Blueberry Breakdown: Help Berries Help You!
It’s not just a Dr. Oz favorite food. It’s a superfruit people consume as part of favorite recipes or all by themselves the world over. That’s because of their unique taste, versatility, availability fresh or frozen, and big potential for health. Whenever we make an effort to get the most concentrated nutrition in the form of fruit and veggie servings, wild blueberries are the food millions turn to every day.
But as much as we love them, sometimes it’s easy to set our diet on berry autopilot. Maybe you’ve become a little complacent with your eating habits. Maybe your servings count has slipped from five to one or two – on a good day. Maybe your MyPlate plate looks more like a paper bag stamped with a P.F. Chang logo.
It happens. Every once in a while it’s worth taking stock of what the wild blueberries we rely on are doing to help us – inside and out – as a way to rekindle the flame that keeps our daily nutrition smoldering. Knowing the health advantages of wild blueberries is like doing your morning affirmations. Reinforcing the benefits can help keep blues and other healthy foods at the top of your list every day, where they should be. And every effort you make toward better nutrition in the course of a day adds up to big health payoffs over time.
Wild Blueberry Breakdown
Can’t quite recall what the wild blueberries benefits are? Not to worry. Here’s your blueberry breakdown of the five most compelling ways blueberries, especially wild blueberries, are benefiting your health.
1. Your Brain
When it comes to blueberries, the “brain food” moniker is earned, and antioxidants are the key. They protect against inflammation, which is thought to be a leading factor in brain aging, including Alzheimer’s disease. And blueberries, especially wild blueberries, are higher than nearly all other fruits when it comes to antioxidants. In addition, ongoing brain research shows that blueberries may improve motor skills and actually reverse the short-term memory loss that comes with aging. Other fruits and vegetables have been studied, but it was blueberries that were shown to be effective.
Blueberries are especially potent when it comes to the body’s battle against free radicals, and research shows that blueberry compounds may inhibit all stages of cancer. Part of the ongoing research into the benefit of blueberries for cancer prevention includes the exciting studies conducted by Shiuan Chen, Ph.D., and Lynn Adams, Ph.D., of the Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope, who demonstrated the potential of blueberries to inhibit the growth of Triple Negative Breast Cancer, a particularly aggressive and hard to treat form of breast tumor. Studies into the link between blueberries and cancer continue, but researchers are already taking a stand – most say eating blueberries is akin to a daily dose of cancer prevention.
3. Your Heart
Who knew something so delicious could be such a life saver? Thank the berry’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents for its cardiovascular benefit. Research indicates that blueberries may protect against heart disease and damage from stroke, and scientists have found a blueberry-enriched diet may protect the heart muscle from damage and regulate blood pressure. What’s more, blueberries may reduce the build up of so called “bad” cholesterol that contributes to cardiovascular disease and stroke, making every blue platter a heart-healthy one, cross our heart.
4. Your Diabetes Risk
If you have an increased chance of getting diabetes (and today, 1 in 10 Americans have Type 2 diabetes, more than ever before) eating blueberries is a smart line of defense. Consuming low Glycemic Index foods causes a smaller rise in blood glucose levels than consuming high GI foods – an important consideration for people with diabetes. Wild blueberries scored 53 on the GI scale making them a clear low GI food and an excellent choice for those struggling with or trying to prevent diabetes.
5. Your Skin
Nature gave us skin damage and wrinkles. It also gave us high antioxidant foods to fight back. The anti-inflammation properties found in blueberries act as anti-aging agents, fighting off environmental hazards to the skin, protecting the skin from sun damage and even preventing wrinkles. Some studies suggest that eating blueberries regularly can even help improve acne-prone skin. Is it any wonder products like Blueberry Eye Firming Treatment are capitalizing on the blueberry benefits?
Wild Blueberries – On Every Plate.
We know fruit and vegetable intake is important. While all fruits are good, wild blueberries outperformed two dozen commonly consumed fruits like pomegranates, strawberries, cultivated blueberries, cranberries, apples and red grapes. Researchers are continuing their study into the anti-inflammatory potential of the polyphenols in blueberries, since chronic inflammation at the cellular level is at the heart of many degenerative age-related diseases. Besides the benefits listed above, blueberries hold other promise that has scientists engaged in ongoing research into their potential for mood enhancement, weight loss, appetite control, improvements in vision, and as pain fighters.
There are more than enough reasons not to let your nutrition flame-out. One clear solution that you can start implementing today is to put wild blueberries to work for you. Put them on your plate at every meal, and know you are doing something good for your health and disease prevention.
How much do I have to eat? Getting the recommendation amount of wild blueberries to make a difference is so doable! Recommended daily intake differs depending on age and gender, but approximately two cups of fruit is usually recommended for adults – easy to achieve throughout the day in snacks and as part of meals. And, at just 45 calories per serving, wild blueberries deliver substantial nutrients for every calorie consumed.
Find out more about the health benefits and recommended daily intake.
Need recipe ideas to rekindle your diet? Wild blueberries are easy to cook with and add surprising taste variations that make dishes shine. Search the Wild Blueberry Association’s database of recipes. It includes recipes from some of the best chefs and nutritionists guaranteed to refresh your palate and your plate!