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Wait, These Are What Blueberries Can Do? 10 Benefits of Blueberries That Will Impress You

Wait, These Are What Blueberries Can Do? 10 Benefits of Blueberries That Will Impress You

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.

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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.’

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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.

6. Digestion

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.

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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.

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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.

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Tegan Jones

Tegan is a passionate journalist, writer and editor. She writes about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

ablab

    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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