No matter who you talk to, blueberries are widely regarded as a “superfood” that is suggested to have a wide array of positive health benefits. But as much as the average person is aware that blueberries are healthy, many still wonder how they are good for us. While most people are told to regularly eat fruit, we think it is also useful to know the specific health benefits, which can be diverse depending on the fruit! In the first of this series, Seal the Seasons has put together a list of five health benefits related to regularly consuming blueberries.
Rich in Antioxidants
Blueberries have one of the highest antioxidant concentrations of any fruit, boosting antioxidant levels in your body. These antioxidants are important for reducing oxidative stress experienced in various parts of the body and can be connected to poor aging, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. (Prior & Cao, 2000)
Increased Cardiovascular Health
Certain studies suggest that blueberries help lower blood pressure—as well as protect blood from oxidative damage—which promotes overall cardiovascular health. These benefits, including those related to blueberries’ anti-aging properties, are credited to the Anthocyanins found in blueberries and other plants like it. One study involving over 90,000 nurses revealed that patients with the highest intake levels of anthocyanins were at a 32% reduced risk of having a heart attack. (Cassidy, et al., 2013)
Can Help Improve Memory
Along with the anti-aging properties of blueberries, their antioxidant content can also help reduce the oxidative stress experienced by brain cells. A six-year study involving 16,000 participants found that a regular diet of blueberries and strawberries were linked to delays in mental aging by up to 2.5 years. One, admittedly more experimental, study involving animals found that a regular diet of blueberries may also be linked to positive effects on parts of the brain that affect intelligence. (Devore, Kang, Breteler MD, PhD, & Grodstein, 2012)
May Reduce Post-Exercise Muscle Stress
Blueberries may help alleviate post-exercise muscle stress through their antioxidant compounds, which play a role in minimizing stress in muscle tissue which can be a contributor to soreness and reduced muscular performance. (McLeay, et al., 2012)
Helps with Controlling Weight
Blueberries are a fruit that is low in calories, but rich in nutrients such as Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Manganese, and Fiber—which helps you feel full and satisfied after eating. This is great because it can help in keeping people from over-eating in between, or after, meals. (via Healthline)
In conclusion, while blueberries may be a great—low calorie—source of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, the key to the fruit’s most beneficial nutritional properties comes from its Antioxidant, and Anthocyanin content. For a quick refresher, Antioxidants help reduce the oxidative stress on your body that is connected to blood, DNA, bone, muscle and brain health, while Anthocyanins help with anti-aging. If you are already a lover of blueberries, then maybe you are already experiencing some of these benefits!
While many of us enjoy the taste of fresh blueberries while they are in season, during the rest of the year, we recommend checking out our locally grown frozen blueberries currently available in your local supermarket’s frozen food section. Seal the Seasons works with a diverse group of family farmers in every region of the United States to deliver locally grown blueberries—as well as other produce—frozen at peak nutrition to make local produce available 365 days a year.
For more information on what supermarkets in your area carry our blueberries, please be sure to check our store locator.