The Health Benefits of Blueberries

Blueberries were popular among the Native Americans in treating many health conditions and ailments. Blueberries are grown in many areas in North America and other parts of the world. Therefore, it is easy to purchase these year round in many grocery stores. They can be eaten by themselves or be used as a healthy addition to cereal. While they make a delicious addition to many desserts such as cobblers, pies, muffins and cakes and used as a jelly or jam spread for peanut butter, there are many health benefits by including blueberries in your daily diet.



Blueberries are loaded with Vitamin B. Thiamin, or Vitamin B1, helps “helps the body’s cells change carbohydrates into energy” (medlineplus). This helps speed up metabolism and the rate in which we lose weight. Riboflavin-Vitamin B2-helps boost your immune system and increase the energy in your body as well as “maintaining healthy hair, skin, mucous membranes, and nails; slowing aging; boosting athletic performance; promoting healthy reproductive function” (WebMD). Niacin-Vitamin B3- also plays a role in turning our food into energy. In addition to this, it helps raise the level of good cholesterol (High Density Lipoprotein or HDL).

Health Benefits of blueberries Image by Michelle Meiklejohn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Including blueberries in your daily diet is an excellent way to boost up your metabolism and lose weight. The pantothenic acid-or Vitamin B5-found in blueberries helps remove toxins from the body by making them more water soluble where the kidney flush them out with urine. This helps speed up the breakdown of fats, carbohydrates and protein. By eating a cup of blueberries or drinking a glass of juice you will notice that your energy will increase and that you will become more active. Eventually you will notice that your pants will feel looser on you since these berries will suppress your appetite and make you feel full.

Blueberries boost the immune system because they contain Vitamin C. If you have a cold or the flu, eating blueberries can help fight the symptoms. You can even prevent yourself from getting sick in the first place by including these berries in your daily diet.

Blueberries are a major source of calcium and Vitamin K. If you want to have and maintain healthy bones and teeth, eating blueberries is the way to go. By including blueberries in your daily diet, you are lowering the risk of getting osteoporosis as you age. Not only is calcium is necessary for strong bones and teeth, we also need it to lower the levels of Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL), otherwise known as the bad cholesterol.

Blueberries are also high in zinc. If you want to maintain good eyesight and prevent conditions such as myocardial infarction include these berries in your daily diet.

Blueberries are an excellent source of potassium, manganese and magnesium which are all needed to keep our blood pressure numbers at a safe level. When we do not have enough of these in our daily diets, we run the risk of getting high blood pressure. When you keep your blood pressure lower you run a less risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. The American Heart Association states that food that contains all these play a key role in reducing blood pressure. Blueberries also contain a compound called pterostilbene. According to Doctor Oz this plays a direct role in reducing blood pressure. By including blueberries in your daily diet, your numbers may drop by 4-6%, thus lowering the risk for heart disease.

The Vitamin C, E, A and Pterostilbene (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3649683/) found in blueberries act as powerful antioxidant. That is why blueberries are considered to be a super food. These all help neutralize free radicals-which harm the body-and reverse the damage of cells.

Blueberries help stimulate the production of the red blood cells in the body. An anemic person benefits from drinking this juice because it is high in iron. Not only does this drink increase the number of red blood cells and make them stronger, it improves the circulation of blood and oxygen throughout the entire circulation system.

For all the health benefits of blueberries, it is best to purchase them fresh or as a dried fruit. However, fresh blueberries normally last up to a week in your refrigerator. The dried fruit will last a longer period of time. You can also purchase them frozen or canned. Keep in mind, while they will last a longer period of time, they may not have all the nutrients as fresh blueberries have.

References:



http://blog.doctoroz.com/in-the-news/blueberries-for-blood-pressure-a-berry-interesting-conceptpterostilbene
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002401.htm
http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredient






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