Blueberries are one of the tiniest fruits, but don’t let their small size fool you. This summer berry is full of antioxidants and vitamins and is the perfect choice for a healthy snack. It can also be used in recipes both sweet and savory to add a burst of unexpected flavor. Here’s what you need to know about blueberries, as well as a few recipes you can experiment with this week. Read the full article of Pritish Kumar Halder and get enough knowledge about blueberries.
Blueberries are plump, sweet, and juicy, with a color that ranges from indigo to deep purple. Wild blueberries are considered indigenous to North America, where they have existed for more than 13,000 years.
Blueberries are available across the United States today, but they don’t have a long history as a cultivated fruit. As a crop, they date to the dawn of the 20th century, when the daughter of a New Jersey farmer teamed up with a botanist to cultivate and breed blueberries. They harvested the first blueberries in 1916, and over the next 50 years, Americans experienced a “blueberry boom.”
While the cultivated variety of the fruit originated in New Jersey, it’s currently grown across North America, which produces approximately 1 billion pounds of blueberries each year. right up arrow Today, blueberries are also cultivated in parts of South America, including Argentina, Chile, and Peru.
Do blueberries make you gain weight?
No. Because blueberries are low in calories (containing just 84 calories per cup) and offer a good source of fiber, this fruit is an excellent choice for weight management. When eaten in moderation, blueberries are not likely to cause weight gain.
- What are the health benefits of blueberries?
- Are blueberries good to eat every day?
- When are blueberries in season?
- Can I eat blueberries that are red in color?
- What’s in Blueberries? A Look at the Fruit’s Nutrition Facts
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 148 grams (g) of blueberries — or about 1 cup — has about 84 calories; 1 cup of blueberries also offers:
- Protein, 1.1 g
- Carbohydrates, 21.5 g
- Dietary fiber, 3.6 g
- Sugars, 14.7 g
- Calcium, 8.88 milligrams (mg)
- Iron, 0.41 mg
- Vitamin C, 14.4 mg
Potential Health Benefits
Blueberries are sweet and succulent, but that’s not the only reason to pick up a bunch on your next grocery run.
Blueberries are an excellent source of antioxidants called polyphenols, which are substances that help inhibit oxidative stress and free radicals that cause cell damage. Flavonoids are one type of polyphenol offered by blueberries. Much of the research on the health benefits of blueberries has focused on anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid that’s responsible for blueberries’ distinctive color.
Thanks to these antioxidants, regularly consuming blueberries may boast several health benefits, research suggests.
Lower Your Risk for Heart Disease
One review found that the antioxidants in blueberries may help prevent numerous chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and degenerative diseases. Anthocyanins may be particularly helpful in reducing the risk of high blood pressure and coronary artery disease.
Boost Brain Function
The flavonoids in blueberries may help improve memory and cognitive function. According to a study, older adults who consumed high amounts of flavonoids in 20 years were up to 40 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
Similarly, a small study on wild blueberry powder found that this form of fruit may help boost problem-solving and memory in children, resulting in higher test scores.
Risk for Type 2 Diabetes
Blueberries’ anthocyanin content may help improve insulin sensitivity in people who are obese and have insulin resistance, thus reducing their risk of developing type 2 diabetes, although more research is needed.
Additionally, anthocyanins may contribute to a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes by helping to lower inflammation and body weight, two known risk factors for diabetes development.
1) Maintaining healthy bones
Blueberries contain iron, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and vitamin K. Each of these is a component of bone. Adequate intake of these minerals and vitamins contributes to building and maintaining bone structure and strength.
Iron and zinc fulfill crucial roles in maintaining the strength and elasticity of bones and joints.
Low intakes of vitamin K have been linked to a higher risk of bone . However, adequate vitamin K intake improves calcium absorption and may reduce calcium loss.
2) Skin health
Collagen is the support system of the skin. It relies on vitamin C as an essential nutrient and works to help prevent skin damage caused by the sun, pollution, and smoke. Vitamin C may also improve collagen’s ability to smooth wrinkles and enhance overall skin texture.
One cup of blueberries provides 24 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C.
3) Lowering blood pressure
Maintaining low sodium levels is essential to keeping blood pressure at a healthful level. Blueberries are free of sodium.
They contain potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Some studies have shown that diets low in these minerals are associated with higher blood pressure. Adequate dietary intake of these minerals is thought to help reduce blood pressure trusted Source.
However, other studies have counteracted these findings. For example, a 2015 study trusted Source of people with metabolic syndrome found that daily blueberry consumption for 6 weeks did not affect blood pressure levels.
