From its usage in preparation of desserts to tarts and even those stimulating ice-creams, blueberries are one of the tastiest fruits of the world that find immense culinary uses in all these and more. The rich, blue color with a ravishing flavor filled inside those small fruits is the one that lures the eyes and taste buds of many, almost all across the globe.
However, besides the culinary uses, blueberries have created their own sweet space even in the remedial industries. This is due to the fact that these small fruits have many wondrous nutrients that are capable of benefitting the human body in various regards.
Here we would throw a significant light on the miraculous properties of these blue fruits that have worked to prevent and cure innumerable disorders in the human body. This would include the following major points:
Blueberry and its commercial forms
Nutritional value of blueberries
Health benefits of blueberries
Side effects of blueberries, if any
Blueberries And Their Commercial Forms:
It would not be an exaggeration if you tell the sweet blueberries to be the ‘superfruits’ since they are brimming with imperative nutrients. Following this, these tropical, perennial fruits have also been used to convert them to many of the commercial forms.
You could get in to find the frozen forms of the organic fruits, which are available in boxes all round the year. Since the blueberries have a quick-perishing nature, to keep them fresh and available throughout the year, these are available in the frozen forms as well.
Organic blueberry juice and concentrates are also some of the commercial forms that are said to be the liquid incarnation of the same healthy fruits. Organic blueberry juice is the extract of rich and succulent berries that contains almost all the nutrients, similar to the parent fruits. It is also a more concentrated form of receiving the rich nutrients that you desire from the organic fruits.
Similarly, you could also get hold of the organic blueberry capsules, which too are formed of the extracts of the fruits and help with nutrients to those who are a bit sensitive with their taste buds.
Nutritional Value of Blueberry:
As mentioned before, blueberries have been termed as superfruits, owing to the astonishing content of various kinds of nutrients that they possess. This includes various vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other phytochemicals that have various imperative functions to perform in the human body. The nutritional content of blueberry fruits is as tabulated below:
Table 1: Nutritional Value of Blueberries per 100 g
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA|
|Total Fat||0.33 g||1%|
|Dietary Fiber||2.4 g||6%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.124 mg||2.5%|
|Vitamin A||54 IU||2%|
|Vitamin C||9.7 mg||1.5%|
|Vitamin E||0.57 mg||4%|
|Vitamin K||19.3 µg||13%|
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
To offer you more of amazement, it has been found out that 100 grams of organic blueberries compose of just 57 calories. Due to this, they have no contribution in increasing your body-weight when you have them in any of the forms.
Health Benefits Of Blueberries:
Whether you take the organic fruits or these in any of the commercial forms, blueberries are one of the most helpful fruits for various benefits to the human body. Some of these are as outline below:
Maintenance Of Bones: Blueberry and its juice has a handsome amalgamation of various elements that are necessary for the health of human skeletal system. This includes minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, manganese and antioxidants such as Vitamin K etc. that have their own sweet role to play for the functioning of human bones. While zinc and iron could play crucial roles to upkeep the elasticity and strength of bones, Vitamin K prevents fractures in bones by improving absorption of calcium and preventing its loss from the body.
Blood Pressure Maintenance: Blueberries and its juice help to secure the blood pressure of the human body by providing elements such as magnesium and potassium that regulate and decrease the increased blood pressure. Apart from this, the low level of sodium in it makes it efficient in eliminating any contribution to increase in blood pressure.
Prevention Of Heart Diseases: Blueberries have an efficient content of fibers, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, folate, potassium and other phytonutrients that lower the amount of cholesterol in the blood to decrease the risk of heart diseases. Additionally, the Vitamin B6 and folate are helpful in preventing buildup of a compound known as homocysteine, which when accumulates in excess, could damage the blood vessels and could be a reason for the occurrence of heart diseases.
Better known by the name ‘King of the Antioxidant Fruits’ blueberries offer pleasurable experience to the taste buds in whatever forms they are consumed. These naturally nutrient-rich fruits even find applications in many culinary dishes apart from being used extensively in the medicinal industry.
As an incomparable source of natural antioxidants, blueberries have immeasurable benefits to offer to the human body. This is owing to the presence of compounds such as flavonoids and anthocyanin that act on the cellular level to curb the body symptoms.
Nowadays, the extensive demand of this product has led to development of a commercial form of this fruit which is known as Blueberry Juice. This is the liquid-extract from the same healthy blueberries, offered in a more refined form.
Some indispensable benefits of the blueberries are:
An Efficient Supplier Of Vitamin C: The good content of antioxidant Vitamin C is very crucial for the effective functioning of human body and blueberries provides with the needs efficiently. Vitamin C promotes the functioning of various body parts such as digestive system, heart, bones, muscles, skin, hair and teeth etc.
A Promoter Of Heart Health: Heart is the major sufferer in the human body due to troubles such as diabetes, obesity and kidney disorders. Blueberry Juice contains a good amount of antioxidants such as anthocyanin which counter the effect of plaque buildup in the body due to obesity troubles. Thus, it secures the heart health and prohibits troubles such as strokes and heart attacks.
Cancer Preventer: The anthocyanin compounds in the berries which are responsible for offering it a blue color, extend their functions to fight the attack of free radicals in the body. In their absence, these free radicals may form tumors in the body which could result into cancers.
Urinary Tract Infection Preventer: Infections in the Urinary tract of humans are the result of bacteria that cling to the walls of the tract and cause contamination. As a result, you could view symptoms such as foul-smelling urine, difficulty in urine passage, blood with urine and pain in the urinary tract etc. Blueberries and their juice could help in checking the cling of bacteria, thereby preventing infections in the urinary tract.
