Top Health Benefits of Blueberries

The health benefits of blueberries or foods containing real blueberries or pure blueberry juice are numerous. Research continually proves that this fruit contains powerful antioxidants that ward off a variety of diseases. In addition, the fruit is packed with other vitamins and minerals necessary for a healthy body.

The blueberry originally grew native to North America and was not introduced to the European continent until the 1930s. Nowadays, the plant is also grown in Australia, New Zealand and certain parts of South America. It is a perennial and typically blooms during the middle of the summer. The plant has two main varieties of bushes. The wild variety grows quite low to the ground and is called the lowbush blueberry; the taller variety is a cultivated plant called the highbush blueberry.

The fruit of the blueberry bush is spherical in shape and is approximately a half of an inch in diameter. When it is ripe, the berry is a deep blue or blue-violet color. The taste varies based on the ripeness of the fruit; the flavor becomes less acidic and much sweeter the longer that the berry is on the bush.

Blueberry Nutrition Information

Raw blueberries are a wonderful choice for a snack. A typical portion size is about two and a half ounces, which translates into approximately fifty average sized berries. A portion contains around forty calories; almost none of these calories are from fat. Of course, there is no cholesterol and only a minute amount of sodium. The fruit is composed mainly of carbohydrates with approximately seven grams of sugar and two grams of dietary fiber in one serving.

Although blueberries contain small portions of a variety of vitamins and minerals, they are mostly known for supplying vitamins C and K and the mineral known as manganese. In fact, according to the United States Department of Agriculture’s guidelines, this fruit provides a fifth of the recommended daily amount of manganese and a fourth of the daily amount of vitamin K. In addition, blueberries have a small amount of the B vitamins which provide energy to the body.

Eating Blueberries

Perhaps the best way to gain the most nutritional value from this fruit is to eat it raw. Some choose to sprinkle them on their morning cereal or oatmeal while some add them to fruit or green leafy salads. Another excellent option is flash-frozen blueberries; this method preserves almost all of the nutrients. Blueberries can be found seasonally in most grocery stores’ produce sections as well as sporadically during the winter months when they are imported from warmer climates. Another great option, especially for those who do not like to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, is blueberry juice which can often be found in markets’ organic sections. It is often found in conjunction with pomegranate juice, which is another powerful antioxidant and is a great way to enjoy blueberry health benefits. Additionally, blueberries are delicious when added to baked products such as muffins, breads, cakes and pancakes.

Very few people suffer from allergies to blueberries. Those who are affected generally have mild to moderate symptoms. An allergy to any kind of berry can begin at any point in one’s life and may not happen when he is a child. The most common reactions occur when the body rejects the food because it is unable to digest it. The symptoms that occur from this include nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea or a moderate to severe stomach ache. Some people may develop a rash. Antihistamines such as Benadryl can be given for a skin reaction. Very few people develop an allergy so severe that they need to be taken to the emergency room. However, a few people are so allergic to the fruit that they have an anaphylactic reaction and develop shortness of breath, a swollen tongue or other violent reactions. Babies under nine months of age should not be fed blueberries since their bodies have not yet begun production of the enzyme needed to digest this fruit.

Health Benefits of Blueberries

Several recent research studies have shown that blueberries hold even more health benefits than was originally thought. It should also be noted that the wild blueberry varieties contain even more of some nutrients than do the cultivated varieties. Reports released in 2007 showed that the many antioxidants in the skins and flesh of blueberries fight off the effects of Alzheimer ‘s disease and slow its degenerative process. In fact, some studies have even shown that consuming this berry can lessen the negative effects from a stroke or other ischemic event. The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry published a report that showed that individuals who consumed blueberry juice had better memory and fewer problems with depression. Multiple studies have also shown its benefits on the heart and cardiovascular health. The high amount of anthocyanins in blueberries, which gives the fruit its deep blue color, relaxes and widens the blood vessels causing decreased blood pressure. It may also decrease bad LDL cholesterol levels. Finally, a research study by the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center showed that blueberries decrease abdominal fat and in turn decreases the incidence of metabolic syndrome.

In addition, blueberries have numerous health benefits that have been known by scientists for several years or decades. Blueberries have more antioxidant properties than any other fruit. Antioxidants have been shown to decrease the movement of free radicals throughout the body, which in turn decreases one’s risk for cancer and decreases the effects of aging throughout the body’s organs especially the skin. It is also well-known that blueberries, similar to cranberries, promote the health of the urinary tract by cleansing the tract of unhealthy bacteria and thereby preventing urinary tract infections. This fruit’s high levels of anthocyanins aid in vision by decreasing the incidence of vision loss from such disease processes as macular degeneration and cataracts. Finally, the dietary fibre from the skin of the fruit decreases the incidence of constipation while the vitamins and minerals such as copper improve digestion.

