North Americans have relied on blueberries as food and medicinal sources since the 1600s. A cup of these popular fruits contains just 84 calories with 24 percent of the ideal daily vitamin C amount and 114 milligrams of potassium. If you need more reasons to enjoy blueberries, multiple studies confirm that their superpowers safeguard and enrich various organs to prolong your health and life.
1. Cancer-Fighting Antioxidants
Of all the fruits, blueberries boast the greatest amount of antioxidants that neutralize cell-damaging free radicals. Research shows that these molecules help fight off cancers in the colon and ovaries. The anthocyanin antioxidants that are plentiful in blueberries do more than give them their famous color. A study found that berries containing the greatest anthocyanins were capable of stopping liver and prostate cancer cell growths in lab mice.
2. Inflammation-Reducing Properties
Aspirin, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), doesn’t allow blood platelets to stick together and form dangerous blood clots. Blueberries also combat inflammation that narrows arteries, leading to blockages, atherosclerosis, and more cardiovascular diseases. A study found that these berries thwart inflammation-stimulating proteins. Other research showed that eating blueberries with strawberries at least three times weekly reduced women’s heart attack risks by one-third. Investigators credited this effect to the anthocyanins dilating arteries and countering plaque buildup.
3. Bladder-Protecting Compounds
Like cranberries, a study discovered that blueberries’ special compounds prevent bacteria from reproducing in the bladder and attaching to its walls. These berries are especially effective at fending off E. coli, one of the main urinary tract infection (UTI) instigators. When you want a sweeter alternative to sour cranberries, choose blueberries to clear out bacteria, prevent infections, and increase urinary tract health.
4. Digestion-Enhancing Probiotics
The probiotics, or good bacteria, in blueberries can decrease the growth of harmful types so your digestive system functions properly. Men who drank wild blueberry beverages every daily during a six-weekstudyhad higher concentrations of two bacteria types that are essential for digestive tract health. Blueberries’ fiber, vitamins, and other nutrients also encourage digestion while helping you avoid constipation.
5. Brainpower-Boosting Flavonoids
Studies show that daily blueberry consumption helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease from starting or advancing. Research suggests that blueberries’ flavonoid antioxidants improve cognitive and learning abilities. A study indicated that high blueberry intake delayed women’s cognitive declines by as much as 2.5 years. These fruits also help impaired brain cells heal. So as you age, eating blueberries may help preserve your memory.