What makes blueberries so healthy – top 6 effects on health
Blueberries are among the most popular types of fruit in German-speaking countries. They are sweet, low in calories, and taste delicious. Blueberries always work in cakes, homemade ice cream, skyr, or Greek yogurt.
In addition, the blueberries are also incredibly healthy. In this article, you will find out what makes blueberries so beneficial and their effect on our bodies.
The following reasons will undoubtedly convince you to incorporate blueberries into your meal plan more often. Your body will thank you!
1.) Blueberries have a high nutrient density
The tiny blueberries are highly nutritious. However, they contain few calories. This makes them a great diet food that provides your body with many essential nutrients.
One serving (125 grams) of blueberries contains:
- Around 50 calories
- 5 grams of fiber
- 25% of the daily requirement of vitamin C
- 35% of the daily requirement of vitamin K
- Other nutrients such as manganese, magnesium, vitamin E, and phosphorus
In addition to the macro and micronutrients, there are also plenty of secondary plant substances.
2.) Blueberries can lower blood pressure
High blood pressure can have numerous adverse effects on your health. The vessels, in particular, suffer from high blood pressure, which can, for example, promote the occurrence of heart attacks. That’s why it’s important to lower it if necessary.
Blueberries appear to have beneficial effects in individuals with high blood pressure. For example, this scientific study found that consuming 50 grams of blueberries daily reduced blood pressure in overweight people by 4 to 6%.
Numerous other studies have come to the same conclusion. The ingredients of the blueberry seem to have an antihypertensive effect.
3.) Blueberries may improve insulin sensitivity
Diabetes is a severe metabolic disease that can cause considerable consequential damage. The precursor to type 2 diabetes is what is known as insulin resistance. This is a condition in which the cells no longer respond appropriately to insulin. This can lead to the development of diabetes in the long term.
According to studies, the anthocyanins contained in blueberries have beneficial effects on the insulin sensitivity of the cells and blood sugar metabolism.
In this six-week study, subjects ate two blueberry smoothies each day. This significantly increased the subjects’ insulin sensitivity. That is, the cells responded better to insulin.
4.) Blueberries contain numerous antioxidants
In the case of the ingredients, we briefly addressed the secondary plant substances. Many of these are so-called antioxidants, which deserve their point on our list.
Antioxidants are substances that act against so-called free radicals in the body. Have you ever heard of oxidative stress? This condition in your body occurs when you have too many free radicals but not enough antioxidants in the body.
Free radicals attack your cells and can cause damage. The antioxidants scavenge the free radicals, making them harmless. Oxidative stress is linked to numerous diseases because it causes cell damage.
You can prevent this by eating foods rich in antioxidants. Blueberries are one such food.
Blueberries are one of the fruits with the most antioxidants. The most strongly represented antioxidants are so-called flavonoids. A particular type of flavonoid is anthocyanins, which are responsible for most of the health-promoting effects of blueberries.
Various studies have already shown that regular consumption of blueberries increases antioxidants in the blood.
5.) Blueberries can have a positive effect on brain performance
Oxidative stress can accelerate the aging of brain cells. This can lead to impaired brain performance.
The antioxidants in blueberries may prevent this.
In addition, various animal studies have shown that the substances in the berries have a positive effect on the areas that are important for intelligence. With a regular intake of blueberries, the aging of the brain cells was slowed down, and the transmission of information between the cells was improved.
Although animal studies cannot be applied entirely to humans, researchers assume that, in this case, it works similarly in humans.
In this small study, people with mild memory deficits drank blueberry juice every day for 12 weeks. The results showed that brain functions improved.
A large-scale study lasting more than six years also confirmed these results. A regular intake of blueberries and strawberries reduced the mental age of 16,000 test persons by around 2.5 years.
6.) Blueberries can reduce damage to DNA
Our cells in the body will inevitably age and eventually die off. Damage to the DNA of cells is what causes aging.
Free radicals are substances that can attack and negatively affect the DNA of cells. So, for example, they accelerate aging and have some other adverse effects.
The numerous antioxidants in blueberries can scavenge these free radicals and thus limit damage to the DNA.
Some studies confirm these assumptions. For example, this study, conducted in Italy, showed that drinking wild blueberry juice consistently produced good results for six weeks.
The cells became more resistant to free radicals, and the free radicals in the body were generally reduced.
What you should consider when buying and storing blueberries
There are a few tips and tricks for buying and keeping blueberries so that you can use them for as long as possible.
Wild or cultivated blueberries?
First of all, you should distinguish that there are wild and cultivated blueberries. The wild blueberries are found in the forest, while the cultivated blueberries are farmed. The cultivated variety is more extensive and lighter on the inside than the wild blueberry.
Wild blueberries are said to have even more valuable ingredients. So if you have the opportunity, off to the forest. You also have a free workout included. However, make sure that you only collect blueberries and not any other, possibly poisonous berries.
the freshness of the fruit
When picking the berries, you should make sure that the fruits are lovely and dark but not too soft. Danger! They are susceptible to pressure, so it is better to collect and transport them in a flat container.
Store-bought blueberries should look nice and plump and not be too soft either. Also, make sure there isn’t a crushed blueberry somewhere between the berries. This can lead to mold pretty quickly.
At home, sort out the berries, removing soft, mushy berries. Then place them on a flat plate. The berries will keep for a few days in the fridge.
You can also freeze the blue fruits, so you have a supply right away.
Blueberries are a regional superfood during the season from June to September. At this time, you can always get them fresh from the area.
In winter, I would recommend using frozen fruit. The berries come from very far away at this time, are often sprayed heavily, and don’t taste good either, as they are harvested unripe.
Blueberries are not only delicious but also damn healthy. It’s fascinating how much these little fruits can influence health.
If you need ideas for recipes: I would highly recommend these muffins. But a quark casserole with blueberries is also a great idea. Be sure to try it!
I hope I convinced you with this article to snack on blueberries more often. There’s no harm in it.
Do you eat blueberries regularly? And what is your favorite blueberry recipe? Feel free to write it to us in the comments; we are always happy to receive new ideas and feedback.