They taste delicious, complement numerous desserts and smoothies and can be used as decoration on a wide range of dishes -the uses of blueberries are endless. The same statement also applies to their health and nutritional benefits. Read on for the Top 5 Health Benefits of Blueberries!
1. Lower cholesterol levels
Blueberries help lower the amount of Low Density Lipoproteins in our bloodstream. Studies have shown that eating 75 grams of blueberries after a main meal reduces the LDL cholesterol ratio in our blood. This fascinating component of the blueberry thus helps decrease the risk of heart disease and lowers our blood pressure.
2. Maintain brain function
We all ‘know’ that blueberries are high in antioxidants, but there is a fantastic reason why. Some of those antioxidants have been proven to help boost memory, slow the aging process of brain cells and prevent cognitive decline. Another reason to up your consumption around exam periods and for important meetings!
3. High in nutrients, low in calories
Like all superfoods, blueberries are high in nutrients such as Vitamin A, C and K which are important for a healthy immune system and healthy eyes. Blueberries are also high in minerals such as manganese, which is vital and needed for blood clotting, carbohydrate and fat metabolism. Additionally, blueberries are also high in dietary fibre, which aids weight loss.
4. Maintenance of healthy bones
This is due to blueberries having high levels of calcium, Vitamin K and Zinc. All of these components are needed for the maintenance of healthy bones and to maintain their density. These collectively slow down a process known as calcium deposition, which is where the body starts to take calcium from the bones to fulfil other needs, such as nerve function and muscle contraction.
5. Manages diabetes
This is the ‘save the best until last’ fact! Studies show that those who suffer from Type 1 Diabetes and consume a high fibre diet have lower blood sugar levels and those who suffer from Type 2 Diabetes have reported lower levels of fat and are less dependent on insulin. A whole cup of blueberries contains just 15g of sugar, the equivalent to one small apple or orange. This ties in with no.3 above, namely that blueberries are nutrient-dense powerhouses!
There are several ways to add this popular fruit to your diet, either by adding them in fresh or in dried form into your fruit salad or blended into your own smoothie recipes. They can be readily bought anywhere and are available in supplement forms from the likes of Holland and Barrett and Woods Health. Why not try them in or on pancakes for your next breakfast as a scrumptious healthy alternative to cereal to start your day?