What is Blueberry?
Blueberry is a plant, they are sweet, nutritious and wildly popular. Often labelled a “superfood,” they are low in calories and incredibly good for you. Many people consider them to be their favorite fruit.
Blueberry contains a type of flavonoid known as anthocyanins, which are responsible for giving foods like blueberries, cranberries, red cabbage and eggplants their iconic deep red, purple and blue hues. Anthocyanins are responsible for more than just the blueberry’s pretty blue colour – they also contribute to the popular fruit’s numerous health benefits.
Health Benefits of Blueberry
Fighting wrinkles: Collagen, the skin’s support system, relies on vitamin C as an essential nutrient that works in our bodies as an antioxidant to help prevent damage caused by the sun, pollution and smoke. Vitamin C also promotes collagen’s ability to smooth wrinkles and improve overall skin texture. Just one cup of blueberries provides 24% of your daily need for vitamin C.
Preventing cancer: Vitamin C, vitamin A, and various phytonutrients in blueberries function as powerful antioxidants that help protect cells against free radical damage. They inhibit tumor growth, decrease inflammation in the body and help ward off or slow several types of cancer, including esophageal, lung, mouth, pharynx, endometrial, pancreatic, prostate and colon.
Blueberries May Help Reduce Muscle Damage After Strenuous Exercise: Blueberry supplementation may reduce the damage that occurs at the molecular level, minimizing soreness and reduction in muscle performance. Strenuous exercise can lead to muscle soreness and fatigue.
This is driven, in part, by local inflammation and oxidative stress in the muscle tissue.
Improving mental health: Population-based studies have shown that consumption of blueberries can reduce the risk of cognitive decline as well as Parkinson’s disease – a neurodegenerative disorder resulting from cell death in parts of the brain.
Lowering blood pressure: Maintaining a low sodium intake is essential to lowering blood pressure. Blueberries are naturally free of sodium and contain potassium, calcium, and magnesium, all of which have been found to decrease blood pressure naturally.
Warding off heart disease: The blueberry’s fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and phytonutrient content, coupled with its lack of cholesterol, all support heart health. The fiber in blueberries helps lower the total amount of cholesterol in the blood and decrease the risk of heart disease.
Vitamin B6 and folate prevent the buildup of a compound known as homocysteine. When excessive amounts of homocysteine accumulate in the body, it can damage blood vessels and lead to heart problems.
Healthy digestion: Because of their fiber content, blueberries help to prevent constipation and promote regularity for a healthy digestive tract.
Weight loss and satiety: Dietary fiber is commonly recognized as an important factor in weight loss and weight management by functioning as a “bulking agent” in the digestive system. High fiber foods increase satiety and reduce appetite, making you feel fuller for longer and thereby lowering your overall calorie intake.
Uses of Blueberry
- The fruit and leaves of Blueberries can be use to make medicine.
- It can be incorporated seamlessly into your diet. The recommended amount of fruits and vegetables in a day is five portions, out of which, a single portion can be blueberries. It is advised to eat the blueberries after steaming them, since it enhances the amount of antioxidants.
- The dried fruit and leaves are used for diarrhea.
- Tea made from the dried leaves is used for sore throat and swelling (inflammation) of the mouth or the skin lining the throat.
- Due to their tart taste, they have become an important component of many recipes. But cooking/ baking/ broiling blueberries can result in loss of nutrients and it is not the recommended way to consume them. However, recipes that use raw blueberries, such as smoothies, salads, or fruit toppings, are excellent ways of indulging in both health and taste.
Nutritional Value of Blueberry
Blueberries are one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the world and contain large levels and a broad range of antioxidants. The ORAC score of blueberries is an incredible 9,621, which makes it one of the highest antioxidant foods in the world.
Nutritional benefits in one cup of blueberries:
- Gallic acid
- Vitamin K (36 percent DV)
- Vitamin C (25 percent DV)
- Manganese (25 percent DV)
- Fiber (17 percent DV)