“Blueberries have superpowers,” says Vilma Andari, M.S., nutritionist and founder of NutraHealthFood, a health and wellness company in Los Angeles.
While this statement may seem radical , Andari is on to something. Recently, Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association published a study reporting that blueberries may cut heart attack risk in women. The study found that eating at least three or more servings of blueberries (and strawberries) per week may reduce a woman’s risk of heart disease by as much as one-third.
Blueberries dilate arteries
What do these berries do, exactly, that helps the body so much? According to the study, fruits such as blueberries contain large amounts of dietary flavonoids (these are also found in strawberries, blackberries, eggplant, grapes and other vegetables and fruits). A sub-class of these flavonoids can help dilate arteries, which fights plaque buildup.
Blueberries contain antioxidants
“When you eat foods like blueberries that have antioxidant power, you are helping to decrease the free radicals inside your body,” says Andari, adding that the fruit helps fight inflammation in the cardiovascular system.
Blueberries benefit the mind
“Antoxidants that are present in many fruits including blueberries help strengthen cells and increase oxygen levels in the body,” she says. This can have a positive impact on brain health.”
Blueberries are low in calories
Andari says it is a good idea to eat fruits every day, and blueberries are a good choice, with a caveat: “There is a limit to any kind of food, so you don’t want to over do it,” she says.
“One cup of blueberries will make you feel full and that is just around 80 calories. They are high in fiber, so they will keep you fuller longer.”
It’s important to remember that no single food including blueberries is a silver bullet, and there are other behaviors that work in tandem to promote good heart health including avoiding smoking, keeping a healthy weight and exercising regularly.
Further, doctors recommended eating blueberries as a healthy snack at work in Go Red’s video on doctor-recommended healthy eating tips.
Learn more healthy tips for snacking on Go Red.