Like other wild fruits, blueberries are distinguished by their high content of antioxidants, but also by their anticarcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Low in carbohydrates, a good source of fiber, rich in vitamins, blueberries are a nutritional powerhouse. Its content of antioxidants and vitamins, according to research, offers a variety of health advantages. Here are the main proven health benefits of blueberries.
Main Health Benefits of Blueberries
1. Packed with antioxidants
Blueberries are packed with antioxidants. These are substances that, like a soldier, remove certain aggressive substances in your body. These aggressive substances try to damage your cells and can cause cardiovascular disease in the long run. A good reason to get enough antioxidants every day! And blueberries are real toppers in this regard.
Now, a large amount of a certain substance in your food does not always mean that your body actually benefits from it. Sometimes your body simply does not absorb the nutrient properly. With blueberries, you don’t have to worry about that. Various studies show that the antioxidants from blueberries are clearly present in your blood after eating.
2. Rich in minerals
Blueberry is a cocktail of mineral salts, potassium, calcium, magnesium and trace elements, iron, zinc, boron, vanadium. It is also a good source of manganese and to a lesser extent of copper, two trace elements with many virtues.
3. Rich in vitamins
Blueberry is an excellent source of vitamin K, essential for blood clotting and beneficial for bone health. It has a significant vitamin C content, which is essential for the immune system and the nervous. It provides in smaller proportions, beta-carotene (pro-vitamin A), vitamin E, as well as all the vitamins of group B (except vitamin B12).
4. Reduce DNA damage
DNA oxidation is a common occurrence. As described in this study, it happens tens of thousands of times every day in every cell in our body. DNA damage is one of the factors that cause us to age, and it also plays a role in the development of illnesses like cancer.
Blueberries can assist to neutralize some of the free radicals that cause DNA damage since they contain so many antioxidants.
As part of a study, 168 people were given a liter of blueberry and apple juice every day for four weeks. The amount of oxidative DNA damage caused by free radicals was reduced by 20% at the conclusion of the research. Smaller studies utilizing fresh berries or powdered berries corroborate these benefits.
5. Prevents high blood pressure
The antioxidants in blueberries also aid in the prevention of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and infections of all kinds. In addition, blueberries also contain potassium, which also helps prevent high blood pressure.
6. May help with diabetes
Research has shown that the anthocyanins contained in blueberries can have positive effects on insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism. In a study conducted on 32 obese people, the consumption of a blueberry smoothie significantly improved their insulin sensitivity. Also, their risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes decreased considerably.
7. Good for concentration and memory
The anthocyanins in blueberries, which are also responsible for the purple color of the berries, seem to protect the neurons in the brain.
Researchers from Tufts University in Boston found that in aging mice given blueberry extract, their balance, coordination, and short-term memory improved. The many antioxidants found in blueberries should also help prevent Alzheimer’s disease, according to the study.
Researchers from another study in Boston also found that eating a 75g serving of blueberries each week would have benefits to memory. This would reduce memory decline.
8. Reduce the risk of heart disease
Blueberries can help prevent a heart attack. A large-scale study showed that participants who ate at least 3 servings of strawberries and/or blueberries per week were less likely to have a heart attack than those who ate 1 serving or less. The study notably looked at the link between anthocyanin (the substance that gives blueberries their color) and the reduction in the risk of a heart attack.
9. Good for your skin
Collagen is a protein that gives the skin elasticity and firmness. It is necessary for a beautiful skin texture, to avoid wrinkles, and to protect against air pollution. Research has shown that blueberries – and especially vitamin C – can improve the function of collagen. One cup of blueberries provides 24% of the daily recommended vitamin C intake.
10. Help Fight Inflammation
Inflammation is a normal immune system response that protects the body from illness and injury. However, in chronic form, they can cause various ailments, including cancer, autoimmune diseases, heart defects, and depression.
Research has shown that blueberries have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. For example, a laboratory study in 2014 showed that the polyphenols in the fruit inhibited the activity of various inflammatory markers.
Another study in rats demonstrated that the administration of blueberry extract resulted in less swelling.
11. Ideal for a post-workout snack
A heavy workout causes fatigue and muscle pain. This is mainly due to local inflammation and oxidative stress in the muscle tissue. Blueberries can help reduce this effect. Indeed, a study has shown that blueberries accelerate muscle recovery after strenuous exercises.
12. Prevent osteoarthritis
Observational studies and laboratory work indicate that blueberries — like other small red fruits, blackcurrants, raspberries, etc. — could contribute to the prevention or treatment of osteoarthritis, due to the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, even anti-pain effects of its polyphenols.
A recent study, conducted on 63 adults with osteoarthritis, showed a decrease in pain and joint stiffness after daily ingestion of 40 g of dehydrated blueberries (the equivalent of 400 g of fresh blueberries) for 4 months.
13. Support weight loss
If some fruits are not recommended when trying to lose weight, blueberries are exempt from that list thanks to their low-calorie content.
Blueberries are only slightly sweet (about 6 to 10 grams of sugar per 100 g of blueberries against 15 to 20 grams for many other fruits). Furthermore, blueberries are rich in fiber and water, which promote satiety and reduce cravings. You can therefore integrate them into your weight loss diet without any problem.
Blueberries Nutritional Value
|Calories (kcal): 46 |
Fat (g): 1
Carbohydrates (g): 6 Fiber (g): 4,9
|Potassium (mg): 80 |
Calcium (mg): 10
Magnesium (mg): 2
Iron (mg): 0.7
Zinc (mg): 0.1
|ß-carotene (mg): 35 |
Vitamin E (mg): 2.1
Vitamin B1 (mg): 0.02
Vitamin B2 (mg): 0.02
Vitamin B6 (mg): 0.06
Vitamin C (mg): 20
Frequently asked questions on blueberries
How many calories do blueberries have?
Blueberries are low in calories: they have only 46 calories per 100 g and can be consumed wonderfully as a healthy snack as part of a weight-loss diet. Blueberries are also full of vitamins, minerals, and valuable plant substances.
How many blueberries should you eat per day?
Blueberries have predominantly positive effects on the body. But how many blueberries should you eat? Despite everything, one should not eat too many blueberries a day: A maximum of 75–100 g of blueberries a day is recommended, as larger amounts could have a laxative effect or could cause headaches and rashes in people with salicylic acid intolerance.
What vitamins do blueberries have?
Blueberries are particularly rich in cell-protecting vitamins C and E. They also contain vitamin K and vitamins of the B group, except B12.
How many carbohydrates do blueberries have?
Blueberries belong to the lower carbohydrate fruit varieties. Blueberries have only about 6 g of carbohydrates per 100 g. In comparison, a carbohydrate-rich fruit like a banana has about 21g of carbohydrates. Thus, blueberries are very well suited for a low-carb diet.
Video Summary – Health Benefits of Blueberries
Cultivated blueberries have a similar sugar and fiber intake to the average fruit. Good source of manganese, vitamins C and K, it provides many other micronutrients in smaller proportions: vitamins E and group B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, copper, iron, polyphenols. Wild blueberries are less sweet and contain more fiber, vitamin C, and polyphenols.
An fitness addict passionate of all things nature and animals, Angie often volunteers her time to NGOs and governmental organizations alike working with animals in general and endangered species in particular. She covers stories on wildlife and the environment for the Scientific Origin.