Blueberries are loaded with dietary fiber, vitamin C and manganese, and they possess antioxidants called polyphenols. The main type of polyphenolic compound found in blueberries is anthocyanidins, which are responsible for its color. Research indicates that the high content of antioxidants in blueberries can provide several health benefits when you add them to your diet.
In findings reported in the October 2010 issue of the “Journal of Nutrition,” researchers from Louisiana State University System investigated the impact of blueberries on insulin sensitivity, or the ability of insulin to lower blood sugar, in obese, non-diabetic and insulin-resistant adults. Participants consumed a smoothie containing 22.5 grams of blueberry bioactives or a placebo smoothie without blueberry bioactives twice daily for six weeks. At the end of the study, scientists observed that the blueberry group experienced increases in insulin sensitivity compared to the non blueberry group.
Scientists from the University of Cincinnati studied the impact of blueberry supplementation on elderly with early memory decline. Participants consumed wild blueberry juice for 12 weeks. Researchers reported in the January 2010 issue of the “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry” that subjects experienced improvements in paired associate learning and word list recall.
Researchers from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences examined the effects of blueberries on atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, in mice. For 20 weeks, subjects were fed a diet with or without blueberry powder, and mice consuming blueberry powder had smaller atherosclerotic lesions at two sites on the aorta, the arteries leading from the heart, compared to those without blueberry powder. Scientists reported these findings in the September 2010 issue of the “Journal of Nutrition.”
In exploring the effects of blueberry consumption and hypertension risk, scientists from the University of East Anglia and Harvard University discovered that men and women consuming one serving of blueberries per week lowered their risk of developing hypertension compared to those who do not eat blueberries. Researchers stated that anthocyanins found in blueberries are responsible for the results of the study, which was published in the February 2011 issue of "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition."
- Journal of Nutrition: Bioactives in Blueberries Improve Insulin Sensitivity in Obese, Insulin-Resistant Men and Women
- Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry: Blueberry Supplementation Improves Memory in Older Adults
- Journal of Nutrition: Dietary Blueberries Attenuate Atherosclerosis in Apolipoprotein E-Deficient Mice by Upregulating Antioxidant Enzyme Expression
- Science Daily: Bioactive Compounds in Berries Can Reduce High Blood Pressure
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.