Blueberries are wonderfully delicious little berries that provide a large wealth of health benefits. Most people already know that blueberries are healthy, but normally when they are referring to the blueberry health profile, they are talking about their antioxidant content. The antioxidants contained in blueberries do a lot, but their biggest benefit is their ability to neutralize free radicals which can cause cancer. But blueberries have a few other health benefits that make them worthwhile additions to any diet. The biggest alternative health benefit of blueberries is that they can substantially reduce the risk of heart disease.
Blueberries are able to do this by treating metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is an umbrella term that includes several conditions, such as, high blood pressure, high blood glucose levels, excess body fat contained around the waist, and abnormally high cholesterol and triglyceride levels. When all of these conditions work together, they cause more chronic health problems, such as, diabetes and heart disease.
The reason that blueberries are able to treat these chronic conditions is that they contain the flavonoid compound known as anthocyanins, water soluble pigments that are present in tissues of higher plants. The body metabolizes the anthocyanins contained in blueberries and produces a range of chemicals that have different health benefits. Some of these chemicals provide sustenance to the bacteria located in your gut which improves the efficiency of your metabolism.
As beneficial as blueberries can be, it is important to understand that just eating a small number of blueberries won’t get you the full benefits. Researchers found that there wasn’t a noticeable improvement in people’s health if they only consumed a ½ cup of blueberries every day. But consuming a full cup showed significant health improvements, including weight loss and a lower risk of suffering from heart disease.