Blueberries are very popular in many parts of the world, mainly because of their culinary value. These tiny blue-colored berries are often considered superfoods because they are low in calories but can provide our bodies with important vitamins and minerals.
Let’s examine if the daily consumption of blueberries is good for you.
Is a Cup of Blueberries a Day Good For You?
A cup of blueberries a day can have a good effect on our health, especially when consumed in the long run. According to some research results currently available, as much as 1/3 cup of blueberries a day can reduce the risk of developing some serious illnesses and health conditions. Based on clinical studies and observations, blueberries may help reduce body weight and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and vision-related disorders. They may improve cognitive function in both children and the elderly. Consumption of blueberries can contribute to healthy aging and longer life expectancy.
It is also important to pay attention to the variety in our diet so that our bodies can get all the necessary nutrients. A balanced, varied diet is important to all of us, and blueberries can be a part of that.
What kind of fruit is a blueberry?
Blueberry is a shrubby plant that is native to North and South America, Asia, and Europe. It can be both cultivated and wild. The blueberries on the market are most of the varieties native to North America. The fruits of blueberry shrubs are blue, 5-16 mm in size, and spherical.
Blueberries are popular because of their sweet, delicate taste, but have also been used in folk medicine. They are marketed as fresh, dried, frozen, or processed into fruit marrow, syrup, wine, and jam.
What are the health benefits of blueberries?
Blueberries are rich in phytochemicals, the most significant of which is anthocyanin. It is a pigment that gives blueberries their characteristic blue color. Blueberries contain more anthocyanins than other available fruits.
100g of blueberries can provide our body with 16% of its daily vitamin C needs and 18% of its vitamin K needs. In addition, blueberries contain vitamins A, E, and B, as well as Potassium, Magnesium, and Calcium.
Blueberries contain 84% water and 14% carbohydrates. They also contain 0.3% fat and 0.7% protein. The energy content of 100 g of blueberries is 240 KJ (57 kcal).
Blueberries may help prevent type 2 diabetes
According to research by the Harvard School of Public Health, people who consume blueberries, grapes, and apples have a 23% reduction in their risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared with those who consume less than one serving a month.
It is important to emphasize that blueberries can help control weight and thus prevent obesity, which in many cases is responsible for the development of type 2 diabetes.
Blueberries can be beneficial for Breast cancer patients
A study by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health followed the condition of 9,000 women with breast cancer for 30 years. It was found that the mortality rate among women who consumed large amounts of blueberries decreased. This is probably because the bioactive ingredients in blueberries prevent or slow down breast cancer tumors.
These studies also found that the beneficial effects of blueberries and other fruits were only realized when patients consumed whole fruits. Consumption of fruit juices showed the opposite result.
Blueberries can help preserve our vision
The retina is significantly exposed to the effects of oxidative stress and inflammatory processes that increase with aging.
Regular consumption of blueberries can help strengthen the blood vessels in the eye. Anthocyanin in blueberries may also prevent arterial blockage, which helps supply oxygen to the retina.
There has been an improvement in patients with intraocular pressure and glaucoma who have consumed 50 g of blueberries a day for at least 6 months. Vision in the dark also improved with the consumption of blueberries.
Blueberries can have a beneficial effect on brain function
According to an article published on the National Library of Medicine website, the consumption of blueberries and strawberries has slowed cognitive decline among older adults. More than 16,000 people over the age of 70 participated in Harvard’s research. Berries are high in anthocyanidin, which can delay cognitive aging. Flavonoids in the fruit can also have a good effect on brain function, reducing the risk of developing dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease and a decline in cognitive abilities.
The antioxidant content of berries may have a positive effect on memory and learning ability in old age, but the consumption of blueberries also had a good effect on the cognitive abilities of school children.
According to an article in The Washington Post, older people who consumed at least one cup of blueberries a day for three months performed better on learning and memory tests than those who did not.
Blueberries can help generate new nerve cells and improve communication between them.
The role of blueberries in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases
Blueberries contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances that can help maintain the health of our heart and vascular system.
According to some research, flavonoids in plant foods may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by up to 25%. High anthocyanin intake improves the flexibility of blood vessel walls and can reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
Some components of blueberries have an anti-inflammatory effect and can also have a good effect on the intestinal flora.
People who regularly consume blueberries and strawberries may be up to 32% less likely to have a heart attack. This effect is likely to be achieved by the anthocyanin content of the berries.
According to some clinical studies, patients consuming blueberries showed a decrease in LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglyceride levels and an increase in HDL (good) cholesterol. Blueberries, one of the two types of fiber, contain water-soluble fiber, which helps regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
How do blueberries help you lose weight?
Some research suggests that eating fruits rich in flavonoids may help control weight and prevent obesity. Obesity greatly increases the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes.
