Health Benefits of Blueberries: How do They Promote Good Heart Health?

Health Benefits of Blueberries: How do They Promote Good Heart Health?

B
Bajaj Finserv Health
November 02, 202111 mins read

Key Takeaways

  • There are umpteen benefits of eating blueberries for the heart
  • Eating blueberries promotes cardiovascular health
  • Reducing bad cholesterol is one of the blueberry advantages

Blueberries are summer fruits loved by all. While the whole family of berries are considered good for you, the health benefits of blueberries work in both the long and short term. A favorite of many, blueberries are healthy for your heart too! As per research, eating blueberries may help in improving certain risk factors for heart ailments. Some of these include obesity, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Blueberries contain phytochemicals called anthocyanins. In fact, the fruit is blue in color thanks to these. It is them that helps boost your heart health. Having a cup of blueberries daily can minimize the risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, as per a study.

To know more about blueberry advantages when it comes to heart health care, read on.

Additional readHeart Healthy Diet: 15 Foods You Should Eat

Blueberries Nutrition Facts 

Blueberries are rich in naturally occurring compounds, anthocyanins. These pigments are soluble in water and appear in different colors like blue, black, purple or red. Tissues in most plant parts such as leaves, flowers, fruits and stem contain these pigments. A study revealed a lower incidence of heart diseases in those who eat fruits like blueberries [2]. According to another study, high polyphenol content present in the berry family helps in promoting good heart health [3].

blueberries

Fresh blueberries contain the following components. 

  • Carbohydrates: 9.7% 
  • Fat: 0.4%
  • Proteins: 0.6%
  • Water: 84%

Blueberries are packed with the goodness of polyphenols apart from fiber and other essential micronutrients. All these components improve your cardiovascular health by enhancing several body processes such as: 

  • Glucose metabolism
  • Lipid peroxidation
  • LDL oxidation
  • Plasma antioxidant capacity 

Anthocyanin and flavanol levels are higher in blueberries in comparison to other berries. Blueberries contain vitamins E and C too.

What are the Various Types of Blueberries?

Blueberries are classified into four types:

  1. Highbush: It is a common blueberry and is known as Vaccinium corymbosum scientifically. As the name suggests, this blooms to a luxuriant height of roughly six feet. Although this plant generally alludes to a shrub, it is a tree.
  2. Lowbush: This plant's scientific name is Vaccinium angustifolium lowbush. These small shrubs grow in a variety of hardness zones. Zones three through seven are suitable for growing this cold winter blueberry. 
  3. Blended half-high: The best qualities of both lowbush and highbush blueberries are combined in the hybrid cultivar known as the half-high blueberry. It can indeed get as big as a bush or shrub.
  4. Rabbit Eye: Its scientific name is Vaccinium virgatum or rabbit eye. This cultivar thrives in the Southeast region of the United States. It is a pest-resistant variety, adapts well, and produces a lot of fruit. You can plant them alongside two or more varieties of different flowers to ensure pollination.

Several Health Benefits of Blueberry: Here's More to Know

Protection against urinary tract infections:

Bacteria typically penetrate the body through urinary tract infections that are wet. Blueberries, according to research, can aid in the eradication of bacteria that line the urinary system.

Blueberry fruit has components that prevent germs from growing and adhering to the bladder wall. As a result, it fights germs like E Coli, particularly one of the primary causes of urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Increased bone strength:

Numerous minerals, including manganese, iron, calcium, phosphorus, and zinc, are present in blueberry fruit. Therefore, the nutritional value of blueberries is increased by these substances.

Iron and zinc are essential for maintaining the durability and flexibility of bones and joints. Additionally, calcium helps to increase bone density. Thus, it reduces the incidence of osteoporosis, especially in women over 40.

Weak bones have a higher propensity to shatter easily and heal slowly. Nutrient-rich blueberries strengthen bones and expedite the healing process with the help of vitamin K.

Effective antidepressant:

Blueberries have several health advantages, one of which is their ability to elevate mood. Therefore, blueberries can help you beat the Monday blues and more.

