Today’s featured berry, is the blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) found in North America and Europe. These dark/blue purplish fruits contain one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants out there. Antioxidants combat free radicals that cause cellular damage which is linked to aging, cancer and cardiovascular disease. So, are blueberries good for you? Does a cow go moo? Here are some of the benefits of this superfood:
Belly fat reduction
Of course we deal with belly fat first, since its a huge concern for everyone. Research from the University of Michigan suggests that blueberry intake can lead to abdominal fat reduction. It should be noted that studies were performed on laboratory rats, but does suggests that benefits could extend to people. Benefits include lower triglycerides, lower cholesterol and insulin sensitivity.
Age related degeneration
Blueberries has a large concentration of antioxidants that fight free radicals and slows down the aging process. Flavonoids present also help reverse age related memory loss as demonstrated in recent research. Anthocyanin derived from the skin pigment lowers risk of macular degeneration which comes with age. The exact dosages and frequency still needs to be studied.
Phenolic compounds in blueberries can inhibit colon cancer and reduce risk of ovarian cancer. The phenolic compounds do this by inducing apoptosis (programmed cell death).
Research show that the high anthocyanin content helps to prevent plaque buildup and reduce the risk of heart disease and significantly reduce risk of heart disease in women.
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
Having a persistent need to urinate and strong smelling urine can indicate the presence of a UTI. According to a University of Maryland Medical Center, blueberries can help prevent UTIs. This is due to the presence of certain compounds called proanthocyanidins that prevent harmful bacteria from attaching itself to the bladder wall.
Antioxidants are also good for maintaining healthy skin since they fight free radicals which damage skin cells. They can also strengthen blood vessels under the skin and reduce broken capillaries which can make the skin look splotchy. Research suggests that ellagic acid which is present in blueberries also protects the skin from ultraviolet damage and prevents collagen breakdown. file blackberries.
So, with all these benefits attributed to blueberries, what’s stopping you from grabbing a handful of this super food and improving your health? Of course for maximum benefit, you should combine with a healthy diet and exercise regimen. No food, however super, can reverse a lifetime of bad habits and unhealthy living. Make them a part of your diet, whether you’re having a smoothie or just popping them in and chowing down. Sometimes when you buy them in the supermarket they can be pretty sour. A good way around this is to blend them in a smoothie with some kiwi or apple slices. This is a good way to combat the sourness and help it to go down a bit easier. Also don’t use milk or dairy for your smoothie, just add plain old water for an extremely healthy smoothie.
P.S. The healthy goat was spotted at the North Market in Columbus, head butting people out of the way. He was trying to grab the last box of organic blueberries and was subsequently escorted out of the premises by security.