Blueberries - The Blue Gem of Nutrition
Updated: Apr 17, 2020
As we're all quarantined for the foreseeable future, adequate and healthy nutrition is VITAL for a robust immune response. I wanted to take the time to highlight one fruit in particular that boasts an impressive nutritional profile: blueberries. Unlike the vast majority of other fruits, blueberries have the lowest effect on raising your blood sugar. Considering fruit is "nature's' candy," that natural sugar is digested a bit differently in our bloodstreams vs. other similar fruits. Additionally, one serving of blueberries contains 16% of your daily requirement of vitamin C and 28% of your daily requirement of vitamin K. While vitamin C is likely already incorporated into your daily diet, vitamin K is imperative for intestinal/digestive health, blood clotting, bone metabolism, and regulating blood calcium levels.
Blueberries also contain phytonutrients called polyphenols that give fruit their natural color, and assist in brain health. These micronutrients are packed with antioxidants and can help lower our risk of diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases. For prevention against diabetes, research suggests that the anthocyanins in blueberries have beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism. For prevention against neurodenerative diseases, blueberries minimize the oxidative stress that can accelerate your brain's aging process, negatively affecting brain function. According to animal studies, the antioxidants in blueberries may affect areas of your brain that are essential for intelligence. They appear to benefit aging neurons, leading to improvements in cell signaling. Speaking of antioxidants, did you know that blueberries are the KING of antioxidant foods? Blueberries have the highest antioxidant capacity of all the popular fruits and vegetables.
As a weight management tool, blueberries contain fiber which slows down our gastric emptying, keeping us fuller longer and regulating our digestion. If all these reasons weren't enough, blueberries are also high in manganese, which helps our body digest fat and carbohydrates!
Blueberries are more than a superfood; they can benefit our DNA, brain longevity, cellular health, blood pressure, heart health, and memory. In fact, the next time you're in for a strenous workout, blueberries may help soothe the inflammation and oxidative stress in your muscle tissues. As a result, your muscles will heal faster!