Benefits of Blueberries
The first among blueberries benefits; All vegetables, fruits and plants have the “highest nutrient of antioxidant capacity”.
This feature of blueberries is fundamental to our health benefits because antioxidants balance free radicals in our bodies. Balancing free radicals and preventing their proliferation is crucial because free radicals that can not be controlled, multiply constantly and destroy cell structure are causing “oxidative stress” in the body. Oxidative stress triggers many serious diseases, especially cancer, heart diseases, diabetes and health problems caused by diabetes.
At this point, antioxidants come into play and provide protection against these diseases by neutralizing free radicals (1, 2, 3, 4).
Blueberries Health Benefits
Heart Health: The number of studies on the protection of the heart health of blueberries is quite high, and almost all of these researches say that “blueberries protect heart health and reduce the risk of heart disease significantly.”
For example, according to a survey of 93,600 women between the ages of 25 and 42, one of the largest-scale studies on this area, women who consume 3 servings (we can say 3 bowls) or more each week are more likely to have a heart attack than women who do not consume this fruit Compared to 32% lower (5).
In the research, it was stated that blueberries were caused by the component “anthocyanin” contained in the content of this effect. Anthocyanins identified as “water-soluble void pigment” are found in red, blue and purple vegetables such as strawberries, cherries, eggplants, black cherries, cranberries, blackberries, cherries, and currants other than blueberries (6, 7).
Cholesterol: The positive effect of blueberries on heart health is not limited only to the “anthocyanin” it contains. Antioxidants found in blueberries decrease bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol), which forms plaques adhering to the vein walls and leads to vascular occlusion (8).
The effect of blueberries on cholesterol is caused by antioxidants called “resveratrol”.
Antioxidant effect Resveratrol, which is 30 times more potent than vitamin C, is an antioxidant that is especially recommended for balancing cholesterol levels in people fed with fatty foods and those at risk for cholesterol (9). This antioxidant is most commonly found in black grapes and raspberry shells except for blueberries.
Cognitive Functions, Memory: The strong antioxidant effect of blueberries is also a priority in the protection of the brain. He develops learning, thinking ability and memory of blueberries that prevent oxidative stress in his brain.
This area has research done on both humans and laboratory animals. According to the research conducted with a group with a mean age of 76, it was found that the development of memoryless of blueberry juice drinkers every day for 12 weeks slowed down the adverse effects of aging on the brain (10).
In another larger scale study with 16,010 participants, it was determined that age-related problems such as memory weakness, decreased learning and thinking ability of blueberry and strawberry eaters regularly started to live 2.5 years later than those who did not eat these fruits (11).
Other foods rich in blueberries and antioxidants improve their ability to learn, think, and memory in all age groups. This is a cause antioxidant and the abundant amount of “polyphenols” in blueberries interferes with the nerve cells (neurons) to slow down the age- and stress-related cell damage (12).
Cancer: The number of studies on the effect of blueberries on cancer cells is still small, but the results of current research are promising (13).
Theoretically, it is thought that blueberries that alter cell structure and neutralize free radicals that increase cancer risk may also be effective in protecting against cancer and slowing the development of existing cancerous tumors.
However, there is a need to conduct further research in this area to say that “wild marijuana is a cancer risk”.
Eye Health: “Anthocyanins” in blueberries provide protection against retinal problems caused by age and sunlight (14). Anthocyanins also delay cataract formation in old age (15).
In addition to these, blueberries are also rich in vitamins A, C vitamins and zinc minerals, which have important roles in preventing eye disorders such as diminished night vision and yellow spot (macular degeneration).
High Blood Pressure: It has been determined that 50 grams of blueberries per day lower blood pressure by 4-6% (16). The results of another study carried out with the participation of women after menopause and lasting for 8 weeks are also the same (17).
Of course, it is not quite right to generalize hyperbaric hypertension based on so few studies, but research shows that such an effect can be.
Blood Sugar: Blueberry helps regulate blood sugar in people with insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome (18). 15 grams of blueberries with a glycemic index value of 40-53 have the same amount of sugar as a small apple or a large orange.
So we can not say “very little sugar” for blueberries. However, low-glycemic-indexed fruids produce the same effect when administered, increasing insulin sensitivity and preventing sudden increases in blood sugar (19). For this reason, it is among the recommended foods for the regulation of blood sugar, especially in patients with type 2 diabetes (20).
Weight Loss: Dietary fiber-rich blueberries can help you lose weight, allowing you to feel full after meal.
