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Blueberries are touted as “superfoods” is there some truth to this or is this merely a marketing hype?

Eating vegetables and fruits have always been recommended by experts as part of a healthy balanced diet, mainly because they are whole foods.

Plant based foods such as legumes, nuts, vegetables and fruits are rich in vitamins and minerals including phytochemicals which have antioxidant properties.

Blueberries are one of the plant based foods which are thought to be very nutritious and have gained popularity in the recent years and of course they have been consumed for many years across different cultures and traditions.

Blueberries can be consumed fresh or frozen. They can also be dried and added to different recipes, i.e, baking food items, desserts etc. They can also be processed to produce beverages

Let’s find out in more details why this fruit is gaining so much popularity.

What to know about blueberries

Blueberry is a flowering plant, a type of fruits bluish or purple in colour due to flavonoids called anthocyanins present in them.

It can be sweet or tart in taste, tart because it was harvested too soon before it fully ripens. Blueberries are from a family of genus vaccinium along with cranberries, bilberries and the like and are found in their peak in summer because that’s when they are harvested.

Blueberries come in varieties of both wild ( low bush) and cultivated (high bush) blueberries and are native to North America. Although they are grown worldwide, USA is said to be the largest producer of blueberries followed by Canada and Chile taking the third place.

The leaves of blueberries can be processed to produce tea and can also be used for medicinal purpose like for instance dietary supplements and so forth.

Blueberries are versatile and very tasty and can be incorporated in different dishes, including your cereals, desserts, salads and confectionery food items.

They contain dietary fibre and essential nutrients which are beneficial to good health. The anthocyanins in blueberries are highly concentrated compared to other berries.

Anthocyanins is a naturally occurring plant compound present in most plant foods and are packed with antioxidants properties which boost immunity by eliminating free radicals in your body.

The dark pigment in plant foods is attributable to anthocyanins.

There are varieties of berries that are nutritious as well

Most plant based foods are very nutritious and are packed with minerals, dietary fibre and phytochemicals such as anthocyanins, phenolic acid and carotenoids which contain properties that are thought to be beneficial to health.

Blueberries may not be your favourite fruit, and there are different varieties of berries you can choose from, they include :

  • Strawberries
  • Cranberries
  • Blueberries
  • Gojiberries
  • Acalberries
  • Grapes
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries

Strawberries and Raspberries are not really classified as berries as opposed to popular believe. “You’ll be amazed to learn that tomatoes, bananas, and cucumber are true berries in botanical terms” Unbelievable right !

The consumption of blueberries may boost your body with essential nutrients

Although blueberries are perceived as “superfoods” It helps to diversify your diet, this way your health will not be compromised.

Antioxidants in blueberries have some health benefits and aid immunity by preventing cell damage or oxidative stress.

Blueberries have low fat content and are low in calories as well. They form part of a healthy diet as a result and contribute to heart health according to researched studies.

Blueberries are packed with vitamin c, an immune booster due to the antioxidants present in the nutrient. They are also rich in dietary fibre which forms part of a healthy diet. Some of its benefits include :

  • Fibre prevents bad cholesterol from building up in the arteries.
  • controls blood sugar levels.
  • Helps in weight management
  • Aid the digestive process.

Blueberries contain other nutrients such as potassium, vitamin k etc. Berries are rich in sugars such as glucose and fructose.

The health benefits of consuming blueberries

According to researched studies blueberries have a number of health benefits particularly due to the high level of anthocyanins which is present in blueberries and the antioxidant effect it possesses.

