5 benefits of blueberries, according to science
- Your cognitive health may improve.
- You could have a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
- You may have improved your blood sugar management.
- You may have lower blood pressure.
- Pregnant women may have a reduced risk of developing gestational diabetes.
With their gorgeous blue hue and satisfying sweet taste, blueberries are a fruit that many people can agree is a welcome addition to their meals, snacks, and fruity or mocktails. And as a dietitian, I can certainly support the goal of eating blueberries every day. The benefits of blueberries are numerous: between the natural fibers that these beautiful bubbles contain, the sweet taste they provide without added sugar and the antioxidants they naturally contain, as a clinician, I would have a hard time to find a major drawback. to include these berries in most diets, especially if added to a balanced and healthy diet, and consumed in an appropriate portion.
There are a variety of blueberries to choose from, including highbush blueberries and wild lowbush blueberries. And while there are slight differences between the different types, including size, flavor, and antioxidant content, you can be assured that you’ll be consuming many important nutrients no matter which type you choose, including fibre, iron, vitamin K and vitamin C.
What makes blueberries so unique is that they contain anthocyanin, a natural pigment that acts as an antioxidant. Wild blueberries contain 33% more anthocyanins than regular blueberries, but all blueberries contain a significant amount of this natural compound. Anthocyanins have been linked to anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects. It has also been associated with a reduced risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
If you choose to eat blueberries every day, here are some benefits of blueberries that you can discover. Read on and for more, don’t miss 7 Fruits You Should Eat Every Day.
Your cognitive health may improve.
Regardless of your age, research suggests that anthocyanins (the pigment found in blueberries) can help improve cognitive function. For children, data shows that 7- to 10-year-olds perform better on cognitive tasks after consuming a wild blueberry drink than when they don’t. And a positive effect on working memory has been observed in older people who also consume anthocyanins. Specifically, the data showed that consuming wild blueberries daily for six months improved cognitive aging by improving information processing speed in older adults.
Researchers suggest that anthocyanins may decrease inflammation, improve blood flow, and increase communication between brain cells, perhaps explaining why these berries have such an impact on brain health.
You could have a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and while many factors can play a role in our risk of developing this disease, our food choices can be one piece of the puzzle. Data shows that foods high in anthocyanins (the pigment that gives blueberries their blue color) are associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
One study showed that eating about 1 cup of blueberries a day reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease by up to 15% among a study population. And who wouldn’t be happy to eat a cup of blueberries every day?
You may have improved your blood sugar management.
One of the benefits of blueberries is improved glucose management after meals, potentially due to the effects of the fruit on the digestive system. Additionally, a study looking at three different groups of anthocyanins found that blueberries can help induce insulin secretion (which is a common problem in people with type 2 diabetes).
You may have lower blood pressure.
Reducing sodium intake may be the darling of the blood pressure lowering steps, but eating blueberries deserves some attention in this department as well. In an eight-week study, people with a high risk of heart disease and obesity experienced a 4-6% reduction in blood pressure after consuming freeze-dried blueberries every day for eight weeks.
Pregnant women may have a reduced risk of developing gestational diabetes.
The development of gestational diabetes can occur for a variety of reasons, some of which are completely beyond the person’s control. But there is some data to suggest that food choices may impact the risk of developing this condition in some people.
Specifically, the data suggests that pregnant women who ate 280 grams of blueberries each day, along with an additional 12 grams of soluble fiber, reduced their risk of developing gestational diabetes. Maternal weight gain was significantly lower in those who consumed the blueberry fiber supplement compared to those who did not.