The key to healthy aging is maintaining a healthy diet. Powerful flavonoid and anthocyanin antioxidants found in blueberries may have a rejuvenating effect on the brain - slowing down and even reversing the effects of stress and inflammation on brain cells. What’s more, these antioxidants may also neutralize free radicals linked to the development of cancer, heart disease and age-related conditions.
Blueberries have only 80 calories per cup and are loaded with fiber that keeps you fuller longer. They are also an excellent source of manganese, which plays an important part in bone development and converting carbohydrates and fats into energy.
What else can this super-fruit do for your health and wellbeing?
- Provide a high dose of vitamin C - one serving of blueberries gives you almost one-fourth of your daily requirement of vitamin C - the most powerful antioxidant of them all - packing 14 milligrams per cup.
- Benefit heart health - heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US. A recent study showed that blueberries reduced the risk of heart disease in women who ate three or more servings of blueberries a week. This heart protective effect is believed to be due to their high content of anthocyanins.
- Reduce cancer risk - not only do anthocyanins give blueberries their blue color, they may also neutralize cancer-causing free radicals and even block tumor cells from forming, according to a study which examined the effects of blueberries on prostate cancer.
- Fight UTIs - urinary tract infections (UTIs) are caused by bacteria that take hold and grow inside the urinary tract, causing an infection. Blueberries can help ward off these infections, because they contain substances that inhibit bacteria from binding to bladder tissue.
- Boost brain health - studies on rats show that object memory loss, which occurs with age, can be prevented and even reversed by feeding blueberries to older rats. In another study of nine human subjects, older adults who were given blueberry juice scored higher on memory tests.