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Are Blueberries Healthy? Health Benefits and Nutrition Facts
Nutrition

Are Blueberries Healthy? Health Benefits and Nutrition Facts

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on November 22, 2022
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6 min

Blueberries are one of the world’s top superfoods. They are rich in vitamins and minerals, low in calories, and offer many health benefits.

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Blueberries are a common fruit loved for their sweet flavor. They have a high nutritional value and offer numerous health benefits that have earned them a space in the list of heart-healthy superfoods. Will they live up to the hype?

Blueberries are a rich source of flavonoids (antioxidants), particularly anthocyanins, responsible for their deep blue hue. They contain 25 different types of anthocyanin (an antioxidant), unlike other fruits with just two or three types. The high antioxidant content reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer, and neurogenetic diseases.

In this article, you’ll discover the health benefits of blueberries and learn about the nutrition content of this small but nutrient-dense fruit.

Are Blueberries Healthy?

Yes, blueberries are rich in essential nutrients that offer numerous health benefits. They contain antioxidants that protect your body from inflammation and oxidative stress that causes heart disease and cancer.

Research suggests that regular intake of fruit helps lower blood pressure, control blood sugar levels, improve metabolism, and protect against cancer. 

Here are 5 health benefits of the wonder fruit.

5 Health Benefits of Blueberries

#1 Lower blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health

According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death for adults in the United States.

Antioxidants prevent the oxidation of cholesterol in the blood that clogs the arteries, which causes high blood pressure and increases the risk of heart attacks. Anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants that lower blood pressure and maintain the elasticity of blood vessels. Regular intake of the fruit reduces your risk of heart disease.

A study that followed 43,880 men for 24 years found that habitual intake of anthocyanin from fruits is associated with a reduced risk of heart attacks.

#2 Enhance brain function and improve memory

Daily blueberry consumption is strongly linked to brain function and delayed aging. Eating blueberries improves short-term memory, enhances brain function, prevents cognitive decline, and reduces the risk of age-related neurodegenerative diseases in older adults.

Research suggests that anthocyanin provides antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties that prevent cognitive decline. They prevent oxidative stress and inflammation due to exposure to free radicals that damage the brain and play a role in the pathogenesis of brain aging and the development of neurodegenerative diseases.

#3 Manage diabetes

Blueberries are an excellent food for people with diabetes because they have a high nutritional value but are high in fiber and have a low glycemic index. Thus, it has a minimal effect on blood sugar levels.

The rich content of anthocyanin improves insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism and can help people with diabetes manage their blood sugars effectively.

#4 Aid in weight loss

Blueberries are nutrient-dense and rich in fiber but are low in calories. Fiber is crucial in weight management because it increases satiety, reduces appetite, and adds bulk to the digestive system.

Eating blueberries increases your fiber intake because it is a filling snack with no added sugars. Eating blueberries alongside a healthy diet aids in weight loss.

Flavonoids increase metabolic rate and help the body burn more fat. In addition, they help in weight management by reducing fat accumulation in the adipose tissues and triggering lower fat absorption.

#5 Protect against cancer

Studies show that antioxidants prevent cell damage caused by free radicals associated with cancer development. Blueberries contain high levels of antioxidants which protect the cells against damage from free radicals. Their anti-carcinogenic properties are strongly linked with a low risk of cancer.

3 Side Effects of Blueberries

#1 May affect digestive health

Due to the high fiber content, excessive consumption of blueberries may cause bloating, diarrhea, and stomach discomfort. It can also interfere with nutrient absorption. Thus, it is advisable to eat in moderate quantities.

#2 Can cause abnormally low blood sugar levels

Blueberries increase insulin sensitivity and are beneficial for people with diabetes. However, excess consumption can reduce blood sugar levels to below average.

#3 Interfere with blood clotting

Blueberries are a rich source of vitamin K, which regulates blood clotting. Avoid overeating blueberries if you are on anticoagulant medication since the vitamin can interfere with the drug’s effectiveness and increase the risk of bleeding.

