Delicious and loaded with a variety of important nutrients, blueberries may promote longevity by improving brain and cardiovascular function. Subsequently, there are plenty of reasons why blueberries should be a part of your daily diet. The protective health benefits of this tasty fruit stem largely from its rich phytonutrient content, which includes flavonoids and stilbenoids, among many others. Resveratrol and pterostilbene are also key phytonutrients found in blueberries, which provide potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Additionally, a 1 cup serving of blueberries is low in calories and high in fiber, vitamin c, vitamin k, and manganese (Leech, 2017). Together, these strong antioxidants found in this superfood yield advantages in several key areas of our overall health
Studies have shown a link between blueberry consumption and improvements in cognitive function. Preliminary research has demonstrated that consumption of this fruit may be able to improve nervous system health by protecting nerve cells from oxidative damage. One study involving older adults (average age of 76 years) who ate between 2 and 2.5 cups of blueberries per day over the course of 12 weeks found that this led to higher scores on cognitive tests, which included memory. Moreover, it has been shown in animals that consumption of this fruit reduced impacts to reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are damaging to the central nervous system (The George Mateljan Foundation). A practical solution would be to have one cup of blueberries with breakfast every morning to help improve your brain and cardiovascular function.
Benefits to certain aspects of cardiovascular health have been noted with regular consumption of blueberries as well. Researchers have found blood pressure reductions in those with elevated readings. Additionally, healthier and more regulated blood sugar levels have been seen in a fairly large number of animal studies. Greater insulin sensitivity, lower insulin resistance, more controlled blood pressure levels, and decreased oxidation of LDL cholesterol were some of the key health benefits observed, all of which can promote a longer lifespan.
Although further research is needed on humans for a greater understanding of how blueberries can potentially extend lifespan by helping with memory, neuroprotection, blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol and other areas of cardiovascular and brain health, the results thus far have been encouraging.
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Blueberries: Health Benefits. (n.d.). Retrieved December 9, 2017, from http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=8. The George Mateljan Foundation.
Leech, J. (2017, June 4). 10 Proven Health Benefits of Blueberries. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-proven-benefits-of-blueberries