Health benefits of blueberries
For such a small fruit, the humble blueberry is packed full of so many health benefits that it’s marketed by many as a ‘superfood’. There’s good reason for this. From helping in maintaining bone health to combating weight problems and cancer, there are many ways consuming blueberries can benefit your health in both the short and long-term.
Blueberries comprise iron, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin K – all of which contribute to ensuring you build and maintain healthy bone structure and strength. Iron and zinc, for example, both play a crucial role in maintaining the strength and elasticity of bones and joints. So if you eat blueberries, they’ll help keep your bones in good shape.
Lowered blood pressure
Have you had blood pressure issues in the past? Blueberries are one food that can help you lower it. To keep your blood pressure low, you must maintain a low sodium intake. Blueberries are naturally free of sodium. In addition to this, they also contain potassium, magnesium, and calcium, all of which are shown to naturally decrease blood pressure.
Improvements to mental health
According to population-based studies, the consumption of blueberries can apparently reduce the risk of cognitive decline as well as Parkinson’s disease. Other studies have shown that blueberries can also improve short-term memory loss (i.e. short-term memory loss becomes less likely/chronic) and motor coordination.
While no food can outright prevent cancer, the powerful antioxidants contained within blueberries (vitamin C, vitamin A, and numerous phytonutrients) help protect the body’s cells against free radicals, which have long been associated with various diseases including cancer.
Antioxidants can help inhibit tumor growth, decrease inflammation in the body and can help ward off (or at least slow) various types of cancer, including the following: esophageal, lung, pharynx, mouth, pancreatic, prostate, colon, and endometrial cancer. Another beneficial component of blueberries is that they contain folate, which plays a role in DNA synthesis and repair. Folate can help prevent the formation of cancer cells when mutations in our DNA occur.
Weight loss and appetite satiety
Blueberries are rich dietary fibre, and it’s this fibre that has always played an important role in weight loss/management. The reason for this is that foods that are high in fibre manage to satiate appetites, which means people feel fuller for longer and tend to lower their overall calorie intake. Fibre acts as what’s referred to as a “bulking agent” in the digestive system, and blueberries come with plenty of fibre to help you better satisfy your hunger and better manage and/or lose weight.