Blueberries are absolutely one of my favorite foods to eat. I try to eat them every day and just love them in my morning Berry Protein Smoothie!
Natural medicine has long held that these round purple berries give long-life Health Benefits that far exceed their tiny size. Native to North America, blueberries are rich in proanthocyanidin, contributing to blueberry benefits that include fighting cancer, losing weight and glowing, young skin. Blueberries are also rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese and other antioxidants that lead to its numerous other health benefits discussed below.
Blueberry Nutrition Facts
Blueberries are one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the world and contain large levels and a broad range of antioxidants. The ORAC score of blueberries is an incredible 9,621, which makes it one of the highest antioxidant foods in the world. Consuming just one cup of blueberries provides the following nutrients:
- Gallic acid
- Vitamin K (36 percent DV)
- Vitamin C (25 percent DV)
- Manganese (25 percent DV)
- Fiber (17 percent DV)
Blueberries Research on Gallic Acid
Of all the nutritional components of the blueberry, Gallic Acid stands out for a couple reasons. One, most people have never heard of it, and it is definitely worthy of mention.
Second, it has been thoroughly researched. At the point of writing this article, almost 6,500 peer-reviewed scientific articles referenced gallic acid, so it’s safe to assume that the health claims laid out here are anything but “experimental.”
Third, as the research indicates, gallic acid is a powerful antifungal/antiviral agent and is an extremely effective antioxidant.
This combination makes gallic acid-rich foods like blueberries a natural medicine powerhouse not to be reckoned with!
Top 7 Health Benefits of Blueberries
After learning about the nutritional facts of blueberries, I’m sure you can see how challenging it was to narrow down the top health benefits of blueberries to just seven. But after some extensive research, I feel pretty confident that this list does the mighty purple fruit justice!
1. Combat aging
Antioxidants are your best friend to keep Father Time at bay. They help reverse damage done by toxins and free radicals and help your body defend itself against dangerous pathogens.
Not only are blueberries rich in antioxidants as a whole, but they are especially rich in proanthocyanidins, which have been observed to have additional anti-aging properties in several animal studies.
Much of the research has linked this to the ability of proanthocyanidins to reverse inflammation, the No. 1 of chronic disease in the world. Inflammation is at the root of most diseases and taxes the body like no other — it causes heart disease, diabetes, cancer and almost every illness known to man.
2. Boost the Brain
Because they contain such a high amount of phenols, particularly gallic acid, blueberries are known as “neuro-protective agents.” According to researchers from Iran, this means that they can literally protect our brains from degeneration, neurotoxicity and oxidative stress.
Some other foods high in gallic acid are known for their brain power as well. Brain foods that boost focus and memory include:
- Green tea
- Red wine
Another study found that consuming more blueberries slowed cognitive decline and improved memory and motor function. The scientists in this study believed these results were due to the antioxidants in blueberries that protect the body from oxidative stress and reduce inflammation.
3. Fight Cancer
Clinical studies have even discovered that, unlike radiation and chemotherapy strategies, gallic acid-rich foods like blueberries can kill cancer without harming healthy cells!
For instance, the Journal of Biochemical and Molecular Toxicology published a study evaluating the anticancer effects gallic acid has on breast cancer cells. Like countless studies before, researchers discovered that blueberries and gallic acid slow and even destroy breast cancer.
Blueberry benefits cancer primarily due to their wide range of antioxidants, with gallic acid the primary and resveratrol also offering support.
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