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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Therapeutic Value of Different Foods >>  Fruits >>  Blueberries


Blueberries are very low in calories having mild sweet to tart and tangy flavor. The best season for blueberries runs from May through October. They grow in clusters and range from the size of a pea to the size of a marble. Blueberry is a shrub plant belonging to the health family with deep blue to maroon to purple-black color. It has a white-grey waxy bloom that acts as a protective coat and covers the inner contents.

Health and blueberries

Blueberry has a rich flavor and is bursting with various nutrients, yet very low in calories. According to the researchers at Tufts university blueberry ranked the highest in the rating chart for having antioxidant properties and their capacity to destroy free radicals.
  1. Blueberries are the powerhouse for antioxidants and are packed with phytonutrients called anthocyanidins that scavenges the free radicals that can cause damage to cells and tissues causing cataracts, glaucoma, varicose veins, peptic ulcers, hemorrhoids, cancer and heart diseases. Anthocyanidins also enhances the effects of vitamin C, stabilizes the collagen matrix by inhibiting the enzymes to cleave the matrix and improve capillary integrity.
  2. Wine made from blueberries deliver 38% more of the free radical fighters when compared to other wines in the study.
  3. Free radicals may cause an injury to the eye lenses and may lead to cataract or damage the blood supply to the eye causing macular degeneration. To protect the eyesight researches suggest that three or more servings of fruits per day may help lower the risk of age related macular degeneration, which is the primary cause of vision loss in older people by 36% than the other counterpart who consumed less than 1.5 servings of fruits per day.
  4. Blueberries protect the brain from many age related conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, or dementia and oxidative stress. Diets especially high in blueberries helps to significantly improve motor skills of aging animals, learning skills and making them mentally alert and similar to younger ones.
  5. Ellagic acid an antioxidant in blueberries helps to block metabolic pathways that can cause cancer and helps maintain gastrointestinal health. Ellagic acid works synergistically with pectin the soluble fiber from blueberry to lower cholesterol and prevent bile acid to get converted to cancer-causing form.
  6. The antioxidants along with phenols help to inhibit colon cancer cell proliferation and induce apoptosis. They may also have a protective effect against ovarian cancer.
  7. Blueberry is listed among the foods that contain oxalates which can cause health problems. Oxalates when becomes too concentrated can crystallize; they can also combine with calcium to form calcium oxalate stones. Thus it would be wise to avoid blueberries for individuals with already existing or untreated kidney or gallbladder problems.
Submitted on January 16, 2014