Blueberries are a classic in muffins, fruit salads and oatmeal and their health benefits make them one of my all-time favorite foods. Whether you eat blueberries straight from the bush or use them in delicious salads, breakfast or desserts, chances are, you should be eating more of this popular fruit.
Here are 5 reasons to love them even more:
1. Blueberries protect against cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
Researchers analyzed 25 fruits commonly consumed in the United States for their antioxidant activity and, together with pomegranate, blueberries scored the highest.
Antioxidants help our body neutralize free radicals and prevent oxidative stress, which can cause severe cell damage and is thought to play a big role in developing cancer, diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
2. Blueberries can turn back your biological clock.
No one knows for sure why exactly people age, but oxidative stress is considered a huge contributor to our decrease of organ function and increase of wrinkles and saggy skin as we get older.
A 4-week intervention study with 168 people showed that daily intake of an antioxidant-rich blueberry/apple juice reduced DNA damage due to oxidative stress by 20%, which turned back the participants' biological clock.
3. Blueberries lower your blood pressure.
Are you (a little) overweight with blood pressure levels that are way too high? Try having about 2 ounces of blueberries every day.
Participants in a study managed to decrease their blood pressure by up to 6% simply by making blueberries a part of their daily diet.
4. Blueberries protect against cognitive decline.
We all want to grow old with our memory intact for as long as possible. It turns out that regular consumption of blueberries and strawberries appears to delay cognitive aging by several years.
Researchers found that increased berry consumption can lead to increased clearing of toxic proteins from the brain, which is especially meaningful in Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease.
5. Blueberries are good for your bowels and bladder.
Centuries ago, blueberries were a popular food to treat both constipation and diarrhea, since they contain plenty of soluble and insoluble fiber to promote bowel movements, as well as tannins. Tannins are astringents which can firm up a loose stool.
Also, blueberry juice is said to be as equally effective as cranberry juice in people with urinary tract infections, since both berries contain the compounds which reduce the ability of the e.coli bacterium to adhere to the wall of the bladder.
Other than providing large amounts of antioxidants, blueberries are also a great source of vitamins C, K and E, as well as manganese. I love them in yoghurt, smoothies or in my Chia Blueberry Almond Tiramisu.
Chia Blueberry Almond Tiramisu