Last Updated: 5th October 2016
Blueberries are extremely popular for dieticians and health experts. They are full of nutritional goodness, helping people to fight against all types of illnesses, including cancer. The fruit also works extremely well in recipes, whether savoury or sweet.
If the blueberry fruit has been recommended to you or you’ve come across them a lot in your grocery shop, it’s time to learn more about why they are so good for you.
Here are 10 nutritional facts about blueberries nutrition and look out for some recipes ideas below to try out today.
Some people even think blueberries help to stop snoring and work better than a stop snoring device.
Freezing Wont Change The Nutritional Benefits
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Unlike many other fruits and vegetables, you won’t affect the nutritional value by freezing the fruit. This means you can keep packs of blueberries for up to 6 months without wondering how little of the benefits you will actually receive.
It’s so important considering some antioxidants within the fruit. They are found in much higher amounts that the majority of other fruits in the world, especially those you will regularly find in the supermarket.
It is unclear whether cooking or heating the fruit in anyway has any adverse effects. If there are, it is likely very minimal, especially considering some nutrients that are within the fruit.
Thinking about not affecting the nutrients, it is worth looking at the type of blueberries to eat. It doesn’t matter which region they come from, but you want to aim for organic options as much as possible. They are healthier for you and offer better levels of the nutrients.
Organic anything is better when it comes to fruit and vegetables. The benefit is that the produce is grown naturally, without the use of chemicals that can affect the nutritional values. You’ll not have to worry about the risk to your body due to some of the chemicals potentially used to prevent rodents and pests eating the crops.
The term “organic” is a protected term. Companies cannot legally misrepresent their food as organic. Watch out for the word “natural” though, as there is no regulation over this.
Blueberries Can Fight Against Cancer
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This fruit, like many other berries, is full of antioxidants. These are important to fight against the free radicals that cause cells to develop and repair abnormally. Abnormal cells are linked to cancer. So, by eating more blueberries, you will help your body fight against cancer.
Also, by remaining positive about your health, you can fight off against illnesses much easier. There are links to how a positive mindset sends the right chemicals around the body, helping to fight against potentially life-threatening illnesses. Cancer patients have shown improvement because they have been more positive about their recovery compared to others who have failed to thrive.
Boost Cognitive Memory Function
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There are also links to improve a brain function due to eating blueberries. This is, again, due to the antioxidants within the fruit. You would only need around two cups of the fruit a day to see the benefits, and you can get a good amount in the blueberry recipes below.
Improved brain function helps with the cognitive memory. People are less likely to suffer from ailments like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia due to a drop in their brain function. Studies have shown that a blueberry cannot only help to boost brain function but also fight against the signs of ageing in the brain. This fruit can help to fight against brain diseases to prevent illnesses occurring or getting worse.
Lower On The Glycemic Index
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For those trying to follow a low-GI diet, this is certainly a fruit to add to the list. A blueberry is low on the glycemic index, which means that it will not have a major effect on the blood sugar levels when eaten and digested. A lower blood sugar effect will mean little insulin is released, so the body doesn’t have to deal with that chemical. The risk of diabetes is lowered, just by eating this fruit over other sweeter versions; all while keeping a sweet taste!
The lower sugar release also offers the benefit of no major highs and lows in energy levels. Foods that have a high GI traditionally give a person a sudden boost of energy and then a quick slump, making them reach for more food that will give them the energy boost they need again. This leads to more insulin being released into the body, and a higher risk of developing diabetes.
A blueberry measures at around 40-53on the GI scale, and 50 is considered low. It is worth noting that most berries are low on the GI list, but the blueberries nutritional values are much better in other aspects, such as the antioxidants. For those on a low GI diet or concerned about these numbers, all types of berries are better than many other fruits out there.
Linked with this and diabetes is the benefit that blueberries offer to those who are already diabetes sufferers. By having three or more servings of blueberries or other low GI fruits a day, it is much easier to regulate the blood sugar levels. This can help to reduce the need for medication and in some cases reverse diabetes altogether.
Extra Cardiovascular Support
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This benefit of blueberries nutrition goes back to the antioxidants. They do much more than fight against illnesses and help to prevent many problems. One of those problems they protect against is cardiovascular issues. By getting a daily intake of blueberries, you will protect the blood vessel walls, blood fats and blood components in the body. This helps to protect against clogging the arteries, leading to a lower risk of heart attack or stroke.
Blood flow is considerably improved, meaning the heart is able to work properly and get blood to all the necessary organs. This also helps with the improved brain function, as the brain get the oxygen and blood that it needs to function on a daily basis and more.
