Blueberries are not only popular, but also repeatedly ranked in the U.S. diet as having one of the highest antioxidant capacities among all fruits, vegetables, spices and seasonings. Antioxidants are essential to optimizing health by helping to combat the free radicals that can damage cellular structures as well as DNA.
Besides glorious antioxidant support – some of the other health benefits associated with blueberries include:
- Cardiovascular Benefits – blueberry intake has been shown to improve blood fat balances, including total reduction in cholesterol, raising of HDL cholesterol and lowering of triglycerides. At the same time, blueberry intake has been shown to help protect blood components (like LDL cholesterol) from oxygen damage that could lead to eventual clogging of the blood vessels.
- Cognitive Benefits – By lowering the risk of oxidative stress in our nerve cells, blueberries help us maintain smoothly working nerve cells and healthy cognitive function. In one study involving older adults (with an average age of 76 years), 12 weeks of daily blueberry consumption was enough to improve scores on two different tests of cognitive function including memory. Read more. Blueberries might turn out to be beneficial not only for improvement of memory, but for slowing down or postponing the onset of other cognitive problems frequently associated with aging.
- Blood Sugar Benefits – Research has shown that blueberries (along with other berries) have a favorable impact on blood sugar regulation in persons already diagnosed with blood sugar problems.
- Eye Health – The retina of the eye is at higher than normal risk of oxidative stress. Foods unique in phytonutrient antioxidants, such as blueberries, are often investigated for their ability to help protect the retina from oxygen damage.
- Anti-cancer Benefits – Types of cancer already studied with respect to blueberry intake include breast cancer, colon cancer, esophageal cancer, and cancers of the small intestine.
- Blood Pressure – In both men and women, and in study participants of many different ages, routine blueberry intake has been shown to support healthy blood pressure. In individuals with high blood pressure, blueberry intake has significantly reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressures. In individuals with health blood pressure, blueberry intake has been shown to help maintain these healthy pressures.
Lots more science can be found here.
I highly suggest enjoying raw blueberries because, like other fruits, raw blueberries provide you with the best flavor and the greatest nutritional benefits.
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