Important Note: When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Content, pricing, offers and availability are subject to change at any time - more info.
Blueberries are a common bush berry that’s closely related to cranberries and huckleberries. Known by the scientific moniker Vaccinium sect. Cyanococcus, blueberries are highly nutritious and best known for their rich antioxidant makeup. Blueberries are mildly sweet and slightly acidic. What’s more, incorporating blueberries into your diet is easy to do. This versatile berry can be enjoyed fresh, juiced, in smoothies, frozen, and even powdered. They’re a perfect addition to fruit salad and even granola, yogurt, or oatmeal toppings. Best of all, blueberries have many wonderful health benefits. Take a look.
Important Note: Although the health benefits of blueberries noted herein are steeped in decades’ worth of scientific study, science sometimes changes. Make sure to check out the most up-to-date research if you’re checking in well beyond this publication date.
Like most berries, blueberries are low in calories and high in vitamins, however, they’re more nutrient-dense than nearly any other fruit. A single, one-cup serving, of blueberries contains 4 grams of fiber as well as 24% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C, 36% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin K, and 25% of the recommended daily intake of manganese. Those are incredible numbers for just one serving of fruit. Blueberries do also contain trace amounts of other vitamins. What’s more, blueberries are made up of approximately 85% water making them quite hydrating. Finally, a serving of blueberries contains under 100 calories and as few as 15 carbohydrates. Vitamin-rich and low-calorie, blueberries are a recommended addition to your diet.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. Noted by nutritionists and scientists alike as one of the most nutritious fruits, blueberries make a great snack.
Highest In Antioxidants
Blueberries are known for containing an incredibly high antioxidant count. Antioxidants play an important role in reducing oxidative stress and protecting your body from free radicals, those pesky molecules that can lead to aging, wrinkles, collagen loss, hair loss, disease, and more. Scientifically, blueberries have the highest count of antioxidants when compared to other common fruits and vegetables. The primary antioxidant type in blueberries is called flavonoids. Flavonoids have the biggest impact on heart health, are anti-aging, and reduce inflammation.
Other benefits of the anti-oxidative powers of blueberries include maintaining brain health and protecting against certain cancers. Furthermore, the antioxidants in blueberries protect against DNA damage which accelerates aging and leads to cancer; the antioxidants neutralize the free radicals that present a risk for DNA damage, reducing the risk for cancer and slowing the aging process. Studies have shown that individuals who consume blueberries daily can reduce oxidative damage tremendously.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. Facts are facts. Blueberries contain incredible levels of powerful antioxidants.
Lower Blood Pressure
Consistent intake of blueberries is linked to well-managed blood pressure. Maintaining healthy blood pressure is integral to delivering oxygen and nutrients to organs, tissues, and arteries. Additionally, high blood pressure can increase one’s risk of cardiovascular disease. Blueberries are a tasty, all-natural way to maintain this vital biological process. One study showed that individuals with high blood pressure experienced a 4-6% reduction in blood pressure when they began consuming blueberries regularly. Other studies have indicated similar results.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. Study after study has concluded that regular daily intake of blueberries is associated with lowering blood pressure.
Prevents Cardiovascular Disease
Between lowering blood pressure and reducing DNA damage, the antioxidants in blueberries are well-equipped to lower one’s risk of cardiovascular disease. Another significant way that blueberries have this effect is by preventing cholesterol damage. As with blood pressure, maintaining a healthy cholesterol level is important to heart health. In fact, the antioxidants in blueberries reduce the oxidation of bad cholesterol which, when left unchecked, may lead to heart disease. One study among nurses who regularly consumed blueberries indicated a more-than 30% reduction in the risk factors that lead to cardiovascular disease.
General Consensus: 3/5 and here is why. While one significant study shows the connection between blueberries and reduced risk for heart disease, there aren’t many other studies that connect blueberries to heart disease. Most studies on this topic merely reduce risk factors that lead to heart disease. More research about blueberry intake and heart disease is necessary.
Maintains Brain Health and Memory
Blueberries are also linked to brain health. Just as the antioxidants in blueberries reduce the oxidative damage that leads to other aging processes, they also slow the aging of the brain as well. Without a doubt, aging can have a negative impact on brain health and memory; some studies have shown that blueberries’ antioxidants slow the aging of the neurons that affect intelligence. Although many of these studies have made observations based on animal subjects, the outlook is promising. In one human study, adults with cognivite impairments showed brain improvements with routine daily blueberry intake. Logically, while one can see how the antioxidants which neutralize oxidative damage can have powerful effects on brain health, the science hasn’t yet caught up to the hypotheses.
General Consensus: 2.5/5 and here is why. Although there are promising results in the few existing studies that analyzed blueberries and brain health, more research is needed.
Although blueberries contain about 15 grams of sugar per serving, they’re also low in carbohydrates as well as score low on the glycemic index. For these reasons, blueberries are a diabetic-friendly snack. Furthermore, research indicates that the anthocyanins, one of the flavonoids contained in blueberries, positively affect insulin sensitivity as well as glucose metabolism. One interesting study observed obese people who were insulin resistant; the study found that by consuming two blueberry smoothies per day, insulin sensitiviy improved. This is significant because improved insulin sensitivity leads to a lowered risk of type-2 diabetes.
General Consensus: 4/5 and here is why. While many studies look into the effect of blueberries on insulin sensitivity, insulin sensitivity isn’t the only risk for type-2 diabetes. As a result, blueberries alone won’t stave off the disease.
Improve Exercise Recovery
Once again, the antioxidants in blueberries can be instrumental in exercise recovery. Tough workouts can lead to muscle soreness, fatigue, and inflammation. Oxidative stress occurs within your muscles during strenuous exercise. Because the antioxidants in blueberries have long been linked to reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, it’s believed that they can come to the rescue in exercise recovery too. One interesting study shows that female athletes experienced accelerated recovery following leg workouts with the use of blueberries.
General Consensus: 2/5 and here is why. While the connection between blueberries and exercise recovery is promising, there are only about 10 studies in total analyzing this connection. More research is indicated.
Unlikely Benefit: Further Research Needed
Fight Urinary Tract Infections
General Consensus: 1.5/5 and here is why. Although cranberries, known to reduce the occurrence of urinary tract infections, are a close relative to blueberries, blueberries have not been conclusively linked to aiding in this infection type.