You know blueberries. You can eat them fresh, frozen, or by the handful. You put them in muffins, pancakes, and even smoothies. While we all know we have to eat our fruits and vegetables, research shows that blueberries might help to “improve blood vessel function and decrease systolic blood pressure” which can lead to what scientists call “successful aging.”
So what else can blueberries do you for the body?
Good for the heart and the blood vessels
Blueberries are good for the heart and the blood vessels. A 2019 study found that eating one cup of blueberries per day can help improve certain cardiovascular risk factors of individuals diagnosed with metabolic syndrome — a syndrome associated with type 2 diabetes, stroke, and even heart disease according to Dr. Oz.
Help to lower cholesterol levels
Blueberries are filled with antioxidants that can help to reduce the LDLs — the bad cholesterol that is partially responsible for heart disease.
One study found that a daily 2-ounce (50-gram) serving of blueberries lowered LDL oxidation by 27% over eight weeks in obese people who were obese.
May help to lower blood pressure
One eight-week study found obese people who had had a high risk of heart disease noted a 4–6% reduction in blood pressure after consuming 2 ounces (50 grams) of blueberries per day
Blueberries are high in antioxidants called flavonoids. These flavonoids interact with the different proteins and enzymes, keeping the brain feeling young and fresh, according to Dr. Oz and Dr. Michael Roizen of Sharecare.com.
Joe Leech, an Australian dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition and dietetics, even says that oxidative stress can accelerate the brain’s aging process. Leech sites a study in which older adults with mild cognitive impairment drank blueberry juice every day for 12 weeks. After 12 weeks, they experienced improvements in several markers of brain function according to Leech.
May help to fight UTIs
Urinary tract infections are common for women who experience periods. While most people reach for the cranberry juice when they get a UTI, many may not know that blueberries may also have similar substances within them that help to fight UTIs. Leech states, “Because blueberries are closely related to cranberries, they boast many of the same active substances as cranberry juice.”
However, blueberries are not studied enough in terms of aiding UTIs but do have similar active substances that may provide a similar effect as cranberry juice.
Reduce muscle damage after an intense workout
After an intense workout, you may experience muscle soreness and fatigue. Leech explains that muscle soreness and fatigue are caused by inflammation and oxidative stress within the muscle, causing that sore feeling.
Blueberry supplements may help to lessen the ache and damage. A small 2012 study of 10 female athletes had found that blueberries accelerated muscle recovery after strenuous leg exercise.