Blueberries are a very popular summer treat—they are sweet, nutritious, and very easy to incorporate into many delicious recipes. However, despite all the reasons why you should add them to your diet, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory may have scared some viewers away from blueberries.
So, to help some get past the fear of a Violet-like reaction, let’s chat and chew about why blueberries are actually very beneficial to your health!
BLUEBERRY HEALTH BENEFITS
They help lower blood pressure. By nature, blueberries are free of sodium. They also contain potassium, calcium, and magnesium, which have been known to naturally decrease blood pressure.
They are heart-healthy. Blueberries not only lack cholesterol, they are full of great nutrients such as potassium, vitamin C, and phytonutrient content—all of which support heart health. In addition, the fiber in blueberries helps lower the total cholesterol in the blood, which lowers your chances of heart disease. Vitamin B6 and folate also help prevent the build-up on homocysteine, which can damage blood vessels and lead to heart problems.
They prevent cancer. As we discussed in past blog posts, many nutrients found in berries and other healthy foods can help prevent cancer. Blueberries are no exception. Between vitamins C & A, plus various phytonutrients, this tiny fruit acts as powerful antioxidants to help protect cells. They also help stop tumor growth, decrease inflammation in the body, and help slow several types of cancer in the body.
They help maintain your brain. Studies have found that blueberries can help reduce the risk of cognitive decline and Parkinson’s disease. They have been shown to improve short-term memory loss and motor coordination as well.
They help with weight loss. High fiber foods—like blueberries—are known to increase satiety and reduce appetite, which make you feel fuller for longer. Ultimately, this lowers your calorie intake, which is an important factor in weight loss and management.
They help build healthy bones. The nutrients in blueberries—iron, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and vitamin K—all contribute to building and sustaining strong bone structure.
HEALTHY BLUEBERRY RECIPES
If you’re looking for ways to add blueberries to your favorite morning, afternoons, or late-night meals, check out some healthy recipes below:
- Chicken-Fruit Salad
- Lemon-Blueberry Muffins
- Blueberry Pancakes
- Blueberry Power Smoothie
- Blueberry Gorgonzola Salad
- Blueberry Salsa
Although blueberries are small, you can see they are jam-packed with a variety of healthy nutrients! Try a fun new recipe this summer or share a crowd favorite in the comment section below. Remember—don’t let one bad egg prevent you from enjoying all the benefits of blueberries!