Blueberries are a powerhouse of essential nutrients. Get to know the amazing health benefits of blueberries for your heart, brain and more.
Blueberries are small in size, but packed with a high dose of nutrition! Known for their citrus taste, these blue or purple berries are incredibly good for you as they are a storehouse of essential nutrients and are one of the top antioxidant foods. Find out the multiple health benefits of blueberries for your overall wellness.
What are blueberries?
Blueberries are quite small, rounded, and sweet berries. They are blue or purple in colour and are known for their delicious taste and several health benefits. Blueberries are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, making them quite a popular and nutritious addition to various dishes, like breakfast cereals, smoothies, salads, and desserts.
According to nutritionist Avni Kaul, blueberries are mostly considered a ‘superfood’ because of their potential positive effects on heart health, brain function, and overall well-being.
Top health benefits of blueberries
Blueberries are not merely a tasty addition to your breakfast or snacks. They also pack a powerful punch of health benefits. Some of those benefits include:
1. Blueberries are high in anti-oxidants
Due to stress or poor lifestyle habits, our bodies release free radicals, also known as oxidative stress that can lead to a host of chronic health issues even cancer. It is essential that we include anti-oxidants in our daily diet to counter the effect of oxidative stress and keep our immunity under check. Blueberries are a rich source of anti-oxidants.
“High in anti-oxidants, blueberries are renowned for their ability to counter oxidative stress, reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Blueberries are also a great source of vitamins C and K, as well as manganese. Their anti-oxidant content not just supports the immune system but also contributes to heart health by lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases,” says Avni Kaul.
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2. Rich in fibre
Fibre either comes from more fluid consumption or from including foods in your diet that are rich in fibre. Blueberries are one such fruit that has high fibre, which prevents digestive issues like constipation while supporting weight management.
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3. Blueberries are low in calories
Nutritionally, blueberries are a low-calorie source. One cup of fresh blueberries contains around 84 calories and it has around 85 percent water. This makes it great as a weight-loss superfood.
4. Anti-inflammatory properties
The high amount of anthocyanins, the compounds responsible for the berries’ deep blue colour, contribute to the anti-inflammatory properties of blueberries. These alleviate symptoms of inflammatory conditions like arthritis. The presence of anthocyanins has been associated to improvements in cognitive function, potentially helping in the prevention of age-related cognitive decline”. Alongside, any inflammation in the gut or body can also be greatly reduced due to such nature of blueberries.
5. Improved cognitive function
“Blueberries have been known for their ability to improve cognitive function and memory retention, making them a brain-boosting snack. Incorporating these nutrient-dense berries into your diet may contribute to overall well-being and vitality,” shares Avni Kaul.
What is the recommended daily intake of blueberries?
The recommended serving size for blueberries may vary based on individual dietary needs, health conditions, and personal preferences. However, a common guideline is to consume about half to 1 cup (approximately 75 to 150 grams) of fresh or frozen blueberries a day.
Including a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet is vital for overall health, and blueberries can be a delicious and nutritious part of that. Bear in mind that moderation is key, as excessive consumption may lead to digestive issues for some individuals.
Are there side effects of eating blueberries?
Blueberries are usually safe and healthy for most people, but it is essential to be aware of potential considerations like:
Rare, but if you have allergies to berries or fruits, consult a qualified dietician before adding blueberries to your diet.
2. Digestive Issues
Excessive consumption might lead to bloating, gas, or diarrhea for some individuals.
3. Medication Interactions
Blueberries may interact with certain medications. If you are on medication, check with your doctor or a qualified dietician before consuming large amounts.
High oxalate amount may contribute to kidney stone formation in susceptible individuals. If you have a history of kidney stones, moderate your consumption.
5. Pesticide Residue
Consider washing conventionally grown blueberries thoroughly or go for organic to minimize exposure to pesticides.
In moderation, blueberries are a tasty and nutritious addition to your diet. If you have health concerns, consult with a qualified dietician.
Blueberries are not only a delicious treat but also a nutritional powerhouse with potential benefits for heart health, weight management, digestive health, and cognitive function. So, the next time you reach for a snack, think about grabbing a handful of blueberries for a burst of flavour and a boost to your well-being.