Eat This Fruit Every Day for a Longer Life, Says Science

If you’re a fan of sprinkling blueberries on your morning bowl of oatmeal or yogurt, then you’re in luck. Despite their small size, blueberries provide a plethora of nutrients that can positively benefit your long-term health. From decreasing your risk of disease to boosting your body with micronutrients, we researched the specific ways mixing blueberries into your meals will easily boost your nutrition and add years to your life.

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Most fruits and vegetables are powerful sources of polyphenols—antioxidants that help to decrease inflammation and fight off free radicals present in the body. If the body is chronically inflamed (which occurs when the body is dealing with oxidative stress in the immune system), it is more prone to developing diseases. Research has concluded that polyphenols can decrease oxidative stress and inflammation, which in turn decreases the risk of disease.

Specifically, blueberries are packed with antioxidants called anthocyanins, which are known to reduce free radicals in the body that lead to certain diseases such as cardiovascular, type 2 diabetes, and even neurological decline. Anthocyanins also have pigments that cause blueberries to have that familiar rich, blue color.

One of the specific ways blueberries can reduce disease risk is by lowering levels of LDL “bad” cholesterol in the blood. LDL cholesterol is the type of cholesterol that builds up in the arteries if there is too much in the bloodstream, and not enough HDL “good” cholesterol to transfer LDL back to the liver. Research published in The Journal of Nutrition found that participants who consumed blueberries reported 27% lower LDL cholesterol levels in just 8 weeks, decreasing their risk of metabolic syndrome and other cardiovascular disease risks.

In general, many berry varieties are a powerful source of fiber. According to JAMA Network, consuming enough fiber in the diet has been linked to lower disease risk and increase longevity because of the way fiber stabilizes blood sugar and reduces LDL cholesterol. One study even found that for every 8-gram increase of fiber in the diet, participants were able to reduce their risk of death (as well as cases of heart disease, diabetes, and colorectal cancer) between 5% and 27%.

Fiber is also satiating, meaning it helps you to feel fuller for longer. The American Heart Association recommends getting at least 25 to 30 grams of fiber a day for optimal health. One cup of blueberries contains around 4 grams of fiber.

Lastly, blueberries provide a major boost of vitamin C; one cup contains around 15% of your recommended daily allowance. Vitamin C works as a powerful antioxidant that fights off free radicals, while also benefiting the body’s nervous, immune, bone, cartilage, and blood systems.

So why not reap the long-term benefits of this powerful tiny fruit by making a batch of these healthy blueberry muffins?

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