Studies show that the quantity of flavonoids in blueberries maintains healthy neuronal circuits. Additionally, neuroplasticity is beneficial. Blueberries are great for the body and the mind overall. This method of battling depression is effective. [1]

So, the next time you're feeling down, treat yourself to a snack of raw blueberries to cheer you up. The mood is as lively as the cuisine!

Improved eye health:

Regular intake of blueberries improves blood flow as well as oxygen flow to the eyes, which helps improve vision. Having blueberries in your regular diet also reduces the chances of having cataracts.

Increased insulin sensitivity:

Flavonoids are a group of chemical substances that may help people with diabetes with improved glucose metabolism. In addition, flavonoids may improve insulin sensitivity in people who are obese and have insulin resistance. As a result, blueberries reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The consumption of blueberries can help prevent obesity by consuming a lot of fat (HFD). In addition, studies show that blueberry polyphenol extract (PPE) inhibits weight gain and restores a healthy lipid metabolism. Therefore, blueberries are renowned as a superfood. They are tasty and nutritious.

Improved brain function:

Flavonoids are found in blueberries, which are potent antioxidants. Consuming foods strong in flavonoids, like blueberries, lowers the risk of cognitive difficulties by 20%, according to a new study based on research published in July 2021. The online edition of Neurology, the American Academy of Neurology medical journal, has a link to this study. [2]

Flavones and anthocyanins are the two types of antioxidants in blueberry berries that are the most potent. In addition, the anthocyanins in blueberries help communication while protecting and strengthening the connections between neurons, enhancing memory and brain activity.

Health Benefits of Blueberries for heart

One of the major health benefits of Blueberries is that it minimizes the risk of heart ailments with the help of the inflammation pathway. When there is oxidative stress and inflammation in your body, you are prone to develop cardiovascular diseases. Oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance between antioxidants and free radicals in your body. Since blueberries are rich in anthocyanins, these help in minimizing inflammation. When inflammation decreases in your body, your heart health also improves.

Another trigger for cardiovascular disease is the metabolic syndrome. This refers to a cluster of conditions occurring simultaneously. Some of these conditions include high blood pressure, high blood glucose levels or abnormal cholesterol levels. Such conditions may increase your risks for heart ailments, diabetes or stroke. When there are abnormal levels of lipids in your vascular system, your heart health may get affected. The anthocyanins in blueberries help in facilitating healthy metabolism of lipids. Cholesterol components in the blood are also distributed efficiently that help in preventing blood clots. This minimizes the risk of heart ailments.

Additional ReadCholesterol Diet Plan: Best Foods and Diet to Lower Cholesterol

Some additional health benefits of blueberries 

Blueberries are called superfoods owing to their wide range of health benefits. Apart from improving your cardiovascular system, there are various other blueberry advantages for your health.  

  • Since blueberries are low in calories, you need not worry about weight gain.  
  • What’s more amazing is that blueberries provide essential nutrients required for your body. Being rich in antioxidants, these berries also provide protection from free radicals. Free radicals can destroy your cells and may cause conditions like cancer. 
  • Another benefit of eating blueberry is that it can reduce bad cholesterol in your blood. High blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart diseases, is lowered when you consume this fruit.
  • These berries are known to enhance your brain sharpness and improve your memory too. Oxidative stress can alter your brain functions. Since blueberries can combat it, they are beneficial for your brain.  
  • Consuming blueberries may help reduce urinary tract infections too. 
  • Continuous exercises can cause fatigue and soreness in your muscles. Having a blueberry smoothie post workout may minimize the damage caused to muscles.

How to Take Blueberries With your Meals: A Diet Plan

Here are some ideas for including blueberries in your regular meals.

  • Eating blueberries raw is the most effortless way to consume them
  • Blueberry jam can make your breakfast toast healthier and yummier
  • Making a fruit salad with blueberries and fresh yoghurt is one of the tastiest ways to accomplish it
  • Blueberries can be included in a pancake. A delightful treat for the stomach is pancakes with blueberries
  • Bake some delicious blueberry muffins
  • Blueberries also go great with oatmeal 
  • Try making yummy blueberry pies
  • Smoothies and milkshakes made with fresh blueberries are delectable
  • Dried or fresh blueberries can increase the health quotient of energy bar
  • Snack on blueberries during work breaks. Before eating them raw, blueberries should be washed
  • Additionally, you may create fresh blueberry juice
  • The ideal topping for homemade ice creams and sweets is dried blueberries

blueberry recipes

Is There a Right Time to Eat Blueberries?

