Once just consigned to muffins, blueberries are now one of the most popular selling berries on the fruit scene, and was also one of the first to be titled a ‘superfood’.
Blueberries grow in clusters on shrubby bushes and can range in size. Some grow in the UK, but the majority of the blueberries we find in the shops will be imported. Cultivated blueberries are common and taste sweeter than those grown in the wild which are tart. Blueberries are a deep blue-purple colour with a thin translucent skin and tiny seeds.
So what are the benefits?
Blueberries (and other berries such as raspberries and blackberries) are an excellent source of vitamin C, which helps protect cells against damage and aids in the absorption of iron.
They also contain a decent amount of soluble fibre, which slows down the rate at which sugar is released into the bloodstream and helps to keep the digestive system happy.
Blueberries are extremely rich in phytochemicals, naturally occurring plant compounds, such as ellagic acid and anthocyanidins, which are responsible for the blue, indigo and red colouring. Phytochemicals have been extensively researched for their antioxidant action that helps protect the body against a long list of diseases. However, it is important to note that their superfood label is somewhat over the top and all berries, not just blueberries, have similar benefits.
Blueberries are low in calories and a 100g serving provides 1.5g fibre. A wide range of colourful fruits and vegetables are encouraged as part of a balanced diet and blueberries are a fantastic choice to include. One portion of blueberries is about a handful.
The health benefits of blueberries are due mainly to the anthocyanidins. They are exceptional antioxidants found in red/purple fruits and vegetables, reported to be effective with a variety of health conditions.
Research shows that anthocyanidins are highly active phytonutrients transported in the bloodstream where they act on blood vessels and collagen to reinforce and preserve it. They support blood vessel integrity around the body, not only the collagen in skin. This action has linked anthocyanidins to a reduction in cardiovascular disease (by protecting the vessels around the heart).
Another popular but not well known benefit of blueberries is related to vision and protecting against age-related macular degeneration. Traditional medicine suggests blueberries as a remedy for both diarrhoea and constipation and they may be able to help with urinary tract infections.
So there you have it! See if you can incorporate blueberries into your diet at least twice a week to really get the long term benefits, whether it is in smoothies or a topping for porridge.
Thanks for reading,
The Slim Transformation Team
0330 311 0008