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10 Proven Health Benefits of Blueberries



10 Proven Health Benefits of Blueberries

Healthline E-Magazine


Blueberries are sweet, nutritious and wildly popular.

Often labeled a superfood, they are low in calories and incredibly good for you.

They’re so tasty and convenient that many people consider them their favorite fruit.

Here are 10 proven health benefits of blueberries.

1. Blueberries Are Low in Calories But High in Nutrients The blueberry bush (Vaccinium sect. Cyanococcus) is a flowering shrub that produces berries with a bluish, purple hue — also known as blueberries. It is closely related to similar shrubs, such as those that produce cranberries and huckleberries. Blueberries are small — around 0.2–0.6 inches (5–16 millimeters) in diameter — and feature a flared crown at the end. They are green in color when they first appear, then deepen to purple and blue as they ripen. The two most common types are:

  • Highbush blueberries: The most common cultivated variety in the US.

  • Lowbush or “wild” blueberries: Typically smaller and richer in some antioxidants.

Blueberries are among the most nutrient-dense berries. A 1-cup (148-gram) serving of blueberries contains (1):

  • Fiber: 4 grams

  • Vitamin C: 24% of the RDI

  • Vitamin K: 36% of the RDI

  • Manganese: 25% of the RDI

  • Small amounts of various other nutrients

They are also about 85% water, and an entire cup contains only 84 calories, with 15 grams of carbohydrates. Calorie for calorie, this makes them an excellent source of several important nutrients.

SUMMARY

The blueberry is a very popular berry. It is low in calories but high in fiber, vitamin C and vitamin K.


2. Blueberries are the King of Antioxidant Foods Antioxidants protect your body from free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can damage your cells and contribute to aging and diseases, such as cancer (2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source). Blueberries are believed to have one of the highest antioxidant levels of all common fruits and vegetables (4Trusted Source, 5Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source). The main antioxidant compounds in blueberries belong to a family of polyphenols antioxidants called flavonoids.

One group of flavonoids in particular — anthocyanins — is thought to be responsible for much of these berries’ beneficial health effects (7Trusted Source). Blueberries have been shown to directly increase antioxidant levels in your body (8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source).

SUMMARY

Blueberries have the highest antioxidant capacity of all the popular fruits and vegetables. Flavonoids appear to be the berries’ antioxidant with the greatest impact.

3. Blueberries Reduce DNA Damage, Which May Help Protect Against Aging and Cancer Oxidative DNA damage is an unavoidable part of everyday life. It is said to occur tens of thousands of times per day in every cell in your body (10).

DNA damage is part of the reason we grow older. It also plays an important role in the development of diseases like cancer (11Trusted Source). Because blueberries are high in antioxidants, they can neutralize some of the free radicals that damage your DNA.

In one study, 168 people drank 34 ounces (1 liter) of a mixed blueberry and apple juice daily. After four weeks, oxidative DNA damage due to free radicals was reduced by 20% (12Trusted Source).

These findings agree with smaller studies that use either fresh or powdered blueberries (13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source).


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