Blueberries are a small round, blue-purple colored fruit. A sweet and delicious fruit, blueberries are popular to consume in the summer time. The blueberry is native to North America and is the second most popular fruit after strawberries. Today, blueberries are also cultivated in Europe, South America, New Zealand and Australia. 1,2,3
The blueberry plant is called the Vaccinium myrtillus and belongs to the Ericaceae family, which also includes cranberries and billberries. The blueberry plant is a shrub-like plant that grows up to 2 feet tall. It has light green stems with small, bright green leaves and pink, lantern-shaped flowers. It produces blueberry fruits in the summer between July and August.2
Blueberries Health Uses and Health Benefits
Blueberry benefits come from their high nutrition profile. Nutrition experts often consider blueberries to be a superfood because it has one of the highest contents of antioxidants. One of these important antioxidants is called resveratrol, which helps to eliminate damaging free radicals from the body. Blueberries are also a good source of vitamin K, vitamin C, manganese, fiber and copper. 1,3
Blueberries benefits for improved health include:
- Lowering dangerous levels of inflammation that leads to illness
- Boosting memory and focus by protecting neurons from toxicity
- Killing cancer cells
- Aiding in digestion by boosting healthy gut bacteria
- Protecting heart health by lowering blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels
- Healing skin damage caused by the sun
- Supporting weight loss
- Preventing diabetes by reducing insulin resistance
- Protects the eyes from sunlight damage and oxidative stress
Blueberries medicinal uses include being a natural remedy for the following conditions:
- Urinary Tract Infection - A common blueberry medicinal use is for urinary tract infections. Blueberry antioxidants help remove harmful bacteria from the urinary tract.
- Memory Loss - Blueberry antioxidants can help eliminate harmful neurotoxins that lead to memory loss.
- Cystitis - Blueberries can help reduce inflammation in the bladder that causes cystitis.
- Depression - Blueberries help to reduce body-wide inflammation, which is linked to developing low-grade depression.
Blueberries Side Effects and Precautions
Healthy consumption levels will not cause any blueberry side effects for most people. However, some people may develop adverse reactions leading to blueberry side effects like rash, bloating or constipation.4