This vibrant fruit may be small, but each serving contains a serious blow when it comes to nutrition. Cranberries, often overlooked and eclipsed by the more exotic types of berries, remain one of the most nutritious and antioxidant-rich types of fruit in the world and have been shown to do everything possible to improve the Brain health and keep the heart strong. In addition, in addition to the long list of health benefits of blueberries, these fruits are also super sweet, low in calories and delicious.
Do you need more convincing about why you should add this tasty berry to your diet? Read on to learn about the health benefits of blueberries and find some creative ways to squeeze some portions of this superfood into your day.
Top 7 The Health Benefits of Eating Blueberries
Do you wonder about the health benefits of cranberries and how are they beneficial? Here are the seven main health benefits of blueberries:
- High in antioxidants
- Help fight cancer
- Weight loss
- amplifier Improve brain health
- Relieve inflammation
- Support for digestion
- Promote heart health
1. High in Antioxidants
Antioxidants are compounds that fight harmful free radicals and provide a lot of health benefits. In fact, antioxidants not only prevent cell damage, but also protect against various types of chronic diseases, such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
Cranberries are one of the best sources of antioxidants. A study in China compared the antioxidant capacity of blueberries, blackberries and strawberries and found that cranberries not only contained the highest total antioxidant capacity, but also contained more than many specific types of antioxidants, including phenols, flavonoids and anthocyanins.
Wild blueberries are especially rich in antioxidants. A study in the British Journal of Nutrition, for example, found that supplementing participants with wild blueberry powder increased the serum antioxidant status by 8.5 percent after only one hour.
Other main antioxidant foods are dark chocolate, goji berries, pecans, cloves and cinnamon.
2. Help Fight Cancer
Recent research has uncovered some impressive findings about the ability of blueberries to protect against certain types of cancer.
For example, a 2010 study in a test tube reported that cranberry extract could inhibit the growth and spread of breast cancer cells, making blueberry extracts potential agents to fight cancer. Another animal study at the Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville treated rats with breast cancer using cranberry powder and found that it reduced tumor volume by 40 percent.
Similarly, a test-tube study conducted in 2007 showed that low-cranberry juice reduces the growth of several types of cancer, including stomach, prostate, bowel and breast cancer cells.
Although these results are promising, be sure to consume a variety of berries along with many other fruits and vegetables to truly optimize the cancer fighting potential of your diet.
3. Amp Up Weight Loss
Take a look at the nutrition profile of blueberries and you will quickly see why this nutrient-laden berry is excellent if you are looking to lose weight quickly. It’s low in calories, but it provides a whopping 3.6 grams of fiber per cup, satisfying up to 14 percent of your daily fiber needs with just one serving.
The fiber moves slowly through your digestive tract, promoting the feeling of fullness and making you feel fuller for longer to help you lose weight.
Several studies in animals have confirmed the beneficial effects of cranberries in weight loss. An animal study published in the journal PLoS One, for example, found that cranberry juice prevents obesity in mice fed a high-fat diet. Another animal study conducted by the Cardiovascular Center and the Michigan Integrative Medicine Program demonstrated that cranberry intake was associated with a reduction in abdominal fat for obese rats.
Be sure to combine cranberries with a nutritious and complete diet and with lots of physical activity to further promote weight loss.
4. Boost Brain Health
One of the most impressive health benefits of blueberries is their ability to improve brain health. There have been many studies suggesting that eating blueberries could improve memory and cognition.
In a recent study of 2016 published in the European Journal of Nutrition, it was found that consumption of a blueberry drink improves cognitive performance compared to a placebo in 21 children. Another study showed that drinking wild cranberry juice daily for 12 weeks could improve the memory of older adults.
In addition, blueberries are loaded with antioxidants, which can protect the brain from free radical damage and promote healthy aging of the brain.
In addition to blueberries, other brain foods that can help improve memory and focus include avocados, beets, leafy green vegetables and nuts.
5. Alleviate Inflammation
Although inflammation is a normal immune response that helps protect your body from disease and injury, chronic inflammation is the root of most diseases. In fact, it is believed that inflammation contributes to a wide range of conditions, including cancer, autoimmune conditions, heart disease and even depression.
Thanks to its high antioxidant content, it has been shown that blueberries have a significant anti-inflammatory effect in the body. A 2014 test-tube study even found that the polyphenols found in blueberries helped reduce the activity of several markers of inflammation. Similarly, an animal study published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology also found that cranberry extract was effective in reducing inflammation in the legs of rats.
The seeds of celery, broccoli, pineapple, salmon and chia are just some other anti-inflammatory foods that should be included in a diet to fight diseases.
6. Support Digestion
With 3.6 grams of fiber in each cup, even a serving or two of blueberries can help you meet your fiber needs and, at the same time, promote regularity and healthy digestion.
When you eat fiber, travel through the undigested gastrointestinal tract, adding bulk to the stool to keep you regular. In fact, an analysis in the World Journal of Gastroenterology examined the results of five studies and found that increasing dietary fiber intake could help increase the frequency of bowel movements in people with constipation.
Combine your blueberries with plenty of water, physical activity and other fiber-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds so that your digestive system works efficiently.
7. Promote Heart Health
There is no doubt that a healthy heart is a key component of overall health. Your heart is responsible for pumping blood throughout the body to provide your tissues with the oxygen and nutrients necessary to thrive and survive.
Unfortunately, coronary heart disease is one of the leading causes of death, accounting for 31.5 percent of all deaths in the United States. High triglycerides, high cholesterol and increased blood pressure are just some of the major risk factors for heart disease that can put a strain on your heart and force you to work harder.
Studies show that eating blueberries may help reduce some of the risk factors for heart disease. A 2015 study, for example, found that eating cranberries daily for eight weeks resulted in lower blood pressure and arterial stiffness in 48 women. Another study published in the Journal of Nutrition reported that cranberry supplementation produced greater decreases in blood pressure and oxidized LDL cholesterol, two main risk factors for heart disease, compared with a control group.
Of course, the health benefits of blueberries in heart disease are limited unless they are combined with a balanced diet, a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise.