Over my 35 years of chiropractic practice I have always been interested in nutrition. Blueberries are high on my list to be included on everyone’s menu. This article will describe why blueberries can be important to our health. Included, in this report, will be a number of research studies showing the benefits of this amazing food.
There have been many types of recommended diets that have come and gone. I’ve done much research into what nutritional regimen works best. Based on scientific studies and experience, my personal approach is to eat a low carbohydrate, high-fat and protein plan. This should also include lots of vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, kale and cabbage should make up the bulk of the vegetable category.
I am not a big fan of eating a lot of fruits and berries because many of them contain fruit sugar which is a carbohydrate. Eating too many carbohydrates adversely affects the low carbohydrate aspect of this particular nutritional approach.
However, blueberries do not fall into the category of a deleterious high carb, fruit or berry. Unlike other berries which might cause a harmful spike in blood glucose and a corresponding high output of insulin to control the elevated blood sugar, blueberries have the opposite effect. Blueberries can improve insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism. This may reduce the risk for diabetes and possibly, even benefit diabetics.
Research also indicates that blueberries may reduce blood pressure and reduce the risk for heart attack. The mineral, manganese, is found in high concentrations in blueberries. Manganese is important in helping the body process cholesterol and can help us to have more of the “good cholesterol” versus “bad cholesterol.”
Now that I’m 65 years old and considered a “senior citizen” I’m concerned about brain health. Blueberries have been shown to be helpful in this regard. In 2018 a study was performed on 215 older adults with cognitive impairments. These folks consumed a daily blueberry and grape extract for six months and had a significant improvement of episodic memory.
Blueberries are also rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the body from free radicals. Free radicals can damage cells which contributes to aging and can cause diseases like cancer.
Blueberries, much like cranberries, contain anti-adhesive substances that can help keep bacteria from collecting in the bladder and cause urinary tract infections.
While many experts suggest eating a cup of blueberries per day this may be difficult or impractical for most people. Adding a portion of a dozen or so blueberries daily to one’s diet will give benefits described above.
I highly recommend eating blueberries. They are delicious, nutritious, easily attainable at most grocery stores and incredibly good for you!