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Health Benefits Of Blueberries

Updated on March 7, 2013

Health Benefits Of Blueberries

 

Blueberries have been known as an anti-ageing 'superfood' because of its many health benefits and they contain disease-fighting properties. Blueberries, like many other foods are a natural source of antioxidants. Blueberries also have a number of naturally occuring antioxidants including Anthocyanins. Antioxidants are important to our bodies because they can protect us from the undesirable effects of free radicals and help to slow down the ageing process. In fact, blueberries have been found to have the highest antioxidant level of any other fruit. Anthocyanins, on the other hand, are responsible for giving nature its vibrant colours and they are present in every fruit and vegetables that has colour. Anthocyanins are the phytochemicals responsible for changing the colours of the leaves from green to red, orange, purple, yellow and more. Hence, the darker the berry, the higher the concentration of antioxidants.

Here are some health benefits of blueberries:

Improve Eye Vision

Research has indicated that blueberries have high amounts of anthocyanins, which is what gives the fruit its blue hue. Anthocyanins have an amazing effect in the human body such as strengthening capillaries and peripheral circulation. This would mean that it helps to assist the blood flow in and around the eyes. This improved blood flow may be responsible for the numerous claims of naturally improved vision and the reduction of eye related irritations. Japanese research showed that blueberry consumption reduced eye fatigue and improved weak eyesight.

Good Brain Food

Blueberries are a major source of flavonoids that have diverse biochemical and antioxidant benefits. Research has shown that these flavonoids have the ability to cross the barrier between the brain and blood flow. Short-term and long-term memory is controlled by tiny brain cells called neurons. Researchers believe the unique flavonoids in blueberries may help memory and learning by enchancing the connection between these tiny neurons. By enhancing and improving communication the neurons may regenerate themselves. Thus, increased flavonoid consumption can have a positive effect on the memory.

Prevent Heart Disease

Blueberries may help to reduce the build-up of LDL, the "bad" cholestrol that contributes to stroke and cardiovascular disease. Blueberries could strengthen blood vessels against oxidative stress that may lead to heart disease.

Helps Fight Against Certain Cancers

Some studies have shown that certain compounds in blueberries may help to reduce your risk of several types of cancers such as colon and bowel cancers.

Helps Fight Urinary Tract Infections

Blueberries contain substances similar to cranberries that can inhibit the binding of bacteria to bladder tissue, and can be used in preventing and treating UTI.

Ways To Include Blueberries Into Your Diet

- Fresh blueberries : When in season, you can get fresh blueberries straight from the farm market or the produce section of your local store.

- Frozen blueberries : Enjoy a few thawed blueberries in your pancakes or muffins.

- Dried blueberries : You can enjoy dried blueberries as a healthy snack or as an addition to your morning cereal.

- Blueberry juice concentrate : Blueberry juice concentrate is a concentrated way to get the natural health benefits of this fruit.

- Blueberry extract : Blueberry supplements are the most convenient and easiest way to get the natural health benefits of blueberry.

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