The Benefits of Blueberries and Raspberries

Not only are blueberries and raspberries tasty, but they are also packed with a variety of beneficial nutrients. While you can say the same about most fruits and vegetables, these berries are having a moment. Even with the ever-changing nutrition science, blueberries and raspberries continue to be viewed as powerhouses.

Whether in smoothies or a bowl of oatmeal, this article examines the different benefits of blueberries and raspberries and why you should include them in your daily diet.

Blueberries

blueberries on a white wooden background

Some say they are the secret to longevity, while others label them as superfoods, and here is why:

1.   They improve heart health

According to a study published by the American Heart Association Journal, eating at least three servings of blueberries can save women from a heart attack.

Researchers reviewed the berry-eating habits of 93,600 women between the age of 25 and 42 over 18 years. At the end of the study, they concluded that women who ate three or more servings of blueberries per week reduced their risk of heart attack by as much as one-third. However, women who ate a diet rich in other fruits and vegetables did not enjoy the same reduced heart attack risks.

2.   Lower blood pressure

Blueberries are rich in flavonoids, natural compounds that have been shown to lower high blood pressure and prevent hypertension.

In a double-blind placebo-control trial conducted on 48 post-menopausal women with pre-hypertension or stage 1 hypertension, every day, half the women were given 22 grams of freeze-dried blueberry powder, equivalent to one cup of fresh blueberries. The other half received a placebo.

After eight weeks, the women who took blueberry powder significantly reduced their systolic blood pressure by 5.1 percent and diastolic blood pressure by 6.3 percent, while those on the placebo had no change.

In addition, the blueberry powder reduced arterial stiffness on average by 6.5 percent; again, no change was seen in the placebo group.

Arterial stiffness is a symptom of arterial sclerosis and predicts cardiovascular risk. This indicates that the heart has to work harder to circulate blood to the peripheral blood vessels.

3.   Prevents cancer

Daily blueberries increase natural killer (NK) cells. NK cells are white blood cells that play a critical role in the immune system’s defense against foreign invaders. They scan the body for abnormal cells and destroy them before they can develop into actual cancers.

Antioxidants in blueberries also help prevent cancer by destroying free radicles that may cause oxidative stress, leading to cell mutations that may cause cancer.

Blueberries are also rich in anthocyanins, compounds that give blueberries their beautiful blue color. In addition, anthocyanins help prevent free-radical damage associated with cancer.

4.  They are lung-protective

Anthocyanins in blueberries protect your lungs as you get older.

A study in the American Journal of Clinical nutrition followed 839 participants from Veteran Affairs (VA) normative aging study. Over 16 years, it was found that men who ate two or more servings of blueberries a week had up to 37.9 percent less decline in their lung function than those who ate little to no blueberries.

5.   Blueberries improve insulin sensitivity

Bioactive compounds in blueberries improve insulin sensitivity. Twice a week, researchers had 32 obese, non-diabetic insulin-resistant patients drink smoothies with or without 22.5 grams of blueberry bioactive. After six weeks, the blueberry group improved their insulin sensitivity by more than four factors over the placebo group.

6.   It keeps your brain young

According to studies, anthocyanins in blueberries can slow brain aging by up to 2.5 years. This slows down cognitive decline associated with old age.

Raspberries

raspberries on a white wooden background

Did you know that raspberries are one of the world’s most delicate fruit and it’s only touched once by human hands?

Once the harvesters pick them off the plant, they go directly into the container, and you buy them. But beyond that, what do raspberries offer?

They are low in calories but high in minerals, vitamins, fiber, antioxidants, and here is more:

1.   They are cancer-fighting

Raspberries are packed with cancer-fighting antioxidants. They have one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants of any fruit on earth and almost ten times as much as tomatoes.

Raspberries also contain ellagic acid, a natural phenol antioxidant found in fruits and veggies and is prevalent in berries. Ellagic acid removes toxins from the body and protects against free radicals that may lead to cell mutation, causing cancer. Read More,

2.   Maintain cardiovascular health

The potassium content in raspberries helps regulate heartbeat and blood pressure.

They are also rich in minerals like manganese, copper, and iron, which help produce red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body. Read More.

3.   Mood and memory boosting

Consuming berries can prevent brain damage and memory loss associated with aging.

They may also keep off disease and other symptoms of old age by reducing stress through the antioxidants. For example, raspberry contains anthocyanins which collaborate with quercetin (a flavonoid with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects), to prevent age-related memory loss.

4.   Boosts immunity

Raspberries are rich in vitamin C, which increases the general immunity against every illness and rare infections.

In addition, vitamin C boosts the antioxidant levels in raspberries, helps clean blood cells, and increases iron absorption.

5.   Maintain eye health

The combination of antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A, and phenols in raspberries fight off disease and safeguard the eye membranes that produce the watery fluid, thereby cleaning and protecting the eyes from drying out.

Ellagic acid is also an active component of a healthy vision.

6.   Aids weight loss

Raspberries are low in fat and high in fiber, so they’ll fill you up without weighing you down with extra calories.

They are also full of water and potassium, which prevents dehydration and all its side effects.

The Benefits of Berries

The benefits of blueberries and raspberries are pretty evident. Making a simple change to your diet by adding them to your meals could significantly impact your immunity, cardiovascular health, cancer prevention, and brainpower.

But many berries are heavily treated with pesticides, so try to choose organic blueberries if you can to be safe.

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