Blueberries are one of the most powerful superfoods in Nordic forests. Not only are they sweet and delicious, they also have many health benefits.
1. Blueberries are high in antioxidants
Blueberries have one of the highest antioxidant levels of all the fruits and berries. The main antioxidants found in blueberries are called anthocyanins and these are also responsible of giving this healthy berry a beautiful dark blue color.
Antioxidants are essential because they can neutralize free radicals, which in excess can put our bodies under oxidative stress, damage our cells and contribute to aging.
Antioxidant rich foods may protect us from dangerous diseases like cancer, cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and keep us young longer!
2. Blueberries may help to reduce bad cholesterol and lower blood pressure
These powerful berries contain potassium, calcium and magnesium. Enough intake of these vital minerals helps to lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol, also known as “bad” cholesterol. Blueberries are free from sodium and cholesterol, which is good for overall cardiovascular health.
Fiber is also known for normalizing blood pressure and cholesterol and these blue sweeties have 3.6 grams of fiber per cup!
3. Blueberries could keep you young longer with glowing skin
Free radicals in your skin can cause early signs of aging such as wrinkles, age spots and dry skin. Antioxidants help with reducing and preventing these unwanted signs.
Collagen is essential for healthy and glowing skin, but without enough vitamin C, our body cannot synthesize collagen. One cup of blueberries has a quarter of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C!
4. Blueberries could improve your mental health and memory
Oxidative stress not only quickens your skin aging, it also known for contributing to your brain’s aging, affecting its functions. Foods high in antioxidants, like blueberries, help to fight oxidative stress and benefit neurocognitive functions, especially for older people.
5. Blueberries contribute to weight loss and better digestion
Blueberries have only 84 calories per cup. They are low in sugar and full of fiber, so they will keep you satisfied and full longer, which makes them a perfect snack or topping for your porridge if you wish to control your calorie intake and weight.
Healthy digestion is also crucial for weight loss and foods rich in fiber will help to prevent constipation and make your toilet habits regular.
6. Blueberries may lower the risk of cancer
Vitamin A, vitamin C and flavonoids in blueberries can help to reduce oxidative stress on cells and prevent cells becoming cancerous. Antioxidant rich foods are believed to reduce inflammation in our body. Inflammation is a critical part of tumor growth.
It also has been found that, if person already has cancer, consuming blueberries will make cancer cells more sensitive to radiation therapy, and that may help to destroy already formed cancer cells. (1)
7. Blueberries are beneficial for managing and preventing diabetes
Blueberries are sweet and delicious, but they are low in sugar and have low GI (glycemic index), so eating them won’t spike blood sugar. Studies have also shown that eating blueberries regularly will improve insulin resistance and lower the risk of developing type II diabetes. (2)
People with diabetes who are consuming foods high in fiber, such as blueberries, have lower blood glucose and improved insulin levels.
(1) How blueberries help to kill cancer cells. (2018). Retrieved from Medical News Today: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320517.php
(2) (2) Stull, A. J. (2016). Blueberries’ Impact on Insulin Resistance and Glucose Intolerance. Antioxidants (Basel).
Author: Nutritionist Elis Nikolai
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