In addition to tasting delicious and looking beautiful, this sweet and juicy berry boasts a wide range of health benefits. Did you know that blueberries can help you feel more energetic throughout the day? Or that they can help prevent your vision from worsening as you age? Or that they may even improve your memory?
Read on to learn about five more incredible health benefits of blueberries!
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1) Blueberries Help Lower Blood Pressure
Combining vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber in blueberries helps keep your blood pressure in check. And that can be a good thing because high blood pressure is one of the leading risk factors for heart disease. A new study found that eating about two ounces per day—the equivalent to a handful—of whole blueberries, wild blueberries, or freeze-dried blueberry powder may reduce systolic blood pressure (the top number) by an average of four points.
2) Blueberries Fight Oxidative Stress
There's plenty of evidence that blueberries (especially wild ones) can fight oxidative stress. For example, studies have shown that blueberries can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels by reducing oxidative stress within our cells. This is important because oxidative stress is linked to chronic diseases and aging.
3) Blueberries Help Regulate Blood Sugar Levels
Apples, blueberries, and oranges are high in Vitamin C and chromium, a trace mineral that helps control blood sugar levels. A study in Diabetes Care showed that supplementing with 200 micrograms (mcg) of chromium daily resulted in significant improvements in insulin sensitivity and fasting glucose levels. It also improved cholesterol levels by raising HDL and lowering LDL levels.
4) Blueberries Could Have Anti-Cancer Properties
Some researchers believe that blueberries might help prevent cancer because of the phenolic acids and anthocyanins. For example, one study found that rats with mammary tumors who ate an anthocyanin-rich diet had smaller tumors than those fed a control diet. In addition, blueberries have been shown to have anti-cancer properties in a few different ways, including reducing inflammation, oxidative stress and products of oxidative stress such as DNA damage, and inhibiting cancer cells.
5) Blueberries Lower Cholesterol
It's no secret that blueberries are great for your heart. Studies have proven that blueberry-rich diets are great for lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of heart disease. To keep up with a heart-healthy diet and reach your daily intake of blueberries, add a couple of tablespoons to cereal, smoothies, or yogurt. It's delicious!
What's your favorite healthy recipe to add blueberries to? Leave us a comment and let us know!
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"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)