“It’s fascinating to think about the epigenetic power such a small fruit could have on our health. In light of these results, antioxidants and fruits such as blueberries could have much more significant impact on our wellbeing than we ever thought.”
So you bemoan broccoli? Or you’re sick of seaweed and on the verge of going kale-crazy?
Here’s the thing: you dont have to track and eat ALL healthy foods. You’re supposed to enjoy your life, remember? : ). And blueberries just happen to be extraordinarily healthy. Yes, so are the exotic berries you hear about, but why shop for Gucci when Levis work just as well: you aren’t wearing your food. Or are you?!
And who’s got anything against blueberries? Isn’t that like disliking Tom Hanks? Positively in-American.
OK, I’ll admit, this is personal. When I was a kid, I enjoyed picking blueberries with my brothers in the summers. OK, OK, I admit that’s a lie. I enjoyed eating them. The picking part yielded lots of scratches and tick bites. Still, blueberry pie was always a great reward! Mom!
Here you go! Pie please!
Berries are antoxidant monsters and some of the healthiest foods on the planet. Each month or so it seems fresh research is being brought out and new berries are being exposed and analyzed for their health-promoting attributes. Seriously.
You don’t actually need to source the latest trendy berry, but Goji, Acai and Maqui berries, for example, are great too – as are your more common varieties, of which the humble blueberry does seem to reign supreme.
Are Blueberries Safe For Dogs
This is a common question, so let’s get it out of the way. Many pet owners wonder if blueberries are toxic to dogs.
Actually, no. Blueberries are not only safe for dogs, they make for a terrific snack. Low in calories, high in fiber, bursting with vitamins, blueberries, the vitamin K component is especially helpful for bone health and inflammation reduction – much appreciated by Grandma Barka.
My own dog loves frozen blueberries. OK, he loves frozen anything, but that is actually the best way to ‘serve’ blueberries, so your Barkas, Fidos and Spots have to work a little harder for their treat.
Are Bluberries Good for Weight Loss?
“Recent study findings suggest that blueberries may influence genes which regulate fat-burning and storage, helping reduce abdominal fat and lower cholesterol. When combined with a low-fat diet, blueberries might also lower triglycerides and improve blood sugar levels, each benefits of a comprehensive weight loss plan“.
Fresh Versus Frozen
The jury may still be out on this one, but recent studies suggest frozen blueberries may be even healthier than the fresh variety and also have ‘less than half the pesticide residue of fresh blueberries‘.
For the record, this has no relevance to the health quotient of those summer pies Mom made, because a) the blueberries were picked from the wild and b) they were subsequently doused with sugar. Well, who knew sugar was SO bad for you?!
Other Benefits of Blueberries
- Nutrient-bomb: One cup of fresh blueberries contains 85 calories, 1 gram of protein, no fat, and about 20 grams of carbohydrate, with roughly 4 grams as fiber. That same portion also includes nearly a quarter of the daily minimum target for immune- and skin-supporting vitamin C, over a third of the daily goal for bone-supporting vitamin K, and a quarter for manganese. This helps to maintain strong bones, in addition to promoting collagen production for healthy skin and joints.
- ‘Anti-Aging’ and disease protection: The antioxidants in blueberries have been shown to curb inflammation and reduce oxidative stress.The latter occurs when there is an imbalance between the production of cell-damaging free radicals and the body’s ability to counter their harmful effects. Blueberries fight off DNA damage and aging, while lowering the risk of several chronic diseases, including obesity, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. Blueberries are incredibly high in antioxidants and it’s thought that this “superfood” can epigenetically reduce DNA damage, thereby protecting humans against aging and cancer.
- A 2018 study, published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, concludes that blueberries may be one of the best functional fruits, due to the protective activity of their anthocyanin and polyphenol antioxidants.
- Heart Health: Since they reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, blueberries protect against artery hardening, a condition that ups the risk of heart attack and stroke.
One recent study in men with metabolic syndrome compared the effects of consuming one cup of blueberries per day to a placebo over the course of six months. The blueberry eaters experienced sustained improvements in artery function, including reduced stiffness, as well as positive changes in cholesterol profiles. The results led scientists to conclude that blueberries should be included in dietary strategies to reduce heart disease risk.
- Brain Health: A 2019 analysis of 11 previously published studies examined the relationship between blueberries and cognitive performance. The review found that blueberries have been shown to improve delayed memory and executive function in children. The fruit also protects delayed memory, executive function, and psychomotor function in older healthy adults, and adults with mild cognitive impairment.
Delayed memory deals with long-term retention and the ability to recall information; executive function involves skills that enable a person to plan, focus attention, and juggle multiple tasks. Psychomotor function has to do with the body brain working together, such as hand eye coordination.
Berries are also the only fruit singled out in the MIND Diet, which combines aspects of the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet to create an eating plan focused on brain health, specifically the prevention of dementia and age-related cognitive decline. In one 20-year study of over 16,000 older adults, those who atee the most blueberries and strawberries experienced the slowest rates of cognitive decline.
- Muscle Recovery: The wear and tear put on muscles during exercise triggers exercise-induced muscle damage, or EIMD. The effect can result in increased muscle soreness, reduced muscle force, and hindered athletic performance. However, what athletes eat before and/or after exercise can potentially offset EIMD. In one study, female athletes consumed either a blueberry smoothie or a placebo drink of a similar antioxidant capacity five and 10 hours before, and then immediately, 12, and 36 hours after EIMD, which was induced by strenuous strength training.
Researchers found a faster rate of muscle strength recovery in the blueberry intervention group. The outcome led the scientists to conclude that blueberry consumption triggers adaptive events in the body that accelerate muscle repair.
For those of you on Keto, just close your eyes. For those of you on any other diet, yeah, close your eyes too. The following is not recommended under any circumstances. Sugar is a singularly bad thing and you should be eating blueberry-kale smoothies. Of course.
This is good:
This is dangerous:
The poor unenlightened, just so you know, actually indulge in things like this:
Very sad : )