The Benefits of Blueberries

Benefits-of-Blueberries from Senior Star

They say good things come in small packages and blueberries just might be the best example of that saying. Tiny but mighty, blueberries offer delicious flavor plus vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. 

In fact, blueberries are bursting with so many health benefits that they were one of the first foods to be called a “superfood.”

Here are a few reasons why blueberries are such a healthy choice.

Rich in Antioxidants

Blueberries contain one of the highest antioxidant levels of any fruits or vegetable.

Antioxidants help protect the body from free radicals. Our body produces free radicals naturally in response to exposure to things like pollution, UV rays, and alcohol. Free radicals can damage cells and can cause a particular type of stress within our bodies called oxidative stress.

Antioxidants create a barrier or a shield around cells to help protect them from being damaged by free radicals.

According to a 2004 study, a cup of cultivated blueberries (berries grown to eat) has 9,019 antioxidants. Wild blueberries have as many as 13,427 total antioxidants per cup.

Try: Sprinkling frozen blueberries on top of a warm bowl of oatmeal for a nutritious and filling breakfast.

Full of Vitamins and Minerals

In addition to being low in calories, blueberries are nutrient-dense. They’re good sources of vitamin C and vitamin K, as well as manganese.

A cup of blueberries provides the following recommended daily intake of vitamins and minerals:

  • Vitamin C: 24%.
  • Vitamin K: 36%.
  • Manganese: 25%.
  • Dietary fiber: 14%.

Vitamin C is known for boosting your immune system, while vitamin K helps your blood clot properly. Manganese helps to promote bone and muscle strength.

Try: Adding blueberries to whole-wheat pancakes. Mix the berries in with the batter or sprinkle them on top for extra flavor, vitamins, and minerals. 

Help Manage Cholesterol

Blueberries are high in soluble fiber which helps lower cholesterol. Soluble fiber binds to the bile in our guts making it easier for our bodies to eliminate it. Maintaining lower levels of cholesterol can reduce your risk of heart disease.

Try: Adding blueberries to a spinach salad. Pair with a sprinkle of goat cheese, pecans, and vinegarette dressing for a light and refreshing side dish.

Potentially Help Manage Blood Sugar

Blueberries are both low in sugar and a good source of fiber which may help improve insulin sensitivity and help manage blood sugar levels.

Managing blood sugar levels is also important to maintain good heart health.

A recent study looked at men living with Type 2 diabetes. When the participants ate blueberries daily for 8 weeks, they lowered certain cardiometabolic health parameters, such as triglycerides.

Try: Take blueberries on the go. Pack a bag of freeze-dried blueberries on your next outing for a portable snack.

Reduce Blood Pressure

A 2019 study of people living with metabolic syndrome found that eating blueberries daily had a positive impact on their health. The fruit created sustained improvements in vascular function and lipid status when the study participants added just 1 cup of blueberries to their food intake each day. This study proves that incorporating blueberries into your diet regularly can help decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Try: Create a grazing platter that is sure to be a hit with kiddos and grownups alike. Grab a muffin tin and fill each cup with colorful fruits and veggies. Add blueberries, carrots, sliced bananas, bell peppers, and whatever else you can find. It’s the perfect treat for an afternoon snack! 

Senior Star + Superfoods

Your local Senior Star community has all kinds of creative ways to learn more about this month’s superfood. 

Perhaps you’d like to check out a cooking demonstration or unwind at one of our Mixology Experiences.

Contact your Senior Star location to find out what’s available in your local community and how to participate. You can also reach out for monthly recipes and other fun ideas.

Download our Guide to Aging Well: Secrets to Successful Aging from “Blue Zones” Around The  World. Questions about senior living? Contact us to learn more.