You might have heard about blueberries and how good they are for you – obviously, they’re a fruit and we all know how healthy fruit and veg is – but did you know that they can actually help you lose weight?!
That’s right, not only can blueberries help you slim down, but they also improve your brain health, heart health and can even prevent premature ageing. WOW! Let’s have a look at why this tiny fruit packs such a nutritional punch…
The blueberry is one of the original superfoods. Just to give you a quick idea of what they actually consist of, one cup of blueberries contains only 85 calories, about 15 grams of carbohydrates (over 4 grams of these carbs being healthy fibre), which helps your body with digestion. Blueberries are very low in fat and high in water, which helps with aiding your body’s natural processes too.
This cup would also contain over 20% of your Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of vitamin C, over 35% of your RDA of vitamin K, and are high in manganese, zinc and iron too, which can help boost your immune system.
Blueberries contain huge amounts of antioxidants, which you’ve probably heard everyone banging on about – but why are they so good for us? Basically, antioxidants help to protect our bodies from damage by “free radicals”. These free radicals come from our environment (so the food we’re eating and the air we’re breathing) and can cause damage to cellular structures in your body, contributing to ageing and some diseases like cancer.
Blueberries are known to have the highest antioxidant capacity of any other fruit or vegetable so it makes sense to add them to our diets to potentially prevent as much damage to our cells, right?!
If you’re still not convinced, how about a flatter tummy and that weight loss we talked about earlier? Ok, we’re not saying that eating a blueberry a day will guarantee you a waist like Beyoncé, but studies have shown that those who include blueberries in their diets had less belly fat than those who didn’t. They’re proven to help improve insulin sensitivity, so help your body to use the carbs you eat as energy (rather than storing them as fat). The high amount of fibre and water in blueberries greatly aids digestion too, so your body can work properly to use up the food you’re eating and work to minimise fat storage. Berries are also lower in sugar than other fruits, so can be very useful to those following low-carb diets where fruit is limited but still needed as part of a healthy regime.
As well as helping to beat the bulge, you’ll also be improving your heart health with regular intake of blueberries – they help to lower the bad cholesterol in your body and also lower blood pressure, meaning they are beneficial for helping to prevent heart disease.
The high levels of vitamins and minerals can help prevent and heal brain degeneration, meaning your brain will be healthier and your memory could improve… So if you’re like us and would probably forget your head if it wasn’t attached to your body, perhaps blueberries could help you?
And especially for us ladies, blueberries can really help if you suffer with UTIs – we are all at risk but some of us suffer more than others with that horrid burn-when-you-pee feeling. The health-improving compounds in them work to flush out bacteria in the urinary tract, which will help to minimise those dreaded infections.
No food, “super” or not, will make you look like a Victoria’s Secret model without the proper diet and exercise regime. SIGH. However, if you’re looking to improve your health in one simple step, seriously think about eating blueberries. They contain HUGE amounts of vitamins, antioxidants and other body-boosting compounds that will help you glow from the inside out and could help you age better AND live longer.
We’ll be posting a yummy blueberry recipe for you to try soon… So stay tuned!
Sam Neades – Owner & Head Coach – Cheltenham Women’s Fitness