Several studies and research have proven that a cup of blueberries a day can reduce the possibilities of heart diseases. The benefits of blueberries reflect through decreasing blood pressure levels and stiffening of the arteries. This, in turn, reduces the chances of having strokes and heart attacks.
Researches from Florida State University tested 48 women by giving half of them a daily dose of blueberry powder, while the other half consumed dummy placebo powder. They were all at the post-menopause stage and were facing high blood pressure problems.
After 2 months of regular dosage, women who consumed blueberry powder showed a significant difference in their blood pressure, while the rest had no changes.
Benefits of blueberries
Cardiovascular diseases are the leading conditions that cause death in the United States. Women post menopause, are at a greater risk to face this situation compared to younger women or men. If consuming a cup of blueberries can reduce the chances of heart risk, it is worth adding it to a regular diet.
In recent years, this fruit has got lots of praises due to its nutritional value – the main ones to stress on are the antioxidants and vitamin K content. We can’t deny that all kinds of fruits are good for health, but there are ‘superfoods’ which simply surpass and benefit way more than the rest.
There is really no proper definition of what superfoods are since some of them might work for most of us, while it won’t for the rest. But the ones which are listed under this definition are usually packed with vitamins, minerals, and vital chemicals.
Why is blueberry is a superfood?
This North American fruit has gained people’s interest because it has been proven to reduce the possibilities of cancer and heart diseases. The antioxidant content has molecules that halt the chemical process of oxidation, and the free radicals produced in oxidation are blocked. These free radicals are the main reason for cancer cell build-up, so if that is obstructed, we are on the safer side.
Cancer Research UK had pointed out that there is no miracle food. They stated that having one specific food in order to prevent cancer is not enough. It has to be accompanied by a healthy diet in overall, along with the special food you stress on.
Another study that had taken place in 2012, showed that young and middle-aged women who consumed three portions of blueberries and strawberries for a few weeks had lesser heart risks compared to when they started off.
About 93,600 women were researched and questioned for 4 years about their regular fruit consumption, and 32% had reduced possibilities of heart attacks due to the consumption of berries.
Sadly, no constructive research has proved that blueberries are the only or are directly responsible for this. Women in this research were non-smokers, consumed a lesser amount of fat, and exercised every day. All of these worked hand in hand, to shape up healthier bodies and reduce heart diseases. The women had to adopt healthier lifestyles to be part of the research.
How to consume blueberries for their benefits?
Whether you buy them frozen, fresh, or dehydrated, these berries have a great level of nutrients. It comes with anthocyanin antioxidants that reduce possible inflammation and boost immunity and heart health. To make the most of the benefits of blueberries, you can incorporate them into your diet in these ways:
1. A quick snack
If you’re looking for healthy snacks to munch on whenever you’re hungry or in-between big meals, have blueberries. Just keep a small bowl of frozen blueberries in the fridge all the time, so that you can grab them whenever you need snacks. It helps you keep away from unhealthy snacks like wafers and chips.
You can cook fresh berries in their own juice and over low heat for 8 minutes. Find the liquid reduce and then taste it for sweetness. Add sugar to it and then top it over baked goodies. You can also stir it into yogurt or spread it on toast.
Simply add 1 tablespoon of fresh/frozen berries with every 60 ml of the pancake batter. This addition will not only make your pancakes taste lovely but also adds the right level of nutrition you need.
4. Mint topping
Add fresh berries in a small bowl and sprinkle some sugar, mint leaves, and 1 tablespoon of water. Refrigerate in the freezer after adding it to a single layer on the baking sheet for 1-2 hours. Remove it from the freeze and mash it. Add yogurt and granola over it and have your tasty snack.
Make a mix with chopped red onions and add cilantro. Follow it by either pumpkin or sunflower seeds. Add a cup of blueberries and toss the mix on fish tacos – delicious!
Puree 1 part of coconut oil with 3 parts of frozen or fresh berries until emulsified. Add one banana, strawberries, cacao, yogurt, and water to it. Put them all in a blender and make a smoothie. Check consistency and add water if needed.
You can add dehydrated blueberries into a feta and spinach salad. Add some lemon vinaigrette with cracked pepper, and you’re in all set to have a wholesome breakfast.
Cook a cup of dehydrated blueberries in 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar for 8 minutes. Add water as and when needed. Mince one shallot and then add it to the sauce. Take the mix off the fire and serve it over lamb, duck, or venison.
Peel and slice bananas and freeze it overnight. Blend in the next morning and add a cup of blueberries to it. Add a pinch of sea salt for taste. You can create a Popsicle by adding the mix in relevant containers, put a stick to it, and freezing it until it feels like ice.
Freeze blueberries to make a delightful biscuit recipe. Add them into the dough mix while making your favorite biscuits, right before you chop and place them onto the oven. Once they’re ready to eat, serve them with butter and honey.
Final thoughts on blueberries and the benefits they provide:
Keeping heart health good is one of the main benefits of blueberries. In order to naturally improve the functioning of your heart, you must add these berries to your regular diet.