Health Benefits of Blueberries
Blueberries are flowering shrubs that are native to North America. Fruits of the plant are actually false berries with small crowns towards the end, and characterized by sweet taste, piquant aroma and indigo blue color. Often, they have different levels of acidity, which imparts a tangy flavor to the fruit.
Even though, the plant originated in North America, it is now cultivated across the globe, including Australia, New Zealand and South American countries. Packed with nutrients and antioxidants, blueberries are also used to manufacture a variety of consumer goods like purée, juice, dried berries, jellies, jams, pies and muffins.
Because of the high antioxidant content, dietary fiber and other nutrients, blueberry is known to have great health benefits.
According to the Reader’s Digest book Foods That Harm, Foods That Heal, blueberries have the following health benefits:
· Good source of dietary fiber.
· Excellent source of antioxidants.
· Provide some vitamin C and iron.
· May help protect against some intestinal upsets.
· May protect against urinary tract infections.
· Anthocyanins may help protect against heart disease and cancer and may help prevent memory loss.
Health benefits of blueberry may be explained by the capacity of its antioxidants to scavenge free-radicals which are causes for age-related human diseases.
Blueberry also helps lower LDL Cholesterol (a cause for stroke and cardiovascular heart disease), reduce the risk of urinary tract infection, and improve eye vision.
Nutritional Value of Raw Blueberries
Given below is the amount of nutrients present in 148g of the raw fruit.
· Energy - 84 Kcal
· Protein - 1.1 g
· Fat - 0.49 g
· Carbohydrate - 21.45g
· Fiber - 3.6 g
· Calcium - 9 mg
· Iron - 0.41 mg
· Magnesium - 9 mg
· Phosphorus -18 mg
· Potassium - 114 mg
· Sodium -1 mg
· Zinc - 0.24 mg
· Copper - 0.084 mg
· Manganese - 0.497 mg
· Selenium - 0.1 mcg
· Vitamin C -14.4 mg
· Thiamin - 0.055 mg
· Riboflavin - 0.061 mg
· Niacin - 0.619 mg
· Panthothenic Acid - 0.184 mg
· Vitamin B6 - 0.077 mg
· Folate - 9 mcg