Blueberries Should be in Your Diet
~ February 2005 No.188 ~
This is the time of the year for lists. The years top sports figures, the year’s best books, the years hottest records. Well, if there was a list about foods that are good for your health, blueberries would be near the top.
Blueberries are packed with anthocyanins. Some of these anthocyanins give blueberries their colour. However, it is the anthocyanins and related compounds that make blueberries one of our best sources of dietary antioxidants. Antioxidant power is measured by a test called ORAC, which stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. A comparison of ORAC scores shows that blueberries come out on top - better than all other fresh fruit and vegetables. Many believe it is the antioxidants in blueberries that are responsible for their health promoting properties. However, researchers have found that there is a large variation in the antioxidant levels in the different varieties of blueberry. Stage of maturity may also influence antioxidant content.
The list of possible benefits from eating blueberries is impressive. Scientific studies have shown that blueberries improve vision through reduction of eye strain. Urinary tract infections appear to be reduced by eating blueberries, by a process similar to cranberries. There is evidence that certain types of cancer may be prevented by eating blueberries. Cardiovascular health may be improved through cholesterol lowering effects and effect on blood capillaries. Many of these studies have only been done exclusively in experimental animals, but the evidence is mounting.
The list of health promoting compounds found in blueberries goes beyond antioxidants. Bacterial inhibitors, folic acid, vitamins A and C, carotenoids, ellagic acid, folic acid, and dietary fibre, all are in blueberries.
Got a list of things to starting more of ? Add blueberries.
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