Blueberries are thought to contain a highly concentrated anthocyanins compared with other plant foods. The health benefits of blueberries include :

  • Prevention of inflammation disorder : the blueberries have the anti-inflammatory effect due to the bioactive compounds they contain.
  • Reduced risk of blood pressure : Blueberries contain zero sodium content. Lower sodium intake promotes a healthy blood pressure but eating blueberries without incorporating other foods in your diet will not provide you with the overall health benefits you could get by consuming a variety of foods.
  • Lower the risk of heart disease : the anthocyanins present in the blueberries are thought to be associated with the health of the heart due to its antioxidant effect.
  • Reduced risk of cancer : blueberries are packed with antioxidants from vitamin c along with the plant compound flavonoids and are associated with the reduced risk of cancer.
  • Reduced risk of cognitive decline in elderly: Aging and other factors can affect our cognitive function and studies have found that the daily consumption of blueberries can slow down the cognitive decline in the elderly owing to the abundance of the bioactive compound called anthocyanins available in the blueberries.
  • Beneficial to eye health : due to high amount of anthocyanins blueberries possess, they benefit eye health thus contributing to cataract and macular degeneration.
  • Reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes : Studies Indicate that consuming blueberries regularly , may help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. ” Clinical studies found improvements in insulin resistance and glucose tolerance after blueberry consumption in obese and insulin resistant rodents and humans”

It is recommended that consuming blueberries on a daily basis will create a conducive condition for a good health as they form part of a healthy balanced diet.

Wrapping up

Blueberries are very tasty and most people love them. They can be used in different forms, such as to add them as part of your ingredients for smoothies, juicing, etc.

While blueberries are rich in anthocyanins and are associated with a wide range of health benefits, eating them in exclusion of other foods may lead to deficiencies of nutrients which may result in some serious health conditions.

It helps to diversify your diet with foods like vegetables and fruits, among others to have a balanced diet which may lead to good health and longevity.

Sources and/or references

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5187542/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5842687/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4632771/

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/05/190530101221.htm

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120426110250.htm

https://www.agmrc.org/commodities-products/fruits/blueberries

Maggie

22 Replies to “Blueberries Benefits – Good or Bad?”

  1. Dear Maggie.
    Thank you very much for your fantastic website. It is amazing that you show people where to start and what steps to take towards their healthy living. I hope more people will know about your website and follow your guidance.
    Kind regards,
    Andrey

  2. Hi Maggie, Thank you for this excellent post, I found it very informative and educational. If I have to accept that blueberries aren’t, botanically speaking, berries, I’m not sure how to accept that bananas and cucumbers are. That made this non-botanist smile, thank you.
    I see clearly the health benefits of blueberries and count myself lucky that I can collect them here when they are in season. Thank you for adding a wealth of information to the little I had.

    1. You are so kind Steve and funny too. Thank you so much for finding this article informative. Blueberries are indeed berries but strawberries and raspberries aren’t. I also struggle to accept that bananas and cucumbers are berries especially bananas. I’ll make a further research on this, otherwise let’s enjoy what mother nature has blessed us with, hey!

  3. Great articles , I believe fruit is very useful to our body and health as well, additional to you article I get to know that its very helpful to decrease the affect of Stomach acid, and doctor also advice to eat fruit between the meals

    1. Thanks Ahmed for the additional info. That’s how versatile blueberries can be. Eating them between the meals sound like a plan. I do appreciate your feedback and for taking the time to read this article.

  4. Thanks for this article, it has been very useful. There are many things I didn’t know about blueberries. I always love when there is good info on how to live a better life. I was wondering if there is a time in the day when it’s best to consume berries? (Like for breakfast or other meals). Thank you. Wish you the best

    1. Andrea,blueberries are a fruit. You can eat them anytime of the day, either with your cereal, or you can incorporate them as an ingredient in your smoothie or you can dry them and add them to your baking goodies. You can just be creative as to how you’d like to use them. Thank you so much for reading the article and finding it useful.

  5. I love blueberries because they are so nutritious as well as versatile and can be added to so many delicious keto recipes. They go very well in smoothies too. I love that they have such a unique color too, which can add a gorgeous hue to cheesecakes and vanilla cakes (sugar-free of course ;). If I get peckish, I also love having them as a healthy snack rather than reaching for junk foods.

    An additional berry that you didn’t include in your list above if I may is the mulberry. Here in Australia my girls love picking these off trees in our neighborhood when they’re in season. Thanks for sharing a lovely post.

    1. Thanks Kat for your feedback and for adding mulberry on the list. You make me crave the vanilla cake right now and adding blueberries to it is just lovely hmmmmm. Thank you for reading the article and for the additional information.

