Blueberries Are Good for Memory and Heart Health
Health Benefits of Blueberries
Blueberries are a wonderful fruit full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Its health benefits are amazingly beneficial in reducing fats, chomping down on free radicals, combating negative metabolic issues, promoting improved insulin levels, supporting ocular health and warding off diseases and cancers.
Blueberries boost brain power
Benefits of Blueberries for your Brain and Heart
Brain - Blueberries contain flavonoids. Flavinoids have been shown to improve memory and cognitive functions such as; the ability to reason, make decisions, and maintain general comprehension and retention. In addition, the regular consumption of flavonoids may help slow down the mental decline in the aging.
Heart- Blueberries contain high levels of antioxidants and fiber. This dynamic duo promotes our ability to dissolve our bad cholesterol. Plus, blueberries battle against metabolic issues which can in-turn promote heart disease.
Blueberries are rich in vitamins and minerals
Blueberries are Chockfull of Vitamins, Minerals and Fiber
Blueberries are high in Vitamin C, which promotes a healthy immune system. Blueberries also contain Vitamin A, Iron, Calcium, Manganese, Vitamin K, Vitamin E, Zinc, Phosphorus and Selenium. We can't forget the fiber! - 1 cup gives you 4 grams of beneficial fiber. Fiber aids in satiety and in promoting a healthy digestive system. Manganese helps convert carbs, proteins and fats into energy. Plus, the wonderful blend of nutrients in blueberries will keep your vision and retina healthy too! A study published in the Archives of Ophthalmology indicates, "...eating 3 or more servings of fruit per day may lower your risk of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), the primary cause of vision loss in older adults, by 36%, compared to persons who consume less than 1.5 servings of fruit daily." Wow!
Blueberries burn belly fat
Blueberries are shown to Reduce Belly-fat, Provide a Trimmer Waistline and Improve Insulin Levels
Worried about calories? Blueberries only have 84 calories per cup! Fresh is better - juice is beneficial too, but you are adding loads of sugar and calories.
Belly-fat, weight loss & insulin - The University of Michigan did a study which found blueberries may help reduce belly fat, risk factors for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome. The study was performed on rats as opposed to humans. Nevertheless, After 90 days, the rats with the blueberry-enriched diet had less abdominal fat, lower triglycerides and cholesterol. Also, the study showed improved fasting glucose and insulin sensitivity. Impressively, the study also found lower body weight, lower overall fat mass and reduced liver mass. Incidentally, an enlarged liver is linked to obesity and insulin resistance, an antecedent for diabetes.
Blueberries fight against Alzheimers, Parkinson's and Cancer
Blueberries and Disease Prevention
Degenerative Diseases - The flavonoids in blueberries have been shown to provide protection against disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Plus, as noted earlier, flavonoids have also been found to assist in slowing down the decline of mental cognition in the aging.
Blueberries contain certain compounds like Pterostilbene and Ellagic Acid. Together with Anthocyanin and other antioxidants are said to work with your system as a prevention of cancer. For example, a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry show that phenolic compounds in blueberries can inhibit colon cancer.
Nutritional Value of 1 cup of blueberries
Eat a Blueberry! Heck, eat lots of blueberries!
Ready to add blueberries to your diet? The nutritional value as well as the health benefits should have you running to the market. Remember, fresh is best otherwise, go with frozen. Add them to your cereal, waffles or smoothies. I've even tossed them in my salads. By the way, I did find an article claiming that although baking blueberries did affect the nutritional value - not all the benefits were lost. Caution though, if you are baking blueberries you are probably adding unhealthy calories with the other ingredients like flour and sugar.
Studies and Links
This study shows blueberries may improve selected features of metabolic syndrome and related cardiovascular risk factors. - http://jn.nutrition.org/content/140/9/1582.short
This study shows how dietary supplementation with whole blueberries in a preclinical study resulted in a reduction in glucose concentrations over time. In conclusion, daily dietary supplementation with bioactives from whole blueberries improved insulin sensitivity in obese, nondiabetic, and insulin-resistant participants. - http://jn.nutrition.org/content/140/10/1764.short
This study shows how blueberry enriched diets prevents and reverses object recognition memory loss in aging rats. - http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S089990071000136X
This study shows how dietary intake of pterostilbene (a blueberry bi-product) inhibits downstreaming signaling pathwat and colon carcinogen in rats. - http://carcin.oxfordjournals.org/content/31/7/1272.short
This Scientific American article discusses how emerging research suggests that compounds in blueberries known as flavonoids may improve memory, learning and general cognitive function, including reasoning skills, decision making, verbal comprehension and numerical ability. In addition, studies comparing dietary habits with cognitive function in adults hint that consuming flavonoids may help slow the decline in mental facility that is often seen with aging and might even provide protection against disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. - http://www.sciamdigital.com/index.cfm?fa=Products.ViewIssuePreview&ARTICLEID_CHAR=0F110F28-237D-9F22-E822B642D135B382
There is a blueberry council at - http://www.blueberrycouncil.org/health-benefits-of-blueberries/blueberry-nutrition/
© 2011 Marisa Hammond Olivares