Berries, including blueberries, have low natural sugar content, making them a perfect fit for a wide variety of diets.
The red, blue, or purple color of the fruits, including blueberries, is provided by anthocyanins. According to some research, people who consume blueberries and strawberries have gained less weight as a result of these incredibly beneficial substances than those who do not consume them regularly. Some research has shown that higher anthocyanin intake may help reduce body fat by 3-9%.
What can I do with too many blueberries?
Blueberries can be used to make sweets like cheesecakes, muffins, fruit bread, or pie filling, but they also go well with Pavlova cake. You can also make a healthy, refreshing smoothie from blueberries mixed with yogurt and honey.
You can make homemade jam from blueberries without adding preservatives other than sugar or xylitol instead of sugar.
Wash 2 lbs (0,9 kg) of blueberries and add 10 oz (300 g) of granulated sugar. Squeeze a little with your hand or a fork. If you prefer jam with a smooth consistency, blend the fruit with an immersion blender. Allow the mixture to stand for a while until the sugar dissolves.
Cook the mixture over low heat, stirring often. When the jam has reached the desired consistency, pour it into sterilized jars, leaving as little space as possible on top.
Close the jars with their caps and turn them upside down for a few minutes. Then turn the jars over and cover them while still hot with a thick towel and allow the jam to cool completely. Jam preserved in this way can be stored for months, even a whole year.
You can similarly make blueberry juice as jam. The only difference is that about 2 cups (500 ml) of water should be added to 2,2 (0,9 kg) of blueberries and 300 g (10 oz) of sugar when cooking the juice. You can vary these amounts to your liking. Blend the blueberries well with an immersion blender, and if you prefer juice with a perfectly smooth consistency, you can strain it through a sieve.
For preservation, you can follow the steps described above for blueberry jam.
Homemade blueberry ice cream
Homemade blueberry ice cream is not difficult to make and is much tastier than the store-bought versions. I recommend my favorite ice cream recipe:
Blend 1 cup of blueberries with a blender, then add 1 cup of yogurt and 1/2 cup of sugar. Whip 3/4 cup whipping cream until soft peaks form. Gently combine the whipped cream with the fruity mixture. If you have an ice cream machine, you can use it now.
If you don’t have an ice cream machine at home, pour the ice cream mass into a bowl and put it into the freezer. Before it freezes completely, take out the ice cream a few times and mix it. This way the ice cream will be creamy.
Drying was a way of preserving blueberries in the old days when freezing was not yet available. Dried blueberries can come in handy as a low-calorie snack and also go well with breakfast cereals.
Are frozen blueberries good for you?
Frozen blueberries are also good for you as they do not lose their quality and nutrient content when frozen. Frozen fruits are available to us all year round, so we can enjoy their beneficial effects when they are out of season.
Fresh fruits are quick-frozen after harvest to retain their vitamin C and anthocyanin content. Even after a long storage period, only small amounts of nutrients are lost.
Freezing is the healthiest form of preserving fruit, it does not change fruit compounds in the same way as heat treatment, and there is no need to add sugar or preservatives.
Blueberries are among the most delicious fruits popular in many parts of the world. Due to their high antioxidant content, blueberries are considered by many to be a superfood.
Due to the low sugar and rich nutrient content of blueberries, they can have a beneficial effect on our health.
Variety in our diet is very important because it ensures that our body receives all the nutrients it needs. For the sake of our health, it is best to consume a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, including blueberries.
While on the subject of fruits, you may wish to read an article I wrote about the vitamin C content of oranges and lemons.
4 thoughts on “Is a Cup of Blueberries a Day Good For You?”
I love blueberries and it is fascinating to watch the color of tongue go blue. My children love this. Only thing that they are available only during its season and are not perennial. We try to make the utmost of it during the period given its nutritional quality which we would miss for rest of the year.
On other occasions, I choose blueberry ice-creams wherever I can and love having it. Now knowing so many health benefits, I will try out making jam next season.
Thanks for this article.
I’m glad that you found useful information in my post about blueberry health benefits. When blueberries are not in season, I often use frozen ones, as their nutritional value does not decrease with freezing.
The water-soluble anthocyanins in blueberries are what make our tongue and teeth blue. These pigments have an anti-inflammatory effect and are effective antioxidants, so they are very useful for our health.
All blueberries are nutritious – but wild blueberries, if you can get them, are far healthier. They have as much as 48% more antioxidants than cultivated (grown) blueberries. During the summer, I always make blueberry juice or freeze them in the freezer, so I make healthy treats for the children when it’s not in season.
Hi Bojana, thank you for your comment.
Wild blueberries are indeed much richer in nutrients than ordinary ones. In addition, their taste is much sweeter and more intense.
Due to their sweet taste, blueberries are suitable for replacing unhealthy treats in our kid’s diet.