Blueberries are the star ingredient in many delicious recipes, but the berries themselves also are linked to many health benefits.
The berries are packed with antioxidants and vitamin C. One cup of blueberries delivers 14% of the recommended daily dose of fiber and nearly one-quarter of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C.
The United States Highbush Blueberry Council has been working with Column Five, pursuing four tracks to better understand the role blueberries play in promoting health. Those include cardiovascular health, brain health, insulin response and cancer-risk reduction.
“Everything I’ve heard about it is that there are many health benefits,” says Ryan Keel, an experienced blueberry crop and farming expert with Keel and Curley Winery. “The two I hear most often are they they can help fight and prevent cancer and can help slow the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.”
A University of Florida research study found blueberry wine has more antioxidants than many traditional grape-based wines.
“It’s suggested to have a steady diet of blueberries, especially in older older people,” Keel says.
LOW IN FAT
A one-cup serving of blueberries contains only 80 calories and virtually no fat.
HIGH IN MANGANESE
Blueberries are an excellent source of manganese, which plays an important role in bone development and in converting proteins, carbohydrates and fats into energy.
PACKED WITH PHYTONUTRIENTS
Research has shown that the berries are packed with phytonutrients, called polyphenols, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These may help lessen the inflammatory process associated with chronic conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and other age-related diseases.
One serving of blueberries delivers almost 25% of the daily vitamin C requirement. Vitamin C promotes a healthy immune system and helps maintain healthy gums and capillaries.
Fiber keeps the body regular, the heart healthy and cholesterol in check.
Source: U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council