About Blueberries – A Bite-Sized Health Treasure!
Blueberries are one of the most popular superfoods! Blueberry fruits are commonly rounded and their hue ranges from light blue to dark blue, maroon to purple-black. They have a white-gray waxy “bloom” that covers the berry’s surface and serves as a protective coat. The flesh of the blueberries is semi-transparent and encases tiny seeds.
Blueberries are small fruits of a shrub tree, which belongs to the heath (Ericaceae) family. And this family also includes cranberry, bilberry, azalea, mountain laurel and rhododendron. These berries cultivate in form of beautifully bounded bunches and most amazingly they have the tendency to vary in size – some are all small as a pea while others are the size of a marble chip. Blueberries are often mildly sweet in taste, while those which grow in the wild are more tart and tangy in flavor.
According to botanical perception, blueberries not only belong to the Ericaceae family of plants but also to the Vaccinium genus. Within this Vaccinium genus, though, are three very interesting groups of blueberries, `High bush’, and `low bush ‘and` rabbit eye’, each consisting of between 1-3 predominant species.
However, blueberry is mostly consumed as fresh fruit and juice but it’s also used as ingredient to make sauces, drinks, and desserts.
Blueberries Nutritional Information:
1/3 cup of blueberries contains 83 calories present in 1/3 cup. They’re also known for the affluent fiber content they possess. Blueberries are A phytonutrient superstars and the fruit encompasses momentous amounts of anthocyanadins, antioxidant compounds that give blue, purple and red colors to fruits and vegetables.
Integrated in blueberry anthocyanins are malvidins, delphinidins, pelargonidins, cyanidins, and peonidins. In accumulation to their anthocyanins, blueberrries also contain hydroxycinnamic acids (including caffeic, ferulic, and coumaric acid), hydroxybenzoic acids (including gallic and procatechuic acid), and flavonols (including kaempferol, quercetin and myricetin). They also have the exceptional, phenol-like antioxidants pterostilbene and resveratrol.
Furthermore, Blueberries are an outstanding source of bone-healthy vitamin K and a very good source of free radical-scavenging vitamin C and manganese. Blueberries are also a good source of heart-healthy fiber.
Health Benefits Of Blueberries
In the contemporary world, blueberries have reached luminary status in terms of their sole health benefits and there are many benefits that a blueberry fruit offers. Let us have a gaze at the significant health benefits of blueberries one by one.
Blueberries are loaded with anti-cancer properties! They contain certain compounds like Pterostilbene (excellent remedy for colon and liver cancer) and Ellagic Acid which, in combination with Anthocyanin and other anti oxidants like vitamin-C and copper, can work miracles to prevent and cure cancer.
The antioxidants packed in blueberries aid in dodging the damage caused by the free radicals. Free radicals are the very reason why we age! As mentioned previously – blueberries burst with antioxidants and vitamin C which slows down the process of aging and makes you look younger and radiant!
Prevents Alzheimer’s Disease & Others
Blueberries are a goldmine of nutrients and minerals! This tiny fruit contains; ‘anthocyanin’, ‘selenium’, vitamins A, vitamin B-complex, vitamin C and vitamin E, zinc, sodium, potassium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese! All of these work in combination to prevent & cure neurological disorders including Alzheimer’s.
Prevention of UTI (Urinary Tract Infection):
UTI is a very common and unpleasant condition. Common features of a UTI are inflammation, burning and other uncomfortable symptoms. It occurs due to the accumulation of bacteria such as b-coli along the lining of the inner walls of the urinary tract.
Blueberries can be shockingly beneficial in this condition – they contain a powerful compound which inhibits the growth of this bacterium!
Good For The Eyes!
Blueberries have the ability to prevent and/or delay all age related ocular problems like macular degeneration, cataract, myopia and hypermetropia, dryness and infections. This is particularly true for issues pertaining to retina.
Good For Digestion
The roughage (fiber) in Blue Berries keeps constipation at bay (Of course, a single piece alone will not do – you need a handful!)
The high fiber content and those brilliant anti oxidants make the Blue Berry an ideal dietary supplement to cure many heart diseases, moreover, it also strengthens the cardiac muscles.
Regular consumption of blueberries can work wonders for your immunity! You will find that you fall ill less and feel stronger and healthier!
How To Enjoy:
With flavors ranging from mild sweet to tangy – Blueberries are the ideal health choice for a flavorful, low calorie snack! They also bode well in your desert and as a way to make your breakfast, lunch or dinner exciting! It’s worth noting that Blueberries contain the highest nutritional value when consumed fresh!
- Blueberries are best had in their raw form.
- Frozen berries may be added to your breakfast shake to make it more lip-smacking.
- You can add dried berries to the dull breakfast cereal to perk it up.
- Blueberries added in yogurt and then frozen make an excellent low fat dessert. It can be topped with crystallized ginger for best results!
- Blueberry jams, muffins, pies are popular among people of all ages alike and they can be enjoyed throughout the year.
Possible Health Concerns:
Blueberries contain oxalates which can crystallize to cause numerous health problems! People who experience untreated kidney or gallbladder problems should avoid consuming blueberries. These oxalates may also interfere in the calcium absorption of the body. However, evidence suggests that oxalates do not have that big an impact on calcium levels – so not too much to worry about in that sphere!