Blueberries are so delicious that I doubt that I really need to give you any actual reasons to eat them. Unfortunately, I don’t think my editor would accept an article that ends there, so we’re going to take a look at some of the impressive health benefits that blueberries actually have. Seriously though, they’re so tasty and unbelievably good for you that I’ve become one of those hateful people who brags about growing her own. Find out why.
1. Eye Health
A high vitamin A content is one of the many benefits that blueberries have for your health. It’s particularly helpful for your eyesight and has been known to prevent vision loss in old age. Another fun fact is that some pilots during WWII apparently used blueberries in order to improve their night vision. In case you were wondering, they ate them, as opposed to squeezing them into their eyes.
2. Heart Health
Blueberries are given their color by anthocyanins—a flavonoid that counters the build up of plaque and improves cardiovascular health. I have even better news for my fellow ladies. Studies have shown that blueberries (and strawberries for that matter) may be particularly beneficial to the heart health of women. Sorry, gents.
3. Cancer Prevention
The aforementioned anthocyanins apparently enjoy multitasking because they’re also helpful for cancer prevention. This, along with the antioxidants within blueberries, help to stop the growth of cancerous cells. Once again, they also seem to favor us ladies. In fact, inhibition chances in women can be as high as 50%. As such, blueberries should have a particular and purposeful place in your diet.
4. Bladder Health
Most women would know that cranberries are renowned for helping to alleviate UTIs, however, blueberries work just as well. This is because they contain the same substances and compounds that prevent bacteria from sticking to the wall of your bladder. Furthermore, blueberries are rich in antioxidants, which help to reduce the symptoms of UTIs. That’s right folks, no more sitting on the toilet for an hour at a time because you can’t be bothered to keep running to it every five minutes.
5. Brain and Memory Function
Yep, blueberries literally are ‘brain food.’
Studies have shown that blueberries can be immensely beneficial to maintaining healthy brain and memory function, particularly in older adults. In fact, research conducted at the University of Cincinnati showed that older people who were given blueberry juice performed better in memory tests than those who were fed placebos.
Blueberries also help to prevent inflammation that’s linked to age-related brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Blueberries are high in fiber, which is needed for proper digestion. Because I’m classy, I should also point out that this means that it can assist with constipation. If that wasn’t enough for you, the copper, sodium and fructose also help aid your digestion.
7. Weight Loss
Blueberries are great for weight loss, and not only because they’re clearly not a chocolate bar.
(Side note: dark chocolate and blueberries actually taste amazing together.)
Research has shown that those with a blueberry-rich diet tend to have less abdominal fat than those that forgo it. In addition, the fruit contains carbohydrates, which we know help to keep you feeling full and satisfied for longer. As such, you don’t feel the urge to overeat.
8. Skin Care and Anti-Aging
Antioxidants are once again coming to the rescue on this one. They neutralize free radicals and therefore prevent cells from being damaged and unable to repair themselves. This means that your skin is going to look younger and healthier without the help of Photoshop!
9. Immune System Health
Blueberries contain high levels of vitamin C, which has a range of benefits, including keeping your immune system healthy. In fact, one serving of the fruit contains roughly 25% of your daily requirements of the vitamin.
10. Hair Care
One of the other benefits of vitamin C is the pretty, pretty hair it gives you. Who doesn’t love a mixture of health and vanity? The vitamin stimulates the production of sebum follicles, which then works as a natural conditioner. Like antioxidants, the vitamin C in blueberries will also help to prevent hair loss by fighting free radicals in your body.
Most of us wander into our kitchens rather groggily first thing in the morning, and reach for a cup of coffee or tea for a caffeine kick. 20 Juice and Smoothie Recipes for Energy and VitalityFeatured photo credit: Blueberries on a shrub. Macro shot.via Shutterstock