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Last up dated August 2, 2016 (originally published August 14, 2014)

By Louise Carr, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist






Blueberries may be small but they pack a mighty punch when
it comes to nutrition. In fact, some experts say if you make
only one addition to your diet, blueberries should be top of
the list. Why? Blueberries are valued for their antioxidant
content and the berries are said to help protect against heart
disease, treat intestinal inflammation, and even improve your
memory. Is this fruit worthy of the hype? Why exactly do
health experts rave about blueberries?

What Are The Nutritional Benefits Of Blueberries?

The US produces the world’s largest crop of blueberries –
around 564.4 million pounds of cultivated and wild
blueberries were harvested in 2012, according to the
National Agricultural Statistics Service.

In faBlueberries are the second most valuable berry crop in
the US, after strawberries, and the industry is worth over
$850 million. Clearly blueberries are good for the economy,
but how are they good for your health?

Blueberries are a good source of vitamin K. Blueberries also
provide vitamin C, manganese, and fiber. But it is the
antioxidants (notably anthocyanins) that really make this a
superfood. Antioxidants help to fight against free radicals
that damage the structure of cells in the body, which can
result in cancer and other chronic illnesses.

How To Best Benefit From Blueberries

Eat your blueberries raw. The health benefits are not as
intense when you add blueberries to muffins or cupcakes
(plenty of saturated fat) or cook them so that the nutrients
disappear.

Add blueberries to cereal or yogurt, or simply eat as a snack
to reap the health benefits. We looked at recent scientific
evidence to show you exactly how the humble blueberry is
excellent for your well-being.























1.
Blueberries Help Lower Cholesterol

A substance in blueberries is apparently as effective as a
commercial drug for lowering cholesterol, according to a
2004 study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The antioxidant substance is called "pterostilbene" and
experts believe it has the potential for development into a
supplement that helps people lower cholesterol naturally and
acts as a weapon against heart disease.

Pterostilbene is also found in grapes.

2.
Decrease Blood Sugar With Blueberry Juice

Blueberries could be a natural way for people with diabetes
to lower their blood sugar, according to researchers who
found compounds in the fruit that slow down the enzymes
that cause carbohydrate absorption.

The 2012 study from the University of Illinois found that a
blueberry wine compared well to an anti-diabetes drug.
Removing the alcohol from the blueberry wine would result
in a functional drink for diabetics, according to experts.

3.
Blueberry Juice Improves Memory

Just a few glasses of blueberry juice a day could help protect
your memory.

This is the finding from a 2010 study carried out by
researchers at the University of Cincinnati Academic Health
Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. Blueberry juice improved memory
in older adults.

The study looked at nine 70-year-olds who displayed signs
of memory loss. After 12 weeks the people drinking two to
two and a half cups of blueberry juice a day displayed
improved recall and also reduced levels of depression.

The polyphenols, mostly anthocyanins, in blueberries are
antioxidants and help to combat the oxidative stress that can
cause neuro-degeneration and also cardiovascular disease.

4.
Eat Blueberries To Treat Ulcerative Colitis

With all the talk of antioxidants in blueberries, don’t forget
the fiber – this nutrient in blueberries could help protect
against intestinal inflammation including, in particular,
ulcerative colitis.

A 2010 study from the Lund University Faculty of
Engineering in Sweden says that this protective effect is
even greater when you eat blueberries with probiotics. A
blueberry and probiotic combination reduced levels of
bacteria that increase inflammation in the intestine while also
increasing the number of healthy lactobacilla.

5.
OPCs in Blueberries for Treating Chronic Venous
Insufficiency

Blueberries contain similar chemicals to the substances called
"oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes" (OPCs). OPCs are
believed to be helpful for a number of conditions, including
treating chronic
venous insufficiency – a condition similar to
varicose veins which causes swelling, heaviness, pain, and
aching in the legs.

According to studies like a 2000 report from Università degli
Studi di Firenze, Italy, OPCs can relieve the pain associated
with the condition, as well as reduce swelling.

6.
Treat Menstrual Pain and Bloating with Blueberries

One key nutrient in blueberries is manganese. Manganese
helps fight free radicals, and also assists in energy
metabolism, blood sugar control, and thyroid function.

Blueberries are one of the best sources of manganese.
According to a 1993 study from the Grand Forks Human
Nutrition Research Center, United States Department of
Agriculture getting enough manganese can help women
control symptoms of menstrual pain.

OPC-like substances in blueberries may also reduce
symptoms of swelling and fluid retention during
premenstrual syndrome, according to a 2004 study from The
University of Reading, UK.

7.
Manganese in Blueberries Treats Osteoporosis

Another important benefit of the manganese in blueberries is
the prevention of
osteoporosis.

Manganese plays a key role in the metabolism of bone, which
is why experts suggest it could act as a treatment for
osteoporosis. A 1994 study from the University of California
at San Diego suggests that manganese in combination with
calcium is helpful for this reason.

[Update:

There are over 1200 varieties of blueberries, according to
Purdue University, and the varieties vary in their manganese
content. Wild blueberries are believes to contain 8 times the
manganese content of non-wild blueberries.  This is why
simply eating a cup of blueberries a day, as some web
sources suggest, is not a simple solution to osteoporosis, if
you eat the wrong blueberries.]

8.
Extract of Blueberries Protects Against Stroke Damage

A special nutritional supplement composed of extracts of
blueberry, green tea, vitamin D3 and carnosine is powerful in
protecting against brain damage following stroke, according
to a 2008 report from the Medical College of Georgia and the
University of South Florida College of Medicine (Tampa).

The supplement, tested on rats, resulted in a reduction of
neural damage in the brain.

9.
Blueberries for Treating Liver Disease

Could blueberries help treat liver disease without the
associated side effects of traditional drugs? This is the
verdict from a 2010 study by researchers at Guiyang Medical
College, Guiyang, which showed that blueberries could
reduce markers of liver disease as well as help prevent liver
disease from developing.

10.
Blueberries For Better Night Vision?

The herb bilberry is a very close relative of the blueberry and
it is traditionally a treatment for night vision problems.

The use of bilberry for night vision goes back to the Second
World War, when pilots reported that bilberry jam helped
them see better on night missions.

Chemicals called anthocyanosides are antioxidants that
appear to have important protective effects in the eye,
according to research in the 1960s and 1970s by French
researchers including Wegmann R, Maeda K, Tronche P, et al.












































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Red Yeast Rice Lowers Cholesterol -New Study

Spirulina --Astronaut Food That Lowers Cholestrol

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Waist

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