  6. This was just a great article and was what I was looking for. I have had inflammation in my body and was looking for something that would help me.

    I will be trying the blueberry for inflammation as you said.

    I also never knew that there was a berry called Gojiberries. Where are those from. I have never seen it.

    1. Hi Thabo
      Thanks for your feedback. Gojiberries are native to Asia but I think you should Google and try to see what they look like and where you can find them near your place. Try some health stores. I haven’t tried them myself. As for the inflammation I suggest you visit your doctor first to establish what could be the cause for your inflammation. Thanks for reading the article.

  7. Great post!
    I have always liked eating blueberries even before I learned about their particular health benefits.
    They can go so easily with all kinds of other foods or by themselves.
    You have provided a ton of useful information about these foods that show that they are worth eating regularly.
    It was very interesting to learn that strawberries and raspberries are not technically classified as berries.
    What are strawberries and raspberries classified as?
    I also liked learning about how blueberries can be good for eye health because of the anthocyanins.
    I will continue to find more ways to eat these berries in my diet.
    Thanks for sharing this information!

    1. Thanks Jesse for finding this post useful and thanks for the question as well.Strawberries and raspberries are classified as aggregate fruits due to the fact that they develop from a single flower with more than one ovaries whereas true berries develop from a single flower with a single ovary. This is how they are differentiated. I hope this answers your question. Thanks again for reading the aricle.

  8. Wow, this was very informative! I absolutely LOVE blueberries, so I’m glad to read how many health benefits they have. In the winter months, I try to always have a bag of frozen blueberries in the freezer to add to yogurt, protein smoothies or just on their own. So many ways to enjoy them! Thanks for the great info!

    1. You are welcome Carla. Its good to hear that you love blueberries. I love them too. Yes, blueberries are versatile you can do absolutely anything you want with them. Freezing them when they are out of season is a good idea to continue benefiting from them. Thank you so much for taking the time to read the article.

  9. Hey Maggie,

    This post was a big surprise for me especially when you mentioned these two berries (Goji berries,
    Acai berries) and when you said that Strawberries and Raspberries are not really classified as berries, I am not an expert about this but I wonder why they classified them like that. I mean, I never actually imagined this!! So, I will make sure to do proper research about that. Also, the information about that tomatoes, bananas, and cucumber are actual berries in botanical terms. This is kinda weird! But, Science sometimes is weird in a good way to explain things we can imagine or think about until we see it!

    Anyways, as a physician, I know how high blueberries are. They have so many benefits for eating it, such as reducing the risk of cancer because it has an antioxidant agent. There are many types of research going on regarding this thing to try and fight cancers. I believe balancing our diet and increase the consumption of food like blueberries is the key to protect ourselves and kids from cancers.

    Thank you for this detailed post about blueberries. I love blueberries and I make sure to eat it regularly with a healthy diet.

    1. Hi Dr Alkhawaldeh
      Thank you so much for your comment. I agree a healthy balanced diet is a way to go. Doctors like yourself always advice that we balance our diets if we are to keep healthy.
      I was shocked when I first learnt that strawberries and raspberries are technically not classified as berries and that they are aggregate fruits due to the fact that they are produced from a single flower with more than one ovaries. As opposed to berries as they develop from one flower with one ovary and are referred to as simple fruits. This is what I found so far with my research. Kindly let me know what you find when you do research. Thanks for reading the article and for finding it useful.

  10. What a nice post you wrote! I really enjoyed reading it and I could not be silent about your post so I decided to leave my comment here and say Thank You for sharing this quality post with others.
    Actually this is exactly the information that I was looking for information about the benefits of blueberries and when I landed on your website and read this post, it answered all my questions in detail.
    So I’m happy that you decided to write about this topic and share it with people. It’s very useful and can definitely be used as a great source for everyone who is interested in this topic.
    I will come back to your website again for sure and I’m looking forward to reading your new posts.)

    Thanks!

  11. Thank you so much Ali for your comment and your kind words. It’s a great pleasure to learn that you’ve enjoyed the article and found it useful. This encourages me to do more and do it to the best of my ability. Cheers.

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