The second most popular variety of berries packs a hell of a punch. By Shweta Gandhi
Who would have thought that these tiny blue balls would hold so much health in them that they would be ranked highest in antioxidants amongst all fruits and vegetables? Have them fresh, dried, juiced or frozen, however you prefer. Here are some more reasons to add them to your diet.
1. They can improve memory
In a recent study conducted by WHFoods, part of the George Mateljan Foundation, it was found that those who had blueberries across 12 weeks had improved cognitive functions including memory. Moreover, it was found that not only did blueberries improve memory but they also slowed down or pushed forward the onset of other cognitive diseases associated with ageing.
2. They have cardiovascular benefits
If consumed in quantities of one to two cups per day over a period of one to three months, blueberries can improve blood fat balances, reduce cholesterol, protect blood components like LDL cholesterol from oxygen damage and even increase plasma antioxidant capacity. All these are great news for your cardiovascular system.
3. They reduce blood pressure
Routine intake of blueberries significantly lowers both systolic and diastolic blood pressures and ensures healthy pressure. This is true for both men and women from all age groups.
4. They regulate blood sugar
Blueberries have shown a favourable impact in regulating blood sugar for those suffering from blood sugar problems, be it type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome or insulin resistance.
5. They are a great source of fibre
Around 150 grams of blueberries (or one cup) has approximately 84 calories and four grams of fibre, which can improve digestive health and help balance your diet. Fibre also assists in controlling weight, so if you’re grappling with weight gain, you may want to try out blueberries.
6. They lower the risk of cancer
Again, thanks to the high amount of antioxidants in them, blueberries can prove crucial in neutralising DNA damage, which is a key component of cancer. According to research, blueberry intake can lower the risk of breast cancer, esophageal cancer, colon cancer and small intestine cancers.
7. They can improve your eye health
Blueberries contain anthocyanins that are known to protect the retina (which is at a higher risk of oxidative stress) from unwanted oxygen damage and harsh sunlight. Consume a cup for three months for maximum benefit.