There is no set time of day to consume blueberries. You may eat blueberries whenever you want if you have a recipe for a nutritious snack.

The healthiest way to eat blueberries is by blending them into a smoothie. Yoghurt and wholesome fats like chia seeds may be added to a smoothie to make it whole.

Do you know what a unique idea is? Make some ice cubes with blueberries! To each cube, add a few blueberries before pouring water into the tray. They taste great frozen with almost any beverage.

Fruit salads are excellent morning meals, and blueberry desserts make excellent evening meals. You may also eat blueberries before going to bed. Eating some blueberries before bed will improve your sleep and lower your overall stress levels because they are a rich source of antioxidants.

Some Probable Side Effects of Blueberry You Need to Know

Nausea

Excessive consumption of frozen blueberries can induce nausea and vomiting among some people

Allergic reactions

Although blueberries are safer to eat, observations should be made while giving them to children. Children are more prone to allergies, therefore, symptoms such as shortness of breath and itching should not be ignored. 

Rash and headache

Blueberries have an ample amount of salicylates. If you are sensitive to it, try to avoid blueberries as high amounts of salicylates can cause rash and headache.

Low blood sugar

Blueberries have properties to lower blood sugar. It can also lead to low blood pressure. 

Overdose of vitamin K

Given differing opinions on the top dietary limits, vitamin K (K1) toxicity is uncommon. However, menaquinones, or vitamin K2, can induce jaundice in newborns if consumed in excess. Haemolytic anaemia might also result from it. In addition, infants with jaundice may experience some form of brain damage.

Be careful while consuming blueberry before or after surgery

Blueberries should be avoided for at least two weeks before surgery because blueberries have an impact on blood sugar levels. This is because they can cause an unbalance in the sugar level while operating. Eating blueberries may also slow the healing of surgical wounds. Once more, it's because blueberries have blood-thinning qualities.

Intolerance to or sensitivity to salicylate

A salicylate allergy is a sensitivity or intolerance to salicylate. It is your body's reaction toward salicylic acid, as the name would imply. Some symptoms include headaches, skin rashes, difficulty breathing, and itching. So, if you have difficulty eating blueberries, call your doctor immediately. In extreme cases of salicylate allergy, anaphylaxis happens. It is a serious emergency that requires urgent medical attention.

Extra fibre consumption

Fibre is good for your bowel movements, blood sugar levels, muscular health, and cholesterol. But too much might cause bloating and constipation. Additionally, eating more than 70g of fibre per day may result in excruciating cramps.

Drink a lot of water and stick to a bland diet if you suffer from constipation and gas-related disorders. Then, you can get some respite from the discomfort and agony in your stomach.

Things to Be Cautious About Before Taking Blueberries

When ingesting blueberries, the following safety considerations must be observed:

  • The safe consumption of blueberries by pregnant and nursing mothers cannot yet be determined due to a lack of knowledge. However, safety is a must during pregnancy and breastfeeding, therefore seeking a doctor's guidance is always advised
  • A hereditary condition called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency exists. Before ingesting blueberries, people with this illness should speak with a doctor to ensure their safety and prevent any health issues
  • Those who have recently had surgery should exercise caution since eating blueberries might influence their blood sugar levels
  • Always follow your doctor's advice and consume just the diet suggested for you during this period
  • When offering blueberries to young children, special care should be exercised since allergic responses might occur in youngsters
  • Children need care and observation. So, if anything goes wrong, go to a doctor
  • People should not consume blueberries as self-medication without first visiting a physician

Now that you are aware of the health benefits of blueberries for heart health care and overall wellness, make them a part of your diet. After all, a healthy heart is vital for the proper functioning of your body. However, if you are facing any chest pain or breathing problems, do connect with top cardiologists on Bajaj Finserv Health. Book an appointment and get all your cardiology tests done on time. Following a healthy lifestyle and getting medical help on time can keep your heart ailments at bay.

Health Benefits of Blueberries: How do They Promote Good Heart Health? banner
  1. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/05/190530101221.htm
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27488237/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2924596/

Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.

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