Have you ever seen blueberries? Have you tasted one before? Well, if you haven’t yet, why don’t you give it a try? Aside from their amazingly delicious taste, blueberries are also home to many essential vitamins and minerals. In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know, so keep reading to learn more!
What are Blueberries?
Blueberries grow on a shrub or bush and are part of the Ericaceae plant family in the Vaccinium genus. They may be tiny, but each serving packs a serious punch when it comes to nutrition. Although frequently overshadows by more exotic types of berries, blueberries are one of the most antioxidant-rich and nutritious fruits in the world. They can do everything from enhance brain health to keeping the heart healthy and strong. Don’t forget, they’re also sweet and delicious!
Wild blueberries commonly grow in Southern Canada and the eastern coast of the US, but there are some varieties which grow around the world. The harvest season is generally May-August, but this can change depending on where you live and the type of blueberries near you.
Even just raw blueberries will give you the nutrients you’re looking for, but you can also use them as an ingredient in many dishes. They’re particular good on pancakes or baked goods to add more sweetness. For a healthier option, try putting them into your yogurt or oatmeal. Whatever you do, you’re sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Nutritional Facts of Blueberries
Blueberries are nutrient-rich foods, but they don’t have a lot of calories. They’re particularly high in vitamin C, manganese, vitamin K and fiber.
One cup of raw blueberries contains about:
|Principle||Amount||% Daily Value|
|Total Fat||0.33 grams||1%|
|Dietary Fiber||2.4 grams||6%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.124 milligrams||2.5%|
|Vitamin A||54 IU||2%|
|Vitamin C||9.7 milligrams||1.5%|
|Vitamin E||0.57 milligrams||4%|
|Vitamin K||19.3 micrograms||13%|
Aside from this, the berries also contain resveratrol, phytonutrients, anthocyanins and pterostilbene. Their nutritional content is responsible for all of the health benefits they offer, which will be discussed further below.
Health Benefits of Blueberries
Here are some of the most amazing health benefits of blueberries:
- Helps promote heart health. A healthy heart is a key component of your overall health. The heart is responsible for pumping blood through the vessels. Studies show that eating blueberries may help reduce some of the risk factors for heart disease, which may put a strain on the heart and force it to work much harder.
- Help support digestion. The fiber in blueberries promotes healthy and regular digestion. Supplement your blueberry intake with plenty of water and physical activity to keep your digestion on track.
- Helps alleviate inflammation. Even though inflammation is a normal immune response which helps protect the body against illnesses, chronic inflammation is a common root of many diseases. Due to the high antioxidant content of blueberries, they help alleviate inflammation.
- Helps fight cancer. One study suggests that low-bush blueberry juice is beneficial in reducing the growth of various types of cancer, like breast cancer, intestinal cancer and prostate cancer. This is one of the best health benefits of blueberries.
- Has rich antioxidant properties. Blueberries are one of the best sources of antioxidants, which are essential in fighting off harmful free radicals. Not only do antioxidants prevent cell damage, but they also protect against various types of chronic conditions.