Nutritional Information for Blueberries
Blueberries are one of those foods with a big antioxidant bang for its buck. Antioxidants in blueberries that are commonly studied include anthocyanins, ellagic acid, and pterostilbene. Researchers suggest increasing blood antioxidant status may result in reduced risk of many chronic diseases, especially cancer. So “Go-Big” on the berries!
Benefits of Blueberries
Cancer Prevention Benefits
Cancer patients eating blueberries appear to have an improved antioxidant status. When comparing certain foods, blueberries tend to be a major source of antioxidants in the diet. Having tons of antioxidants cruising through the blood is advantageous for both cancer prevention and survival. Blueberries have a known impact on enhancing immunity. They help boost the action of natural killer (NK) cells – the body’s first line of defense against cancer cells (Note: black pepper and cardamom have also been shown to boost NK activity). Some studies have shown NK cells can increase from roughly 2 billion to 4 billion cells in runners eating 1.5 cups of blueberries a day for 6 weeks.
Men's Health Benefits
Men eating flavonoid-rich foods like blueberries may help prevent erectile dysfunction. Blueberries have also been found to slow cognitive decline. It appears the anthocyanins in berries are protective against the aging process. Blueberries may even help reduce blood pressure and arterial stiffness. Adding ½ cup of blueberries to the diet every day can only help counter disease risk.
Ways to Use Blueberries
- Put on top of oatmeal or mix in overnight oats.
- Enjoy plain on their own.
- Add frozen blueberries to smoothies or top off banana ice “cream.”
- Put on top of whole wheat toast with all natural, no sugar added nut or seed butter.
- Spice-up salads by adding blueberries, lemon juice, and chopped nuts.
- Mix fresh blueberries into grain salads, such as quinoa or bulgur.
Resources for Blueberries
“Foods that Fight Cancer” from AICR: Blueberries
Nutrition Facts: www.NutritionFacts.org
Physicians Committee: http://www.pcrm.org/health/reports/applying-the-precautionary-principle-to-cancer
USDA Nutrient Database: Blueberries
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