The Magical Powers of Blueberries

The Magical Powers of Blueberries

Posted by Matt Grimm on

By Ginger Cochran, MS, RDN, CDCES

Blueberries are magical medicinal fruit packed into a tiny package. These superfruits are flavorful and rich in essential phytonutrients that promote overall vitality. Their outstanding health benefits have made them a superstar in many of our Design Wellness products, including  Mixed Berry and Blueberry Vanilla  Protein Smoothie, and Designer Plant plant-based protein powder. In this blog, we’re exploring the many benefits of the blueberry superfruit. 

Blueberries are loaded with phytonutrients, medicinal chemicals found in plants with health-promoting properties. The main phytonutrient found in blueberries is a flavanoid called anthocyanin. This phytonutrient gives blueberries their rich purple color and many disease-fighting capabilities, including diabetes prevention, vision health, cancer, and heart disease prevention.

Toss blueberries in a salad or on your oatmeal, or try our Blueberry Protein Donut recipe for a fun twist on incorporating blueberries into the diet. 

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) research has shown blueberries contain more antioxidants than most fruits and vegetables. Anti-oxidants can neutralize disease-causing free radicals circulating in the body. 

Antioxidant-rich foods are best enjoyed spread throughout the day for continuous antioxidant benefits. Try adding blueberries to your Designer Whey protein drink, have a Mixed Berry Protein Smoothie as an on-the-go snack, add blueberries to your cottage cheese for lunch and enjoy a bowl of blueberries with peanut butter drizzle on top for dessert for a blueberry-rich day.

The extremely high antioxidant content helps protect the skin from Ultraviolet rays and free radical damage that causes premature aging. A study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry revealed that blueberry extract increases collagen production, significantly promoting skin elasticity and reducing the appearance of wrinkles.

While enjoying the sun this summer, try sipping on a blueberry smoothie to help your body recover and protect itself from damaging rays. Try this Red, White, and Blueberry Smoothie for a fun, refreshing summer smoothie.

Our bodies experience oxidative stress from our environments as we age, which can contribute to age-related diseases. The antioxidants found in blueberries combat oxidative stress, slowing down the aging process and helping us stay vibrant and youthful.

Incorporating blueberries into the day is pretty simple. My favorite way to enjoy it is with frozen berries at the end of the day. It’s easier to enjoy and eat mindfully with fruit that is frozen. Our body does a great deal of repairing at night, and enjoying an antioxidant-rich treat before bed may help enhance our body’s ability to repair. 

Blueberries are low in glycemic index and high in fiber content, helping to keep your blood sugar stable and provide a steady stream of energy for your day. These tiny berries are one of the lowest-sugar fruits giving you a nice sweet treat without the sugar crash.

Try these Blueberry Protein Muffins for a fun, easy snack to enjoy any time of day.

Blueberries have been shown to have the ability to have a calming effect on the brain, helping those with anxiety or depression cope more easily.  A study published in the Nutritional Neuroscience Journal found that regular blueberry consumption led to reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression and improvements in overall mood in young adults.

Try dried or freeze-dried blueberries or our grab-and-go Protein Smoothies Mixed Berry or Vanilla Blueberry for an easy no, stress snack.

Blueberries' potent antioxidants and phytonutrients help protect the brain from age-related cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. A Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemisty study showed that blueberries could also help improve brain function. Anthocyanins found in blueberries are known to improve memory, enhance learning, and prevent Alzheimer's and Parkinson’s disease. 

It's a no-brainer to add blueberries to your day. Add a half cup to your plain Greek yogurt, enjoy a Blueberry Vanilla Protein Smoothie, mix blueberries into your cereal, or try these yummy Blue Razz Popsicles

Bottomline

Blueberries have proven their worth with their various health benefits and incredible taste. Enjoy them in our Mixed Berry and Blueberry Vanilla  Protein Smoothie plus Designer Plant plant-based protein powder. Enjoy a handful of blueberries in any Designer Wellness Smoothies for an extra health-enhancing boost.


Resources:


U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - "What's In the Foods You Eat Search Tool"

Link: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/

Wu, X., Beecher, G.R., Holden, J.M., Haytowitz, D.B., Gebhardt, S.E., & Prior, R.L. (2004). Lipophilic and hydrophilic antioxidant capacities of common foods in the United States. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 52(12), 4026-4037.

Joseph, J.A., Shukitt-Hale, B., & Willis, L.M. (2009). Grape juice, berries, and walnuts affect brain aging and behavior—Journal of Nutrition, 139(9), 1813S-1817S.

Krikorian, R., Shidler, M.D., Nash, T.A., Kalt, W., Vinqvist-Tymchuk, M.R., Shukitt-Hale, B., & Joseph, J.A. (2010). Blueberry supplementation improves memory in older adults. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 58(7), 3996-4000.

Basu, A., Rhone, M., & Lyons, T.J. (2010). Berries: emerging impact on cardiovascular health. Nutrition Reviews, 68(3), 168-177.

Wedick, N.M., Pan, A., Cassidy, A., Rimm, E.B., Sampson, L., Rosner, B.,... Hu, F.B. (2012). Dietary flavonoid intakes and risk of type 2 diabetes in US men and women. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 95(4), 925-933.

Stough, C., Downey, L.A., Lloyd, J., Silber, B., Redman, S., Hutchison, C.,...Nathan, P.J. (2019). Examining the cognitive effects of a special Bacopa monnieri extract (CDRI 08: KeenMind): a review of ten years of research at Swinburne University. Journal of Pharmacy and Nutrition Sciences, 9(1), 5-11.

Devore, E.E., Kang, J.H., Breteler, M.M., & Grodstein, F. (2012). Dietary intakes of berries and flavonoids to cognitive decline. Annals of Neurology, 72(1), 135-143.

Khalid, S., Barfoot, K. L., May, G., Lamport, D. J., Reynolds, S. A., & Williams, C. M. (2017). Effects of Acute Blueberry Flavonoids on Mood in Children and Young Adults. Nutrients, 9(2), 158. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9020158

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