Monday, July 13, 2015

Benefits of Blueberries

One of the highest antioxidant fruits, blueberries fight free radical damage helping to better preserve our health and ward off aging. The blue color is from a pigment called anthocyanin which provides the dark red, purple, and blue hues in blueberries as well as eggplant, red cabbage, and cranberries.

Blueberries are a good source of dietary fiber which may help reduce the risk of heart disease and support digestive health. Fiber also helps you feel full for less calories which is a benefit for managing your weight.

Exciting research on blueberries and cognitive benefits is underway. One study following older adults for 12 weeks found those who consumed blueberries daily experienced improvements in memory and cognitive function. Scientists speculate the multitude of different antioxidants in blueberries help protect nerve cells from oxidative damage.

Blueberries are also an excellent source of vitamin C for collagen formation, wound healing, and protein metabolism. Manganese, vitamin K, B6, and potassium are also abundant in blueberries helping to support optimal nutrition in the body.

For most people, 3 servings of fruit daily is recommended. One serving of blueberries is 3/4 cup which contains 60 calories, 16g carbohydrates, 2.7g fiber, and 0g fat. Use blueberries instead of sugar to sweeten oatmeal, yogurt, or cereal. Try them in a smoothie with nonfat plain Greek yogurt, or toss them into a spring mix salad with orange segments and balsamic vinaigrette.

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