If its summer, Blueberries are your best companion! They are sweet, nutritious and provide a lot of health benefits. Next to strawberries, blue berries are favourite of many. Blueberries originated in North America and are grown in many parts of the world now.

Blueberries contain a powerful antioxidant – Proanthocyanidin, which is effective in fighting cancer, keeping your skin young, helps to treat diabetes and to lose weight.

Blueberries consumed right after you freshly pick them from your garden or a farm taste delicious. They are included in a variety of recipes such as smoothies, muffins and desserts.

Nutrition in Blueberries

The nutrient rich blueberries contains good amounts of –

  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin C
  • Manganese
  • Fiber
  • Copper

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Health benefits of Blueberries

Lowers Blood Pressure

For regulating, maintaining low blood pressure, sodium intake on a regular basis should be less. Blueberries can help you maintain low blood pressure as it contains less sodium and high amount of potassium in it. This combination keep the blood pressure under control and reduces the number of spikes and downs.

Builds bone strength

Blueberries are rich in bone building, strengthening compounds – Vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, manganese, iron, phosphorous and zinc. These are important components to build healthy, strong bones.

Vitamin K is associated in maintaining bone density. People who take less amount of Vitamin K, are prone to higher risk of fractures and bone damage.

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Keeps your heart in good health

Blueberries are one of the fruits that are cholesterol free by nature. The fiber content helps to reduce cholesterol in the blood to improve the blood flow to all body parts. The folate and vitamin B6 helps to reduce and prevent the accumulation of a compound called homocysteine. Excessive amount of homocysteine can damage the blood vessels and this might lead to cardiovascular issues.

Prevents Cancer

Blueberries contains many anti-oxidants that fight free radicals very effectively. It protects our cells from damage and helps in renewal or growth. It helps to prevent the growth of tumor and slows down the growth of cancer cells in the body. It can treat cancers that include that of prostate, colon, pancreas, lung, mouth and esophageal.

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Good for diabetics

Blueberries are good for diabetic patients. The high fiber content and less calorie makes it a right combo to regulate sugar levels. It reduces spikes, downs in the insulin levels and reduces the risk of type 1 & 2 diabetics. Continuous consumption of blueberries can keep your sugar levels under control.

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Improves digestion

The fiber and vital minerals in blueberries help to have healthy intestines. It facilitates digestion and improves the bio-availability of nutrients to our body. It creates healthy and smooth bowel movements. Regular consumption of blueberries will help people who suffer from constipation.

Gallic Acid

Blueberries are rich in Gallic acid, which is not available in every other fruit. This particular acid is a powerful anti-viral and anti-fungal agent. They can boost your immunity and are used for medicinal properties.

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Keeps your skin young

Proanthocyanidins is a compound present in blueberries that has anti-aging properties. Studies show that this compound can reduce the inflammation and create good elasticity to the cells. Other anti-oxidants present in blueberries are very effective in maintaining the skin health.

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Boosts brain activity

Blueberries literally protect our neuro-system. It keeps our cognitive brain in active mode and protects it from deterioration. Studies show that blueberries can improve motor ability of a person. It has been found that blueberries can treat people with short term memory lost.

Blueberries have properties that can treat people who are affected by Parkinson’s disease (neurodegenerative disorder caused by cell deaths in the brain). Apart from treatment in the hospital, continuous consumption of blueberries can help people recover quickly.

Reduces muscle pain and cramps

When you work out a lot, go for a trekking or swim too much, your body gets tired and your muscle feels very sore and tired. Blueberries can help your muscles recover from the tiredness quickly and increases the performance. They act as a fatigue reducer and give good energy.

Helps in weight loss

The high fiber content and low calories, makes blueberries a good choice for people who want to reduce weight. This berry is low on glycemic index. Food that are low on glycemic index are absorbed slowly in our body. As they stay in our intestines for a longer duration, the hunger levels comes down. Include blueberries in your diet when you want to reduce weigh and fight obesity.

Blueberries can be included in your everyday diet. You can add fresh fruits in your breakfast along with your cereal or make a milk shake out of it. You can add in your salads or just eat them fresh. There are lot of jams, bread spreads, jellies or dried ones. When you buy packed or canned blueberry products, make sure the sugar levels are less or sugar free. When there is lot of sugar added, it does not serve the purpose.

Children can eat blueberries but make sure to start with less quantity to check if your child is allergic to it.

As a word of caution, if you are under medication such as the blood thinner – Coumadin, do not consume too much of blueberries without consulting your doctor. This might disturb the levels of Vitamin K, which is important to create blood clots.

Kripa Sivasubramanian, MBA, earned her Master’s degree in Business. After a long stint in the Technology sector, she took up courses in natural medicine and yoga. Ms. Kripa is certified in Ayurvedic yoga for Dosha. She is also certified by Stanford University School of Medicine in Introduction to Food and Health.