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Medicinal Plants 2023

Blueberry: 10 incredibleíbenefícios (and how to consume)

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Blueberry: 10 incredibleíbenefícios (and how to consume)
Blueberry: 10 incredibleíbenefícios (and how to consume)
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Blueberry, also known in some regions as blueberry, is a fruit very rich in antioxidants, vitamins and fiber, whose properties help to improve cardiovascular he alth, protect the liver, control diabetes and improve memory.

The blueberry has few calories, is rich in water and nutrients, and can be included in the diet to lose weight. This fruit can be consumed in its natural form or used to make juice, which can be consumed before or after intense physical activity, helping to reduce muscle fatigue and recover muscle faster.

Its scientific name is Vaccinium myrtillus and it can also be consumed together with yogurt, in the form of jam or used to prepare recipes.This fruit can also be found in the form of a powdered supplement, which can be purchased at he alth food stores, online or at pharmacies.

The main he alth benefits of blueberry consumption are:

1. Lower cholesterol

Blueberries are rich in antioxidant compounds, such as polyphenols, and fiber, which help reduce LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis and myocardial infarction.

2. Regulate blood pressure

Blueberries contain large amounts of anthocyanins, phytochemicals with antioxidant and antihypertensive properties, which act by improving the function of endothelial cells, which are cells that cover the inner surface of blood vessels, thus helping to regulate the blood flow and control blood pressure, preventing the development of hypertension.

3. Prevent cancer

Blueberries contain large amounts of phenolic compounds, which are potent antioxidants with anticancer properties that act by decreasing the body's oxidative stress, thus preventing DNA damage and inhibiting the proliferation of cancer cells. In this way, blueberries could help prevent the development of different types of cancer, such as colon, prostate, breast and cervix.

4. Improve cognitive ability

Blueberries have anthocyanins, which are plant compounds with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant action capable of reducing oxidative stress and inflammation of brain cells, improving cognitive function, increasing memory capacity and delaying mental aging, in addition to helping to prevent the development of neurodegenerative diseases, such as senile dementia or Alzheimer's.

5. Control diabetes

Blueberries contain bioactive compounds with anti-diabetic properties that help reduce glucose levels in the body and improve sensitivity to insulin, a hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar, being a fruit highly recommended in the control and prevention of type 2 diabetes.

6. Preventing urinary tract infections

Blueberries have antibacterial properties that help prevent and treat urinary tract infection caused by Escherichia coli bacteria, as they contain compounds known as protoanthocyanins that prevent bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract.

In addition, this fruit is rich in vitamin C, which also helps to inhibit bacterial growth in the urinary system.

7. Help with weight loss

Blueberries are low in calories, rich in water and fiber, which act by increasing satiety, decreasing calorie consumption and the desire to consume sweet foods, helping to lose weight.

In addition, blueberries contain antioxidant compounds that help increase insulin sensitivity, decreasing the accumulation of fats in the body, and therefore, it is a good fruit to incorporate in weight loss diets.

8. Improve the gut microbiota

This fruit contains anthocyanins and a part of these substances is not absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract, acting as a prebiotic food, stimulating the growth of intestinal bacteria beneficial to he alth, such as lactobacillus and bifidobacteria. These bacteria help improve the immune system and regulate bowel function. Learn more about the benefits of probiotics.

9. Protect the liver

Blueberries contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds that help reduce the accumulation of fat in the liver and reduce the levels of inflammation of liver cells, which are caused by acute injuries to this organ, such as liver fibrosis, which may increase the risk of more serious diseases such as cirrhosis and liver cancer.

10. Help with muscle recovery

Consumption of concentrated blueberry juice before or after physical activity can help reduce muscle fatigue and recover muscle faster, as it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which act to prevent oxidative damage to muscle tissues.

Blueberry Nutrition Facts

The following table shows the nutritional information present in 100 grams of blueberries:

Components Amount per 100 g of fresh blueberries
Energy 64 calories
Water 84, 2 g
Proteins 0, 74 g
Fat 0, 31 g
Carbohydrates 14, 6 g
Fibers 2, 4 g
Magnesium 6 mg
Phosphorus 13 mg
Potassium 86 mg
Vitamin C 8, 1 mg
Vitamin K 19, 3 mg
Anthocyanins 201, 4 to 402, 8 mg

To obtain the benefits of blueberries, it is also essential to maintain a varied and he althy diet, and to practice physical activities regularly.

How to consume

Although there is no specific amount indicated for blueberry consumption, the recommended daily intake of fruit is between 2 to 3 servings, which corresponds to approximately 200 g, or 70 units, of blueberries. However, it is important to always maintain a varied diet, alternating different types of fruits throughout the day.

As for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, some studies [1] [2] recommend consuming between 60 to 120g of fresh blueberries at least 3 times a week to obtain the benefits of this fruit.

The blueberry is a very versatile fruit that can be consumed whole in its natural form, or added to juices, vitamins, sweets and even in the form of teas, including the use of its leaves.

In addition, blueberries can also be found in powdered supplement form and can be purchased at he alth food stores and some pharmacies, with 5.5 to 11 grams per day being generally recommended.

1. Blueberry Tea

Ingredients:

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of dried blueberries;
  • Blueberry leaves (optional);
  • 200 ml of boiling water.

Preparation method:

Place the blueberries in a cup and add the boiling water. Let stand for 10 minutes, strain and drink.

2. Blueberry juice

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of blueberries;
  • 1 cup boiled or filtered water;
  • 3 to 5 mint leaves;
  • ½ lemon.

Preparation method:

Squeeze the lemon and then add it with the remaining ingredients in the blender. Grind well and then drink.

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