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Blueberries, though, do not have any long history in being known as cultivated ones, but these tiny fruits originated in New Jersey and are grown commercially in 38 states and in several other parts of the world. Popularly known as summer berry, they are extremely rich in vitamins and antioxidants and carry an immense amount of nutritional value to your diet. Today, let’s talk about the top 10 Nutritional and Health Benefits of Blueberries and get some recipe inspirations too.
But before we move on, let’s know some facts-
Nutrition Facts About Blueberries- (1 cup of blueberries)
Calories– 84 g(grams)
Dietary fiber– 3.6g
Vitamin A – 80 IU (International Unit)
Potassium – 114 mg
Vitamin E– 0.84mg
Vitamin K– 28.6mg
Once you’re aware of its nutritional value, you must know that it shouldn’t be the sweet and luscious taste of the berries but its potential health benefits to why you need to fill your grocery cart in the next run.
10 Nutritional And Health Benefits of Blueberries-
1. Reduce DNA Damage-
Generally speaking, Oxidative DNA damage is an inevitable part of our everyday life. It occurs zillion times per day, in each and every single cell of our body. DNA damage is a definite part of the several reasons why we grow older, and how our skin experiences aging. It even plays a crucial role in the prevention of cancer and other potential diseases. Blueberries, being high in antioxidants, help us neutralize some of the major free radicals that are known to cause damage to our DNA.
2. Protect Cholesterol-
Well, as a matter of fact, oxidative damage is not just limited to our DNA and cells. It also spreads and becomes problematic when bad cholesterol (lipoproteins) are oxidized. Oxidation of lipoproteins lead to heart diseases, but if you’re into consuming blueberries, then the antioxidants contained in them, are surely going to reduce the risks.
You should consume it either with the main meal or even within a fruit dish, but 75 grams is the daily recommended value, so make sure that you take care of that.
3. Boosts Brain Functions-
Natural colorants called Anthocyanins give fruits and vegetables a purple, red or blue color. This natural colorant is also found in summer berries and has been found responsible for improving memory and other cognitive functions.
According to a study, blueberry supplements might help in improving memory in the elderly people. Similarly, another significant study on wild blueberry powder concluded that this version of the fruit might help in boosting problem-solving approaches and memory in children, resulting in very high test scores.
4. Lowers Type II Diabetes-
Blueberries are known to contain flavonoids, which are basically a group of natural substances that might help in improving glucose metabolism in patients with diabetes. Flavonoids can even help in improving insulin sensitivity in people who are found to be obese and suffer from insulin, thus reducing their risk of developing type II diabetes.
5. Lowers Blood Pressure-
Blueberries impact the blood pressure patients positively, while significantly ruling out the major risk factors for some of the world’s leading killers. In a research study, obese individuals, who were facing a high risk for heart diseases noted a significant 4-6% reduction in their blood pressure, after eating 50 grams of blueberries per day, for around eight weeks. Other research studies have found very similar effects, especially when studying post-menopausal women. Provided that high blood pressure is one of the major leading drivers of strokes and heart attacks, their implications are potentially massive.
6. Fights Urinary Tract Infections-
Urinary tract infections are basically common and prevailing in women. It is very well known that even cranberry juice can help you prevent such infections. Well, blueberries are highly related to cranberries and contain many of those active substances contained in a cranberry juice. These substances are basically called anti-adhesives, and they generally help in preventing bacterias like E. coli from binding to the wall of our bladders. Though blueberries haven’t been studied much thoroughly, chances exist that they have similar effects as that of cranberries
7. Enhances Mood-
There are shreds of evidence that suggest, that apparently the flavonoids found in blueberries can decrease your risk of depression and improves mood in children and many young adults. One animal study basically suggests that blueberries might also improve several symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorders.
8. Reduces Muscle Damage-
Strenuous exercise leads to muscle soreness and extreme fatigue in some cases. As a matter of fact, this happens because of local inflammation and other oxidative stresses in the muscle tissue. Blueberry supplementations might reduce the damage that might have occurred at a molecular level, reducing soreness and minimizing muscle performance.
9. Makes Bones Strong-
Consuming blueberries can also protect your joints and bones. Blueberries are a great source of manganese, which usually plays a role in the development of healthy bones. In addition, they contain vitamin C, which works towards improving collagen.
10. Prevents Cancer-
Blueberries are an amazing source of antioxidants. They happen to reduce inflammation throughout our body and might inhibit the growth of any kind of cancer by stopping the cells from becoming extremely malignant and by slowing and hampering the growth of your cancerous cells.
Can Blueberries Help You Lose Weight?
Well, following a diet for weight loss basically involves restricting what we eat, which generally implies eating little to almost no sugar. But, unfortunately, dieting might also trigger very strong sugar cravings at unexpected hours.
Blueberries can prove to be a very healthy choice when you would want something very sweet but wouldn’t want to sabotage your deliberate weight-loss efforts. A cup of blueberries contains only 80 calories, plus, they are full of fiber. This fact might help you feel quite full for a longer time and potentially eat very less.
Storing BlueBerries in the Healthiest Possible Manner-
Though fresh blueberries can be purchased all the year-round. But, for the best flavor, however, it’s extremely important to pick an absolute quality batch.
While shopping for fruits, look mandatorily for blueberries that are very firm and dry. A quality blueberry might also have a very smooth skin and an extremely deep color, either a very deep purplish-blue or blue to blackish kind of skin. Sometimes, you might stumble upon certain blueberries that are quite reddish in color. Well, these blueberries are not basically ripe and do not produce as much flavor as the ripened blueberries.
A batch of blueberries should be carefully examined before purchase. Don’t ever purchase berries that look shriveled, moldy or soft. once you have bought them, It’s always very important to wash the blueberries just before consuming them and keep them very refrigerated after purchasing to ensure that they are still fresh. As compared to other products, blueberries don’t really last long. So make sure that you eat them within 10 days of your purchase.
Well, there is even an option of buying frozen berries, which might come in really handy if you’re probably looking to add some blueberries to your smoothies or the yogurt. But ensure that it’s a very high-quality bag of frozen blueberries. Before purchasing, feel the bag to ensure that the blueberries are quite loose and not at all frozen into a lump, which might be difficult to separate while preparing for frozen drinks such as smoothies. If you ever choose to thaw a packet of frozen blueberries, then store unfrozen berries into the refrigerator and then compulsorily use them within three days of purchase.
Now that we have known the potential nutritional and health benefits, and the tricks to buy and store blueberries properly, let’s us get our hands on some delicious recipes so that you can judiciously make use of those tiny little sweethearts!
Famous Blueberry Recipes
after that, add blueberries, mustard, vinegar, Worcestershire, salt, garlic and pepper to the food processor and process it until pureed.