Free Radical Fighters: The Antioxidant Properties of Blueberries

Blueberries are simply hard to resist. Any recipe, which calls for these small, round fruits that are bursting with delicious tart and tangy sweetness, will surely be a hit among children and adults alike. Used in desserts and main courses, appetizers and drinks, and even good to eat on its own, this versatile member of the berry family makes any creation exquisite, aromatic and impossible to say “no” to. While a sinfully delicious slice of blueberry cheesecake will make weight watchers cringe, they would be happy to know that this guilty pleasure is not really as bad as it seems. In fact, blueberries are one of the healthiest fruits a person can add to his or her diet.

Blueberries are low in calories. According to the statistics on the world’s healthiest foods, a cup of blueberries which is about 145 grams hits the meter at just 81 calories. The calories come from the nutrients packed in a single berry: carbohydrates, fat, and protein. A single serving is equivalent to about 30% of the daily value of Vitamin C that our body needs each day. It also has significant amounts of manganese, dietary fiber and Vitamin E which contributes to the daily nutritional needs of our bodies as well.

The results of researches done by the USDA Human Nutrition Centre and Tufts University say that the blueberry holds the number 1 spot, beating other fruits and vegetables in terms of the capacity to fight free radicals in the body. The antioxidant capability of this fruit makes it a prime participant in the war against cancer and other age-related diseases. Blueberries are packed with anthocyanins, a phytonutrient that eases the damage in cells and tissues caused by free radicals. Blueberries are a great remedy to cell damages that can lead to a hoard of diseases such as – varicose veins, glaucoma, cataracts, peptic ulcers, haemorrhoids, the fatal cancers and heart diseases.

Anthocyanin, which is responsible for the bluish red hue of blueberries, supports the vascular system by improving the structure of the veins and capillaries. This phytonutrient also creates a more stable collagen matrix (the basic substance of all bodily tissues) and protects them by preventing harmful enzymes from tearing apart collagen fibers.

The battle against vegetables may still be prevalent in households with kids, but moms can find other healthy alternatives that would not meet the same resistance. The blueberry is certainly one thing you can add to your diet and you will not feel deprived. With a distinct flavor that everyone loves, you may find yourself always craving for this fruit. And this is a hunger you can definitely indulge in!