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Eat a Nutrient-Packed Blueberry

 

Steve Frost

Blueberries, a well-known superfood, are at their peak now as we enter July and Washington is one of ten states that together produce more than 98% of the nation’s blueberry crop. Blueberries are ranked as the second most important commercial berry crop in the United States. The health benefits are one major reason for the success of these tiny blue fruits.

Blueberries are low in sodium and fat, with only 80 calories per cup. Two of the best nutrients in blueberries include Vitamin C and manganese. Vitamin C is needed for growth and development of bones and helps with wound healing. Manganese helps the body process carbohydrates, cholesterol and protein.

Even more protection against bad cholesterol is in the phytosterol, pterostilbene, also found in blueberries. Pterostilbene is thought to have similar characteristics as cholesterol lowering medications. It is also helpful in fighting against diabetes and cancer, enhancing memory, and improving heart health.

Like many fruits, blueberries have a plentiful supply of dietary fiber which is helpful with feeling satisfied for longer and may reduce the risk of heart disease, the number one cause of death in the US.  In addition to that WebMD claims blueberries are ranked the highest of all fruits for antioxidant- meaning they fight free radicals excellently.

There is continuous research for blueberries, so the health benefits could be even more than we realize at this time.

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