Brain Enhancer: Blueberries have a significant effect in preventing the damage of nerve cells, which receive huge trouble due to free radicals and oxidative stresses. The exceptional content of antioxidants in the fruits helps to prohibit the brain damage and thereby prevents age related syndromes such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Thus, blueberries are some of the healthiest fruits in the world that could be taken to deliver the benefits of the good content of antioxidants. Even the use of blueberry juice provides the similar benefits as the original fruit itself has to offer.
Their versatility to act brilliantly in the culinary preparations as well as some of the most efficient remedies has got them a secure place in the list superfoods that are meant for humans.
If you were to name a few superfoods that are bestowed to the humans by the nature, Blueberries could occupy a place in the top few of them. This is because these cute little berries are highly nutritious in their content, rendering all the sweetness to the tongue and life of human beings.
Blueberries are found to be the second most popular fruits after strawberries in the United States and are ranked first in their antioxidant content. The use of blueberries was primarily for preparing delicious food products such as jams and tarts but when researchers came out with their remedial benefits, they gained popularity all round the world.
The Origin And Structure Of Blueberry:
Blueberries are said to be originated from North America which leads in the world in terms of production of this fruit. North American nations such as United States and Canada have especially pioneered the art of growing blueberries.
To follow them, some species of blueberries are also found in Asia, Europe, South Africa and Mediterranean regions. But still, North America accounts for about 30 percent of the blueberries of the world.
Blueberries grow in prostate shrubs that could have a height ranging from 10 cm to 4 meters. In commercial production, blueberries could be termed as ‘lowbush blueberries’ and ‘highbush blueberries’, wholly according to their size.
The blueberry tree bears bell shaped flowers that could appear to have a pinkish or whitish tint, scarcely occurring in green color. The fruit, that is the blueberry, is a blue-colored berry (as the name suggests) that has a size of about 5 to 16 mm.
These fruits have a pale green color when they are raw but it slowly turns purple when the fruits turn ripe. These have a sweet or a sour flavor when tasted and could find applications in many taste-rendering delicacies prepared by the human beings.
Nutritional Value Of Blueberries:
While talking about the nutrients, blueberries are more often called superfoods since they are a huge store house of many essential nutrients, Phytochemicals and minerals for the humans.
These little blue-colored fruits are made up of proteins, carbohydrates, healthy fats, dietary fibers and calories. Apart from this, they also contain vitamins such as Vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K and Vitamin D.
It also has a composition of some vital minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc etc. You could find a bit of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, many amino acids and organic acids etc. which make this fruit a sheer genius in terms of rendering positive effects to the human health.
Blueberry Juices and Extracts:
Owing to the innumerable health benefits that the blueberries are said to provide to the human beings, many manufacturers have revolutionized this fruit and converted it into its juice. This is with the implementation of all the organic methods so that the nutrients in the Blueberry juice are not lost.
The preparation of juice is followed by its storing and preservation which too require organic means without the use of chemicals.
Similarly the fruit extracts could also be prepared by heating the juice to optimum temperatures. Blueberries are also used to prepare many tarts, jams and pies which are highly prominent for their taste.
Health Benefits Of Blueberries:
The innumerable Phytochemicals in the blueberries have rendered it the capability to swipe off innumerable health troubles in the humans which often require the investigation of a specialist. Some of the health benefits of blueberries are:
Preventing Urinary Tract Infections: Certain nasty bacteria such as E-Coli etc. may cling to the walls of the urinary tract (organs such as bladders and urethra), which lead to many kinds of infections in the system. These bacteria could also make their way to kidneys causing their failure and through the blood stream, could spread in the entire body.
Blueberries have compounds due to which they could prevent the spreading of these bacteria and often they are found to scrub the bacteria that cling to the wall of the urinary tract. In this manner, they could prevent many kinds of Urinary Tract Infections in the humans.
Aging: Free radicals that are often encountered in the environment could cause certain aging effects in the humans. Due to this, humans could lose the eye-vision, develop spots on the skin and their bones tend to weaken.
Blueberries are said to possess innumerable kinds of antioxidants that are responsible for scavenging these free radicals in the body and thereby, prevent aging effects in the humans. The compounds such as anthocyanin, vitamin C and Vitamin k etc. are helpful in preventing conditions such as cataract, hair loss, dementia and osteoporosis etc.
Eye Troubles: Blueberries are full are antioxidants which are said to impart vision to the eyes of humans. Due to the effects of antioxidants, the human eyes could stay away from disorders such as cataract, macular degeneration, myopia, Hypermetropia, dryness and infections etc.
Constipation And Other Digestive Troubles: Blueberries are rich in dietary fibers which are said to relieve the human digestive tract off its disorders. The digestive fibers help in efficiently absorbing the nutrients out of the ingested food and also facilitate the passage of waste products out of the body.
These are also helpful in staying away from digestive troubles such as constipation and dysentery etc.
Heart Diseases: The antioxidants in the blueberries further extend their effects to prevent the human heart from many perilous diseases. It also strengthens the muscles of the heart.
A study conducted in 2012 over 93000 women participants came with the outcome that consumption of blueberries thrice or more a week helped them to reduce the risk of heart attacks by 32 percent. (Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23319811 )
Immunity: Apart from the antioxidants, blueberries are full of other vital elements such as vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin E and copper etc. which are huge supporters of the human immunity. Due to this, their body is able to suppress the toxins which cause innumerable diseases to them.
Thus, blueberries are simple fruits that could solve many complex problems in humans and thereby, increase the life of humans.