In addition, with its sweet taste, chocolate helps you stay connected to your diet by reducing your need for sugar. In addition, you can eat blueberries to protect yourself from a common problem with diarrhea, which is a common problem with dietary changes in diet.
Blueberry Nutrition Value
- 100 grams of unfrozen, fresh blueberries;57 calories
- 10 grams of sugar
- 1 gram protein
- 2 grams of food fiber (10% of daily requirement)
- 54 IUA vitamini (1% of daily requirement)
- 9.7 mg of vitamin C (16% of daily requirement)
- 0.6 mg Vitamin E (3% of daily requirement)
- 19.3 mcg K vitamine (24% of daily requirement)
- 0.4 mg of niacin (3% of daily requirement)
- 0.1 mg of B6 vitamins (3% of daily requirement)
- 6 mcg folate (1% of daily requirement)
- 6 mg of calcium (1% of daily requirement)
- 0.3 mg of iron (2% of daily requirement)
- 6 mg magnesium (1% of daily requirement)
- 12 mg phosphorus (1% of daily requirement)
- 77 mg of potassium (2% of daily requirement)
- 0.2 mg of zinc (1% of daily requirement)
- 0.1 mg of copper (3% of daily requirement)
- 0.3 mg of manganese (daily requirement (17%))
- 58 mg total omega-3 fatty acids
- 88 mg total omega-6 fatty acids (21).
The figures above are based on the 2000 calorie reference diary recommended for children over 4 years of age. The vitamin, mineral, protein, carbohydrate, sugar and fat of the quiche may vary according to age, sex and health conditions
Is there a Difference Between Fresh and Frozen Blueberries?
Because the shelf life of blueberries is very short, frozen blueberries are usually sold on the market. It has the same vitamins and minerals as blueberry frozen by freezing, but the amounts of these food items are slightly reduced after freezing.
For example, vitamin C, one of the most sensitive vitamins, is reduced to 9.7 mg of fresh blueberries and 2.5 mg of frozen blueberries (22). This is not so different as Vitamin C, but also for other vitamins and minerals it contains.
But if you can not find fresh blueberries, you can get frozen blueberries. As a result, the nutrients of frozen blueberries are quite high even if their amounts are reduced.
How to Choose Blueberry
Gently shake the packaging box as you pick up fresh blueberries. The grain must be able to move easily. If the granules do not move easily, it means that the blueberries start to rot and soften and stick together. You can also do the same by shaking the frozen blueberry packaging.
Wash before eating blueberries. Because there is a layer on the granules that protects the crust of the fruit, and this layer delays the decay of the fruit.
You can keep fresh blueberries in the fridge in an enclosed container for up to 3 days. If you leave it, it starts to rot in 1 day.
If you are going to freeze blueberries that you buy fresh, first separate the caries and wash thoroughly. After washing, drain the water. Place a large coarse baking sheet and then spread the washed blueberries. Put this vessel on ice and wait 1 day. You can then store frozen blueberries in a freezer bag for 3-6 months by putting a plastic bag. If you freeze the plastic bag directly without spreading the ice cream, the beads will stick together and be difficult to separate.
Note: Non-organic blueberries may be agricultural pesticide residues. In fact, according to a study conducted in the United States, wild pesticides are among the 12 foods that are mostly seen as agricultural pesticide residues. For this reason, fresh or frozen, you should wash thoroughly before eating blueberries.
To remove pesticide residues, place blueberries in a bowl filled with water and add vinegar to the water as much as half a cup of tea. After soaking in circulating water for about 20 minutes, rinse with water and cool on a napkin for drying. You can also use this method when washing other fruits and vegetables. Circular water is one of the most effective ways to clean up pesticide residues.
Why is blueberries expensive?
Finally, I would like to briefly answer the question “why is blueberries so expensive?” Because you have noticed, a pound of blueberries is almost 10 times more expensive than the weight of the same family. The fact that the price of the blueberries is so high (usually weighing 50-100 grams in small cups is not sold well on the weight) is a major challenge, and it is very labor-intensive.
In fact, blueberries grow quite easily compared to some other fruits and do not require much maintenance. But the labor spent during the gathering is reflected in prices. The second reason for the expensive price is that the shelf life is relatively short. That’s why producers keep the rate at which products are decaying at rafts when raising prices and reflect this in prices. Of course, it is important to remember that the blueberries need maintenance for 2-3 years before they start to fruit.
This problem is not only unique to us, but also a source of curiosity in many countries of the world, why this fruit is so popular with its health benefits (23,24).