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Blueberries are tiny, mighty disease-fighting warriors. Brimming with health-promoting compounds, they give a delicious boost to your heart, immune system, brain, eyes, and musculoskeletal system.


Boost the Immune System

Cell damage caused by unstable oxygen molecules called free radicals weakens your immune system. It is also linked to aging and chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease and cancer. Blueberries are nature's wonders, bursting with the goodness of antioxidants to protect you by neutralizing free radicals. They are one of the richest sources of antioxidants, making them a powerful supporter of the immune system.


Based on data from the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (Boston, MA), blueberries are among the fruits with the highest antioxidant activity. Just 100 grams of fresh blueberries could deliver the equivalent antioxidant capacity of five servings of some fruits and vegetables.


Antioxidant Activity Comparison

1 cup (145 g) of blueberries = 1.5 cups of strawberries
  = 3 cups of orange segments
  = 4.5 cups of broccoli florets
  = 5 cups of chopped spinach


Blueberries contain antioxidants such as anthocyanins, beta-carotene, vitamins A and E, ellagic acid, phenolic compounds, and resveratrol. Anthocyanin, the pigment that makes blueberries blue, is a potent antioxidant that offers major health benefits. Every 100 grams of blueberries has 25-497 mg of anthocyanins. Resveratrol is more than a potent antioxidant (about 20-50 times more effective than vitamin C). It also acts synergistically with vitamin C, enhancing each other's effects.


Support Heart and Liver health

Keep your heart happy with blueberries. Thanks to their high antioxidant activity, blueberries help reduce the buildup of LDL ("bad") cholesterol, thereby preventing cardiovascular disease and stroke. Resveratrol in blueberries has an anti-clotting effect to prevent the formation of blood clots that may block blood vessels and cause heart attacks and stroke.


Blueberries are also a ready source of pterostilbene. Scientists have discovered pterostilbene has immense potential for inhibiting LDL cholesterol, thus lessening the burden on the liver. Removing LDL cholesterol from the blood is one of the liver's vital functions.


Experimental studies show that diets containing blueberry extract lower blood pressure. Phytochemicals in blueberries strengthen blood vessels and are useful in treating varicose veins and spider veins.


Help prevent Cancer

These juicy orbs contain more than 40 healthful compounds with high antioxidant activity that may reduce risk of certain types of cancer. Scientific research shows that pterostilbene in blueberries has immense potential in colon cancer, breast cancer and lung cancer prevention. Folic acid in blueberries may help guard against cervical cancer. Consuming blueberries may reduce liver cancer risk. Researchers found that the phenols and anthocyanidins in bluberries inhibited growth of liver cancer cells by 50%, while death of liver cancer cells increased by 400% in a study. Resveratrol and ellagic acid in blueberries have shown significant anti-cancer effects and may delay the aging process.


Protect Brain Cells

Free radicals speed up the aging of brain cells, which can lead to memory loss and impaired balance and coordination. Evidence is mounting that blueberries with their high antioxidant content may help improve memory, intelligence, co-ordination, and even reverse memory loss !


A study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry reported that one group o volunteers in their seventies with early memory decline drank the equivalent of two to two-and-a-half cups of a commercially available blueberry juice every day for two months. A control group drank a beverage without blueberry juice. The blueberry juice group showed significant improvement on learning and memory tests. Another study showed that people who ate a cup of blueberries a day performed 5-6% better on motor skills tests than the control group.


Blueberries are rich in quercetin. Quercetin has been found to be particularly effective in protecting brain cells from free radical damage that can lead to dementia. One study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that quercetin protected rats' brains from damage due to exposure to hydrogen peroxide (a free radical). Quercetin quells the risk of heart disease and stoke, type 2 diabetes, cancer, asthma, high blood pressure, damage to the brain by free radicals, and coughing.


Research at the University of Reading has found that phytochemical-rich foods, such as blueberries, can reverse age-related decline in memory and may have implications for the treatment of aging-associated diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease. Published in the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine, the research shows that supplementing a regular diet with blueberries results in improvements in memory.


Blueberries contain anthocyanins, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects to help prevent abnormal deterioration of the nervous system.


Improve Vision

If you spend long periods staring at computer screen, eat more blueberries. Not only do blueberries ease eye fatigue, they also improve weak eyesight, according to findings by Japanese researchers in 1999. Blueberry consumption increases circulation of the capillaries of the eyes, which reduces oxidation in these tissues. This action benefits eyesight. It is thought to be especially helpful in preventing diabetic retinopathy (disease of the retina due to diabetes mellitus), as well as night blindness, cataracts and macular degeneration (an age-related eye disease that is the leading cause of vision loss in the elderly)


Fortify Bones and Muscles

Manganese (an essential trace mineral important for many chemical reactions in your body) in blueberries aids in keeping bones strong.


Studies show that malvidin glycosides in blueberries may be beneficial in alleviating muscle damage caused by oxidative stress.


Blueberries reduce production of histamines (inflammatory substances produced by the body that are responsible for causing allergy symptoms). They also act as an anti-inflammatory nutrient to connective tissue.


Promote Urinary Tract Health

Researchers at Rutgers University in New Jersey have identified phytochemicals in blueberries called proanthocyanidins that promote urinary tract health, and reduce the risk of urinary tract infection by preventing bacteria from adhering to the cells that line the walls of the urinary tract.


With so many amazing health benefits, blueberries are proof that delicious fruit can be so good for you !











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