Nutrition Facts of Blueberries

Nutritional value (per 100g)

Calories/Nutrient (per 100g)Amount
Calories (kcal)57
Sodium (mg)<2
Net Carbs (g)12.1
Fiber (g)2.5
Sugar (g)9.36
Fats (Total)0.31
Fatty acids, total saturated (g)0
Protein (g)0.7

Source: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/2263889/nutrients 

Low in calories and fats

Blueberries are low in calories and fats but rich in essential nutrients such as fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin K. A 3.5-ounce serving (100g) of blueberries translates to only 57 calories.

Low in protein

Blueberries contain a small amount of protein, only 0.7g per 100g.

High in carbohydrates

Blueberries contain moderate amounts of carbohydrates (14%). They are high in glucose and fructose, which make up simple sugars, but because of their high fiber content, they don’t adversely affect blood sugar levels.

Rich in vitamins and minerals

Blueberries are a good source of dietary fiber, which is beneficial for digestive health. They are also an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin K, offering numerous health benefits.

Healthy Blueberry Recipe 

Make this creamy and delicious smoothie recipe with fresh or frozen berries. This recipe yields 120 calories. You can substitute it with a dairy-free yogurt alternative to make it vegan.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 banana, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon plain or Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • Mint leaves to garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. Add blueberries, yogurt, banana, and orange juice to the blender and blend till smooth.
  2. Pour the smoothie into a glass, and garnish with mint leaves. Enjoy.

If you want to learn more about healthy recipes, we recommend checking the DoFasting app. It contains more than 5,000+ healthy recipes.

FAQs

Are blueberries good or bad for you?

Eating blueberries is good for you because they are a rich source of antioxidants and nutrients with significant health benefits like bone health and heart health.

How many calories are in a cup of blueberries?

One cup serving of fresh blueberries (140g) contains 80 calories and 4 grams of fiber.

What vitamins are in blueberries?

Blueberries are rich in vitamin K. They are also rich in vitamin C, which is good for immunity.

What happens if you eat blueberries every day?

For a healthy adult, a daily intake of a cup (140g) of fresh blueberries is sufficient to provide health benefits.

Do blueberries have potassium?

A 3.5oz serving (100g) of blueberries provides 86mg of potassium. They are low-potassium food because they provide less than 10% of the recommended daily value per serving.

Do blueberries have protein?

Blueberries have low protein content despite having high nutritive value. Although they don’t have a significant amount of protein, they are a healthy addition to the daily diet.

Are blueberries a superfood?

Blueberries have earned the superfood badge because they are a nutritional powerhouse. They have high amounts of antioxidants associated with reduced inflammation and a lower risk of cancer and heart attack.

Can blueberries cause constipation?

No single specific food can directly cause constipation. Eating whole blueberries provides adequate fiber to improve digestion efficiency and prevent constipation.

How much fiber do blueberries have?

Blueberries are a good source of fiber. One cup of blueberries provides 25% of the recommended daily value of dietary fiber.

Are blueberries good for weight loss?

Blueberries help maintain a healthy weight because they contain flavonoids that increase metabolism and reduce fat absorption. It is worth incorporating them into your diet because they help burn more fat and gradually lower your body fat percentage.

 Are blueberries good for diabetes?

Blueberries are high in fiber and flavonoids, lower in sugar, and have a low glycemic index. These factors help improve insulin sensitivity, which is essential for managing blood sugar levels.

A Word From Our Nutritionist

Blueberries are a nutrient-dense fruit rich in essential nutrients for good health. They also have an impressive antioxidant profile that helps lower blood pressure and protects the brain and blood vessels from oxidative stress.

Moderate consumption of this nutritious fruit with a healthy diet rich in common fruits and vegetables will improve insulin sensitivity, boost metabolism, and promote heart health. The high fiber content makes it perfect for people who want to lose weight or those who have diabetes.

Incorporate them into your daily diet to get health benefits. Grab a few berries for a low-calorie snack to prevent unhealthy cravings.

Conclusion

The fruit is not only tasty but incredibly nutritious. Blueberries improve memory and brain function, improve heart health, and protect against diabetes and cancer.

They are high in fiber and have a low glycemic index, making them a plus for maintaining a healthy weight alongside a healthy diet and active lifestyle. Add blueberries to your smoothies, baked goods, or pancakes, or eat them raw as a snack and enjoy the sweet flavor.

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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