05 Jul

How Blueberries Can Improve Your Health

Science tells us that the darker the food, the higher the antioxidant level. Antioxidants are to the body, the way rust-proof works on a car – they have the ability to mop up free radicals and keep you looking younger, longer. Thus, dark foods with a purple pigment such as blueberries, are known for having amazing healing powers. 

 

Here are some reasons why you should run out and buy some wild blueberries:

1. Blueberries can ease the pain of arthritis: Molecules in blueberries provide the building blocks for an antioxidant known as SOD, superoxide dismutase. SOD is important in disarming the most harmful of free radicals our bodies (1) – specifically the nasty free radicals that like to break down the synovial fluid that lubricates our joints. 

2. Blueberries improve your memory: Research show that flavanoids in blueberries decrease the risk of age-related memory decline by protecting the area of the brain that houses memory. Kaempferol is a specific flavanoid shown to exercise protection of neural tissue and may be helpful in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. (2)

3. Blueberries are packed with pectin, a great soluble fibre: Science shows that pectin has an effect on cardiovascular health (3) by preventing the thickening of arterial walls. It is the thickening of arteries along with plaque build-up that makes arteries narrow, which affects blood pressure and eventually leads to cardiovascular disease. 

4. Blueberries are an excellent source of manganese: We need very little quantities of this mineral so we always get it from our food, but the small amounts do a big job! Manganese is necessary for bone growth and synthesis of new bone in growing children. (4) It can also aid in repairing bones in cases of damage such as a break or fracture.

5. Blueberries are a great source of the always wonderful vitamin C: Blueberries can help our bodies resist the physical signs of aging such as wrinkles and saggy skin as Vitamin C is extremely important in the synthesis of collagen (5) – the connective tissue that gives our skin its youthful elasticity.

 

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Reference:
 
1. Kelvin J. A. Davies: “Oxidative Stress, Antioxidant Defenses, and Damage Removal, Repair, and Replacement Systems.” IUBMB.org Volume 50, Issue 4-5
October 2000 Pages 279–289, 10.1080/713803728
 
2. Steven J. Coultrap, Paula C. Bickford and Michael D. Browning: “Blueberry-enriched diet ameliorates age-related declines in NMDA receptor-dependent LTP.” Age (Dordr). 2008 Dec; 30(4): 263–272. Published online 2008 Aug 10. doi:  10.1007/s11357-008-9067-y PMCID: PMC2585650
 
3.Huiyun Wu, Kathleen M Dwyer, Zhihong Fan, Anne Shircore, Jing Fan, and James H Dwyer: “Dietary fiber and progression of atherosclerosis: the Los Angeles Atherosclerosis Study.” Am J Clin Nutr December 2003 vol. 78 no. 6 1085-1091
 
4. By Phyllis A. Balch: “Prescription for Nutritional Healing.
 
5. Harish Padh Ph.D: “Vitamin C: Newer Insights into Its Biochemical Functions.” Nutrition Reviews: Volume 49, Issue 3 March 1991 Pages 65–70, DOI: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.1991.tb07407.x 
 
 

Comments  

# Sandy A. 2014-07-01 19:30
Hi… is this true of blueberries only or do other berries that are blue also have the same properties? e.g. Honeyberry. Thanks kindly. Sandy from St. Albert, Alberta
# Julie Daniluk 2014-07-09 06:28
Thanks for writing in Sandy,

Any dark berry will have excellent phytonutrients. Each berry has its own characteristics but know that they are all amazing powerhouse foods that can be consumed regularly. Be sure to have only organic as conventionally grown berries are often heavily sprayed.

Cheers, Julie

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