According to Tufts University researchers,
blueberries are ranked #1 for their antioxidant capabilities
as compared to 60 other fruits and vegetables analyzed.
Blueberries have the following health benefits:
- Helps prevent heart disease and stroke by reducing the build up of LDL "bad" cholesterol
- Decreases your risk of cancer
- Improves nighttime visual acuity
- Helps prevent macular degeneration
- Improves memory by protecting against oxidative stress
- Promotes healthier elimination (relieves both diarrhea and constipation)
- Strengthens immune system
- Helps relieve arthritis inflammation
- Promotes urinary tract health
Top Health Promoting Components
The top health promoting components in blueberries include:
- Anthocyanidins - is an antioxidant that neutralizes free radical damage to the collagen matrix of cells and tissues that can lead to cataracts, glaucoma, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, peptic ulcers, heart disease and cancer.
- Pterostilben - is an antioxidant that is shown to help fight cancer, heart disease, and lower LDL cholesterol.
- Ellagic acid - is an antioxidant compound than blocks metabolic pathways that can lead to cancer.
- Soluable fiber - forms a gel in the digestive tract that binds onto the bile, eliminating it with the bowel movement. Since bile contains cholesterol, and the bile is removed, the body must make more. To do so, it takes cholesterol out of the bloodstream.
- Insoluable fiber - is not absorbed by the body. Its health benefits include aiding digestion and promoting regularity by adding bulk. The "bulk" keeps other foods moving through the digestive tract.
- Tannins - act as astringents in the digestive system to reduce inflammation.
Blueberries are among a small number of foods that contain any measurable amount of oxalates, naturally occurring substances found in plants, animals, and human beings.
When oxalates become too concentrated in body fluids, they can crystallize and cause health problems. For this reason, individuals with already existing and untreated kidney or gallbladder problems may want to avoid eating large amounts of blueberries.
Oxalates may also interfere with absorption of calcium from the body. For this reason, individuals trying to increase their calcium stores may want to avoid eating blueberries with calcium-rich foods, or if taking calcium supplements, may want to eat them 2-3 hours before or after taking their supplements.
Reversing the Deleterious Effects of Aging on Neuronal Communication and Behavior: Beneficial Properties of Fruit Polyphenolic Compounds. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2005
Diabetic Blueberry Muffins
Oat Bran Pancakes with Blueberry Syrup
5 a Day the Color Way - Benefits of Blue Fruits and Vegetables
Are you eating blueberries in your regular diet?
If not, try Perfect Purples!
This page was last updated on 09/15/06.