The more of the fruit you eat, the more benefits to the cardiovascular system you will see. The capacity for antioxidants increases as you eat more, so for once there is no such thing as too much of a good thing.
Protecting The Retina
The retina is the part of the body most at risk of damage due to oxygen and oxidative stress. Your body needs oxygen, but also needs protection from some of the issues and the antioxidants in blueberries offers that protection.
This fruit has also been linked to protecting the eyes from UV damage! There is still more research into this benefit to see just how much good the fruit offers—or at least the antioxidants in the fruit offer.
They Are Mostly Water
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While getting all the antioxidants (and other vitamins and minerals are not quite touched on yet), the fruit is mostly made up of water. In fact, a whopping 84% of the fruit is water, which offers more health benefits to the body.
The body is made up of between 50 % and 65% of water and needs that to keep it working throughout the day. Water removes the toxins and helps to keep all the organs in working order. By eating more of this fruit, you will increase your water intake without even realising.
At the same time, you’re not getting the unhealthy fats or the sugaring carbs that many other foods give you on a daily basis. This will help you with weight loss as the calories will be much lower.
Fibre To Regulate The Bowels
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While there isn’t as much fibre in a blueberry as other fruits and vegetables, there is still a good amount. It’s worth focusing on this nutrient for the health benefits it offers to the body.
Fibre is needed to help keep the bowels regulated. It will keep the stools soft but not too runny, and encourage people to pass stools on a daily basis. This helps to remove more toxins from the body and prevent other illnesses and problems.
If you are struggling with constipation, there’s nothing wrong with a cup of blueberries. You could even try some of the blueberry recipes below to make the fruit more interesting and increase your fibre intake for the day.
Help Improve Bone Health
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Blueberries are high in vitamin K. This vitamin tends to be forgotten about by most people, but it is vital. Babies are given a shot of it when they are born to help with the health benefits of blood clotting. Without it, people could bleed extremely easily and may find that cuts don’t heal properly.
Vitamin K is also important for bone health. That doesn’t prevent the need for calcium, but the two work together to create bones that are both strong and healthy.
Better immune Function And Skin
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The immune system has already been touched upon, and the antioxidants certainly help with boosting it. The benefit of offering a healthier mindset also helps. However, they are not the only reasons for the fruit to help boost the immune system.
The vitamin C levels are high in the fruit (no, fruits don’t need to be yellow or orange to have vitamin C!). This helps to regulate the immune system and keep it working at an optimum level.
The vitamin also helps with the skin health. The fruit can help to reverse some skin damage and protect against dry skin. It also helps to boost the collagen levels, partially also due to the amount of water in the fruit. Your skin will look and feel healthier, giving you a sunnier outlook on life.
No Adverse Effects
While some foods can have adverse effects when eaten in moderate to high amounts, this has not been noted with blueberries. A person is able to benefit fully from all the health benefits included in the 10 facts above and enjoy some delicious snacks and desserts on a daily basis.
There are some people who will have an allergy to the fruit, but this is very rare. Most people will not know until they try something with blueberry in it and it can take the time to figure out what caused it unless the blueberries are eaten on their own.
Blueberry Recipes To Try
Now you know the nutritional facts of blueberries, it’s time to look at some recipes to try out. The fruit is so versatile that there are plenty of options around. Here are some of the most common that can be eaten as snacks, breakfasts or desserts.
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Why not try adding some blueberries to your pancake batter? You just need to make the pancakes in the usual way but add some blueberries to the mix afterwards. They also work well with some cinnamon or poppy seeds thrown in. If you cook them just right, you’ll have runny blueberries to mix in with your honey or maple syrup.
Pancakes are great for all times of the day. They work perfectly for dessert with a bit of cream or ice cream instead (or even as well as) the syrup.
By storing them in a lock-tight container and in the fridge, you can keep them for a few days. They’ll make great quick meals for breakfast!
To switch the flour, pancakes can be made in a weight loss friendly way through the use of bananas. Mash one banana with your egg and then stir in your blueberries. Cook as you usually would and you have nutrient-riddled pancakes.
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Rather than making your pancakes on the stove, why not try them in the oven? This is the Dutch way of making them, and blueberry pancakes are perfect when made like this. The blueberries will pop upwards as the mixture rises a little, and you can place the fruit in once the batter has been poured into the pan to make a shape with the fruit.
Sprinkle them with some icing sugar when it comes to serving them. Ice cream works really well when you’re offering these for dessert. If you want them as a snack, the choice is really up to you!
