The all-purpose fruit is a dietary powerhouse wealthy in antioxidants. This is what to find out about blueberries’ vitamin, together with the well being advantages, energy, and extra.
Blueberries: An all-purpose fruit
Eating oatmeal wouldn’t be the identical with out sweet-tasting blueberries sprinkled on high. The identical goes for a berry smoothie, which simply begs to be added in with that banana. And what would life be like with no healthy blueberry muffin to go together with your tea?
Blueberries have lengthy been a staple fruit, however they’re rising in reputation. Since 2008, america has doubled its blueberry manufacturing, producing greater than 700 million kilos in 2019, in line with the Worldwide Blueberry Group.
These little berries aren’t simply scrumptious, they’re loaded with important vitamins making them one of many healthiest meals you may eat.
Right here’s what you might want to find out about blueberries’ vitamin, advantages, and enjoyable methods to eat them.
What are blueberries?
Blueberries, a member of the heather household (Vaccinium spp), have been round for 13,000 years, in line with the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council. And we’ve been consuming them within the U.S. for about 100 years. In North America, blueberries are harvested from April via September in 38 states, together with California, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Oregon, and Washington. Off season, you may nonetheless purchase them in grocery shops, as they’re imported from South America.
Highbush blueberries are the most typical. However there are different blueberry vegetation, together with lowbush, hybrid half-high, and rabbiteye, in line with The Previous Farmer’s Almanac. Blueberries are grown on bushes, however you can even plant them at residence in a backyard or in a container. Prime Hat, Pink Lemonade, and Pink Champagne are a number of yummy varieties. Wild blueberries (lowbush), that are a tinier berry, develop in sure states, like Maine, however are extra available frozen.
Blueberry vitamin information
Blueberries are loaded with nutritional vitamins and minerals like vitamin K1 (good for bone well being), vitamin C (pores and skin well being and immune operate), and manganese, which helps with the metabolism of amino acids, lipids, proteins, and carbs. Blueberries are additionally low in energy and a good source of fiber. Listed below are the vitamin information for one cup (148 g) of blueberries:
Fiber: 3.5 g (13% DV)
Protein: 1 g (2% DV)
Fats: 0.5 g (1% DV)
Carbs: 21 g (8% DV)
Sugars: 15 g
Potassium: 114 mg (3% DV)
Vitamin C: 14 mg (24% DV)
Yulia Reznikov/Getty Pictures
Are blueberries good for you?
In terms of this tremendous fruit, there’s no scarcity of blueberry health benefits, in line with science and our panel of consultants. Its nutrient-rich profile offers a variety of well being benefits.
Blueberries are wealthy in antioxidants
There’s a motive why these candy little gems have a status as a disease-fighter. “Blueberries comprise compounds referred to as anthocyanins, which give them their distinctive blue coloration,” says Whitney Linsenmeyer, RD, spokesperson for the Academy of Vitamin and Dietetics and assistant professor of vitamin at Saint Louis College in Missouri. “The anthocyanins have been studied for their results in lowering the danger of heart problems, most cancers, and age-related cognitive decline.” (Listed below are the best antioxidant-rich foods.)
Blueberries might enhance mind well being
Blueberries play a key function within the MIND food regimen, a food regimen that’s been proven to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, in line with a research in Alzheimer’s & Dementia.
“Present analysis means that diets wealthy in anthocyanins, in addition to different flavonoids, can improve reminiscence and assist forestall age-related cognitive decline,” Lisenmeyer says.
One randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, revealed within the European Journal of Vitamin in 2018 discovered that older adults who ate the equal of 1 cup of fresh blueberries per day scored higher on cognitive assessments in comparison with a placebo. (Right here’s learn how to make blueberries and different superfoods healthier.)
Blueberries might assist with weight administration
Consuming anthocyanin-rich meals like blueberries might assist forestall weight gain as you age, suggests a research revealed in 2016 in BMJ. Whereas the results are small, the research authors level out that even stopping slight quantities of weight acquire can result in better blood pressure control and cut back the danger of heart disease. (These are the perfect fruits for weight loss.)
Along with the anthocyanins, blueberries pack solely 84 energy per cup and are wealthy in fiber. “Dietary fiber might assist contribute to emotions of satiety or fullness and due to this fact assist weight administration,” says Mia Syn, RDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist in Charleston, South Carolina. (Listed below are extra benefits of fiber.)
Blueberries promote coronary heart well being
It’s not simply sustaining a wholesome weight that may hold your ticker in form. The antioxidants in blueberries have additionally been proven to strengthen coronary heart well being. In a research revealed in 2019 in The American Journal of Scientific Vitamin, individuals with metabolic syndrome who ate one cup of blueberries a day improved the well being of their blood vessels and arteries. The researchers estimate the results would scale back coronary heart illness threat by as much as 15 %.
Blueberries present immune assist
A cup of blueberries gives a superb supply of vitamin C. “Vitamin C helps the immune system work correctly and is an antioxidant that helps shield cells from injury brought on by free radicals,” says Syn. Fortunately, each contemporary and frozen blueberries are simple to seek out in winter, throughout chilly and flu season. (These are the perfect frozen fruits and vegetables to purchase.)
Dangers and unwanted side effects
Except suggested by your physician, there’s no motive to keep away from blueberries. Actually, because the authors of a assessment of research revealed in 2020 in Advances in Vitamin concluded, “It’s extensively agreed that the common consumption of tasty, ripe blueberries may be unconditionally really useful.”
One be aware of warning: A blueberry allergy exists, however it’s extraordinarily uncommon.
Finest strategy to eat blueberries
Not solely are blueberries yummy on their very own, they’re simple to bake with and incorporate into savory meals.
“Blueberries are extremely nutritious contemporary or frozen,” Lisenmeyer says. In the summertime, look to see if there’s a “U Choose” round your space and spend a morning blueberry choosing. Lisenmeyer recommends then freezing picked berries on a sheet tray in a single layer and storing them in a Ziplock bag for year-round consuming. Different scrumptious concepts:
- Fold contemporary blueberries right into a savory salad with wild rice, corn, and contemporary herbs, suggests Lisenmeyer.
- Toss contemporary blueberries into these Light ‘n’ Luscious Blueberry Pancakes
- Add blueberries to your breakfast, in smoothies, oatmeal, and yogurts, says Syn. (Do that Blueberry-Orange Yogurt Smoothie.)
- Toss blueberries with only a little bit of sugar (allow them to sit till juicy) and serve over lemon curd for dessert, suggests Lisenmeyer.
- Use blueberries as a natural sugar substitute
- Cook dinner over the range with lemon zest and chia seeds till they develop a jam-like texture, says Lisenmeyer. (Then unfold on every little thing.)