer-causing molecules. Research also suggests that blueberries and blueberry juice have the power to reduce DMA damage, which is a major culprit in causing and progressing cancer. (See also: The Most Antioxidant-Rich Foods to Stock Up On, Stat)

Strengthen bones: Blueberries contain vitamin K, magnesium, and calcium which all contribute to bone strength and development, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Manage diabetes: These berries are considered a perfect snack for diabetics by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) because, in addition to their aforementioned health perks, blueberries have a low glycemic index and are less likely to cause a spike in blood sugar.

Nourish skin: "The antioxidant power of blueberries has the potential to be just as effective on the skin as in the body," says Eliza Savage, M.S., R.D., author of Healing Through Nutrition: The Essential Guide to 50 Plant-Based Nutritional Sources. "That's because they're "rich in antioxidants, including flavonoids that can help calm inflammation," and, in turn, "protect cells from damage caused by stressors," explains Mary L. Stevenson, M.D., a New York City-based dermatologic surgeon. (More on how to use blueberries for skin, below.)

Boost brain function: Not only are blueberries a sound investment for your physical health, but they're also beneficial for your mental health. Research suggests that consumption of blueberries can slow cognitive decline, improve memory recall, and reduce depression symptoms in older populations. What's more, a study published in the Annals of Neurology found that adding at least one serving of blueberries to participants' weekly diets slowed cognitive decline in older adult women by two and a half years. Repeat: two and a half years.

Maintaining healthy bones: Blueberries contain iron, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and vitamin K. Each of these is a component of bone. Adequate intake of these minerals and vitamins contributes to building and maintaining bone structure and strength. Iron and zinc fulfill crucial roles in maintaining the strength and elasticity of bones and joints. Low intakes of vitamin K have been linked to a higher risk of bone fracture. However, adequate vitamin K intake improves calcium absorption and may reduce calcium loss.

Skin health: Collagen is the support system of the skin. It relies on vitamin C as an essential nutrient and works to help prevent skin damage caused by the sun, pollution, and smoke. Vitamin C may also improve collagen’s ability to smooth wrinkles and enhance overall skin texture. One cup of blueberries provides 24 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C.

Lowering blood pressure: Maintaining low sodium levels is essential to keeping blood pressure at a healthful level. Blueberries are free of sodium. They contain potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Some studies have shown that diets low in these minerals are associated with higher blood pressure. Adequate dietary intake of these minerals is thought to help reduce blood pressure.

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