Prevent Some Cancers
The antioxidant effect of blueberries can reduce inflammation throughout your body and may inhibit the growth of some types of cancers — stopping cells from becoming malignant and slowing the growth of cancerous cells. Currently, the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) notes that blueberries show some promise in preventing colorectal cancer, thanks to their high fiber content. The AICR adds that blueberries and other nonstarchy fruits and veggies may decrease the risk of aerodigestive cancers (like mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophageal, lung, stomach, and colorectal cancers).
Have the Potential to Improve Your Mood
Some evidence suggests that eating blueberries may help relieve symptoms of depression. In small studies, researchers found that a flavonoid-rich blueberry drink helped improve mood and potentially decrease the risk of depression in children and young adults. right up arrow Plus, one animal study suggests that a blueberry-rich diet may improve symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. right up arrow But more research in humans using whole blueberries is needed to confirm these effects.
Can Blueberries Help With Weight Loss?
Blueberries are a healthy choice when you want to snack on something sweet but don’t want to sabotage your weight-loss efforts. A cup contains only about 84 calories — plus, blueberries are full of fiber. right up arrow High-fiber foods leave you feeling fuller for longer than low-fiber foods do, so you’re likely to eat less. right up arrow Fiber-rich foods may also lower the risk of overweight and obesity.
And while blueberries alone won’t necessarily cause weight loss, people who have a regularly high anthocyanin intake may have less body fat overall.
How to Select and Store Blueberries for the Freshest Quality
Fresh blueberries can be purchased year-round. For the best flavor, however, it’s important to pick a quality batch.
When grocery shopping, look specifically for blueberries that are firm and dry. A quality blueberry will have smooth skin and deep color, either a deep purplish blue or blue to black
Sometimes, you may stumble upon blueberries that are reddish or greenish in color. These blueberries are not ripe and don’t contain as much flavor as ripened berries.
Carefully examine a batch of blueberries before purchase. Don’t purchase berries that are shriveled, soft, or moldy.
It’s always important to wash your blueberries just before eating and keep them refrigerated after purchase to ensure freshness. Blueberries last 10 to 14 days in the refrigerator, but if you want to extend their shelf life, you can freeze them or dry them.
Fresh vs. Frozen Produce: Which Is Better for You?
You can also buy frozen blueberries, which come in handy if you’re looking to add blueberries to smoothies or yogurt. Feel the bag before purchasing to ensure that the blueberries are loose and not frozen into a lump, which can be difficult to separate when preparing frozen drinks like smoothies. If you choose to thaw a bag of frozen blueberries, store it in the refrigerator or open the contents and rinse the berries under cool water until defrosted. For more information please visit Pritish Kumar Halder ‘s page.
Dried blueberries are widely available in grocery stores and are a great addition to trail mixes, salads, baked goods, cereals, and more. They have similar antioxidant content to fresh blueberries but tend to be higher in sugar and calories by weight (since the drying process removes water and volume from the fruit).
Fast facts on blueberries
Blueberries contain a plant compound called anthocyanin. This gives blueberries both their blue color and many of their health benefits.
Blueberries can help heart health, bone strength, skin health, blood pressure, diabetes management, cancer prevention, and mental health.
One cup of blueberries provides 24 percent of a person’s recommended daily allowance of vitamin C.
Use blueberries to top waffles, pancakes, yogurt, oatmeal, or cereal, blend them in a smoothie or syrup, or fold them into muffins and sweet breads.
People who use blood thinners, such as warfarin, should speak to their doctor before increasing their intake of blueberries, as the high vitamin K content can affect blood clotting.
Here are some quick tips on including blueberries in meal options:
- Use blueberries as fresh toppings on oatmeal, waffles, pancakes, yogurt, or cereal for an extra burst of flavor and nutrition in your breakfast.
- Whip up a quick and easy smoothie using frozen berries, low-fat milk, and yogurt.
- Mix fresh or dried blueberries into a spinach salad with walnuts and feta cheese.
- Fold blueberries into muffins and sweet bread.
- Blend them in a food processor with a little water, as part of a fresh syrup to top desserts or breakfast foods.
You may want to try these healthful and simple recipes:
- almond blueberry bread
- pumpkin blueberry oat muffins
- chia blueberry smoothie
- wild blueberry turkey burgers
- kale salad with creamy blueberry vinaigrette
People who are taking blood thinners, such as warfarin, must not suddenly change their intake of blueberries or other sources of vitamin K. Vitamin K plays a key role in blood clotting, and it could affect the blood-thinning action of the drug.
The overall diet is more important than any single food in preventing disease and achieving good health. It is better to eat a varied diet as the key to healthful living, rather than to concentrate on individual foods.