20 Evidence-Based Health Benefits Of Blueberries
20 Evidence-Based Health Benefits Of Blueberries
Blueberries are packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients, both of which have powerful health benefits. These include the ability to reduce signs of aging, may improve heart health, assist in controlling blood pressure and diabetes, and may even lower the risk of cancer. Considered to be a superfood by many, blueberries can also help improve brain health, promote weight loss, and soothe inflammation.
What are Blueberries?
Blueberries (Vacciniumcorymbosum) are tiny, indigo-colored, edible berries, which are sweet to taste. The blueberry plant is a perennial flowering shrub which grows in clusters, especially in North America. They are closely related to bilberries, cranberries, and gooseberries.
Blueberries are nutrient-dense, low in calories, and high in fiber. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, the berries are a rich source of vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, folate, potassium, copper, and manganese. They are low in carbohydrates and sodium and have high water content.
They are also abundant in antioxidants, especially anthocyanins, responsible for their deep blue color and powerful health benefits. Blueberries, as compared with many of the other foods, have one of the highest amounts of antioxidants.
Let’s take a look at the powerful health benefits of blueberries.
Blueberries are rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, zinc, and vitamin K; these nutrients, in tandem with exercise and an overall healthy diet, are key for bone health.
Anthocyanins in blueberries assist in fighting oxidative DNA damage, while the abundance of vitamin C is a big factor in building collagen. This is why regular consumption of blueberries may help reduce signs of aging, such as wrinkles, age spots, and acne.
Lowers Bad Cholesterol
Research suggests that the high fiber content and abundant antioxidants in blueberries may help dissolve the LDL (bad) cholesterol, making them an ideal dietary supplement to combat many heart diseases, while also strengthening the cardiac muscles. They also contain potassium, calcium, and magnesium, which help in reducing blood pressure.
A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that daily consumption of blueberries helped improve blood pressure and arterial stiffness in postmenopausal women. While more lengthy, larger population studies are needed to confirm the efficacy of these result, preliminary findings suggest that daily blueberry consumption may reduce blood pressure and arterial stiffness.
Protect Heart Health
Blueberries are known for their presence of fiber, anthocyanin, potassium, folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. Fiber and anthocyanin have been shown to help reduce cholesterol, which in turn, may lessen or prevent clogging of arteries. Vitamin B6 and folate mitigate blood vessel damage by inhibiting homocysteine build-up and potassium regulates the working of heart muscles.
Blueberry juice and extract may help improve insulin sensitivity in obese, nondiabetic, insulin-resident men and women, one study shows. Blueberry is a high fiber food that is an essential part of the diabetic diet and helps lower blood sugar levels.
According to a report published by, Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope, California, in the Cancer Research Journal, blueberries have anti-cancer properties. The results of their studies suggest that the oral intake of blueberries could be a key component of long-term cancer prevention strategies. A team of American researchers also published a report in the Nutrition and Cancer Journal stating that it contains certain compounds like pterostilbene and ellagicacid. These two in harmony with anthocyanin and other antioxidants (like vitamin C and copper) are also being researched for their anti-cancer potential.
The vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients in blueberries amongst children in the age group of 7-10 years appear to improve cognition and preventing some degeneration and death of neurons suggests a study published in European Journal of Nutrition. According to a preliminary study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the beneficial compounds found in these berries may have positive implications for lowering your risk of suffering from disorders like Alzheimer’s disease. They can even heal damaged brain cells and neuron tissues to keep your memory sharp. However, future research is needed to confirm these initial findings.
The high fiber content present in them promotes digestion and weight loss. They also promote satiety and may help reduce belly fat, according to one study. One cup of blueberries contains only 15 grams of carbohydrates and 84 calories. Thus, frozen or dried blueberries are great low-calorie snacks.
Rich in Antioxidants
The antioxidants along with other phytonutrients and flavonoids present in blueberries are responsible for some of the free radical scavenging activity in the body. The group of flavonoids, in particular, anthocyanin, protects the body from all types of damage due to free radicals.
A number of studies published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry establish that high amounts of antioxidants are beneficial to the body in various ways including reducing cellular structure damage, DNA damage, and early aging.
The antioxidants in blueberries have anti-inflammatory properties reducing the activity of markers of inflammation.These antioxidants may help in preventing chronic inflammatory diseases.
Other benefits of blackberries include:
AntidepressantFlavonoid-rich wild blueberries help enhance mood and act as an effective antidepressant.