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Another popular option for a blueberry recipe is a muffin. You can make your muffins as usual and then just throw in the blueberries. Most of the time, the blueberries will keep some of the runny goodness after you make them, and you may be lucky enough to bite into a blueberry that hasn’t burst!
The muffins work great as healthy snacks with a coffee or as a quick breakfast on the way to work. You can keep them in the pantry in a sealed container for up to five days.
If you want something a little healthier without all the flour, you could try banana and blueberry muffins. Make up most of the mixture with mashed banana instead.
Blueberry Zucchini Bread
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Zucchini bread is a popular dish to make and use up as a snack or for breakfast on a morning. You can add some blueberries to it to get all the blueberries nutrition mentioned above.
All you’ll need to make this are eggs, olive oil, zucchinis, flour, sugar, blueberries, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. You can also add some vanilla extract for taste. Everything is mixed together and you just pop in it a loaf tin and in the oven. It’s one of the easiest bread mixes to make and can be eaten with or without the spread.
This is one of those loaves that you can make for a dessert with friends. Serve with some cream or ice cream, and you could even make a blueberry sauce to go over the top. Your friends will all want the recipe to try it for themselves.
Peach and Blueberry Cobbler
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A peach cobbler is already a home favourite for dessert recipes, but what about adding a little extra to one? Adding blueberries will offer you more health benefits and the two fruits work so well together. You’ll get juice from both, mixing in with the warm, soft cobbler. You’ll no longer have to choose between the two fruits again.
This is very simple to make. You’ll just need to mix the two fruits together with some cornstarch, ginger and sugar. Try only to use fresh ginger for a delicious taste. Add the vanilla cream biscuits onto the top of the fruit just before you put it all in the oven.
Peach and blueberry cobbler is definitely best served with some custard. There are diet-friendly varieties if you need it. You could also opt for cream or ice cream to finish it off on a hotter day.
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This is a very traditionally English dish to make, but certainly one to try for a dessert. It’s fun for the whole family and you can get your kids to help you make it.
Stew your blueberries and then puree them until soft. Mix this with some whipped cream, until it becomes like a mousse. That’s all you need to do! There is absolutely no baking needed and you can make and serve this straight after you’ve eaten. There’s no need to serve it with anything, but some people find vanilla cream biscuits a good choice.
Similarly, to this, there is a version of Eton mess. This dessert traditionally uses raspberries, but you can replace with blueberries or add them in with the traditional fruits. You’ll need crushed meringue and some cream mixed together with the fresh fruit. There’s no need to serve this with anything else. The dessert will do all the talking for you.
Blueberry Crumb Bars
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Sometimes you just need something that you can quickly throw together and create as a snack for the kids. Blueberry crumb bars offer you that chance, without having to worry about your kids eating something unhealthy. It also makes a great lazy alternative to blueberry crumble.
You’ll just need the typical ingredients for this dessert, including sugar, baking powder and flour. Don’t forget to add the shortening, and consider some cinnamon and salt for taste. You could even use vanilla or almond extract just to add something different.
If you don’t want blueberries on their own, you could add in some blackberries or apricots to go with them. Raspberries or strawberries are other options.
Recipe for the blueberry crumb bars
This is a little more hands-on when it comes to making it. The best part is that it is messy so the kids will love to get stuck in and help. Get them on one bowl of the mixture while you work on the other. Once the mixture is fully cooked and cooled, you can cut it up into squares of any size you would like. It really depends on how you want to serve it! If you are going for a dessert, don’t forget the ice cream.
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Of course, blueberry recipes aren’t just desserts that you can eat. What about the drinks you can have? Blueberries are great mixed with other ingredients to create smoothies. Watch out for mixing them with too many green vegetables, as the tastes can sometimes fight against each other. Blueberries are great for lighter, fruitier smoothies, mixed with other berries or bananas in particular.
You have the choice of milk, yoghurt or water for your smoothies. If opting for milk, why not try almond milk for something a little different. Blueberries and coconut milk don’t work as well together but you could always try.
When it comes to fruit, blueberries are one to add to your list. They are full of nutritional benefits and there are so many ways you can use them. Eaten raw is definitely the best way to enjoy and get all the benefits, but you can add them to smoothies or make snacks and desserts with them.
When it comes to blueberries nutrients, you’ll find they are full of antioxidants. These are excellent for fighting cancer, but they also do so much more. Look after your whole body, including the hair and the skin, and don’t let old age get the better of your brain!
Blueberries are abundant and highly available, so it should be easy for you to find and keep them on hand. The health benefits this fruit provides last for a lifetime. Plus, it tastes good so it should be easy to add this to your everyday diet without having to adjust too much.
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