Improving one's diet may sound like a chore, but it doesn't need to be that way. Sometimes simply adding some key foods can make all the difference. Take blueberries, for instance. You can add them to salads, breakfast, dessert, or even eat as a snack.
Rich in nutrients and low in calories, blueberries are the key berry experts say to eat daily in your diet if you can. The benefits are significant and compound over time. Here's some of the reasons why you'll want to pick up some blueberries the next time you are at the store:
1. Can improve heart health
According to a 2019 study, eating 150 grams of blueberries reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by 15 percent. It's particularly effective among groups already at risk.
2. Rich in antioxidants
Blueberries have one of the highest antioxidant levels of all vegetables and fruits. Antioxidants are molecules that help stop oxidation, a process that produces free radicals that could damage cells. Free radicals are unstable and play a role in both aging and even cancer.
3. Reduce cholesterol levels
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that builds up and can clog up your arteries. LDL cholesterol is known as the "bad" cholesterol. It gets worse when LDL cholesterol is oxidized. The antioxidants in blueberries help reduce oxidized LDL levels.
4. Reduce blood pressure
In a recent 2010 study, blood pressure levels reduced by 5% in the obese group over the course of 2 months. This group ate 50 grams or 2 ounces of blueberries a day.
5. Maintain brain function and memory
In another 2010 study, blueberries were shown to improve memory of older adults over the course of 12 weeks. These adults had mild cognitive impairment and after the study showed improved brain function markers.
6. Help control blood sugar
One cup of blueberries contains 15 grams of sugar. This is similar to a small apple. Recent research shows that blueberries has beneficial effects on glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity.
7. Low in calories and high in nutrients
Blueberries are some of the most nutrient-dense foods we know. They are high in fiber, Vitamin K, potassium, and Vitamin C. Plus, they weigh in at just 80 calories per cup.
Not to mention, blueberries are easy to make! Here are the 7 recipes with blueberries that your life has been missing.