Summary

Blueberries are truly natural powerhouses that are filled with nutrients to ward off a number of diseases and aid in good health. Scientific research studies continue to dig deeper into this fruit’s many wonderful attributes. With so many delicious ways to eat this fruit, no one will be able to resist its juicy, sweet flavor and gain from the health benefits of blueberries whether eaten whole or as blueberry juice.

Purple Corn Health Benefits

Corn health benefits, especially the purple kind, astound many nutrition scientists today. They’re discovering the amazing health and healing potentials of this unique crop. Health buffs would likewise fall in love with this kingly blue corn that grows only in the mountains of Peru. And purple corn health benefits are only a preview of what this super grain can do to your body.

Why Did It Turn Purple?

Not just the grain but the cob and husks are purple as well. And such corn grows only in Peru. Other varieties only have the kernels colored purple, not the husks and cob. Thus, such corn types are low on Anthocyanin. And Anthocyanin is among its wonder contents that produce the astounding purple corn health benefits.

Some scientists say the harsh environs of the Peruvian Andes, which rises some 10,000 to 15,000 above sea level, forced this corn to fight for survival and increase its immune capacity through evolution. No one knows why it popped up there, but for some reasons it did. Some researches even aver that purple corn is the original corn created by God in Eden. The Andes climate necessitated the grain’s increased defenses against the sun’s UV rays, and thus its deep purple color all throughout.

Royalty Grain

It is said that commoners in ancient Peru were not allowed even to see or touch this crop, which added more to its mysterious nature. Only the king of the Incas and his immediate family were allowed to enjoy the nutritious grain. Worse, as time passed by, the crop was jealously concealed in top royalty secrecy so that for some time it was lost to mankind. Thank God that today it is easily within reach of everybody, great or small.

Purple Corn Health Benefits

The deep purple color means plenty of anthocyanin count. And anthocyanin is a very potent micro nutrient. In fact, nutrition experts say purple corn is itself anthocyanin–it does not just contain the nutrient; it is anthocyanin. Thus, with just a gulp of purple corn juice powerful health and healing benefits trigger in your body. Anthocyanin helps your overall body systems–circulatory, digestive, respiratory, lymphatic, nervous, etc.

Of course, being an antioxidant, it strengthens your immune system, too, and feeds your cells with the nutrition and oxygen they need to make your immune defenses work better. Moreover, it protects your DNA cells from degenerative mutations that lead to deadly diseases.

Because it contains lutein, among well known purple corn health benefits is good collagen health. Now, collagen health does not only involve skin health. It is responsible for blood vessel health, particularly its vasodilation. Vasodilation is the ability of arteries to expand or enlarge to prevent constriction and clogging that may lead to a heart attack, stroke, or high blood pressure. The arteries and blood vessels become flexible and healthy, preventing any arterial rupture or aneurysm.

Anthocyanin reportedly also helps quicken recovery from the deadly dengue fever by repairing damaged or “cracked” vessels to prevent internal bleeding, thus saving the blood platelets and halting its decrease. The tremendous amounts of Vitamins C and E in it meanwhile boost the immune system to get rid of the dengue virus. Hence, the reported shortened period of hospitalization of dengue patients once purple corn juice is administered along with traditional medical treatments.

Also among amazing purple corn health benefits are its reported anti-cancer, anti-inflammation, anti-hypertension, anti-obesity, and anti-heart diseases properties. And why not? The anthocyanin content of this wonder Peruvian crop has the antioxidant power of 150 bio flavonoids, and we all know how powerful bio flavonoids are.

Other Micro Nutrient Contents

According to more researches, it also has terpenes (which is a type of Vitamin A), carotenoids (which are easily convertible in the body into needed vitamins), more bio flavonoids, lutein, sulphororanes (which protects DNA health), and polyphenols. All that spell purple corn health benefits not found in other crops.

And it is labelled as the Anthocyanin Champion because according to Anthocyanin Wiki, it is the richest in anthocyanin compared to other powerful fruits and natural food in the world.

It’s Not Medicine But a Treat You Can Enjoy

Aside from these health benefits, you can enjoy this unique corn as a beverage with all the goodness of its cob, husks, and kernels. Enjoy it as an iced tall drink or in small measured quantities taken daily before breakfast (30 minutes after your water therapy) if you want to make your liter bottle last a month.

More and more people discover not just these amazing health benefits but the rich, fruity and delicious flavor of the juice drink.