Everyone knows blueberries are nutritious, but what's in the blueberry nutrition profile? To start with blueberries are a great source of resveratrol (our favorite). And there are lots of other great antioxidants in blueberries, too.
The worst part about blueberries is that they're so tasty in desserts. Add sugar and all that other high calorie stuff and the blueberry nutrition benefits just go away.
Like most other fruits, the little blue miracles are full of great vitamins and minerals like C, A, E and especially K. They also have calcium, protein, magnesium and copper. Blueberries are even listed as a Super Food occasionally.
What's in a Blueberry?
Blueberry Nutrition Information
A serving of blueberries is 1 cup or 148 grams
Carbohydrates 21 grams Protein 1 gram Fat 0 grams
Calories 84 grams
Blueberries are a good source of the following vitamins and minerals:
Vitamin A Vitamin C Resveratrol Folate Choline Vitamin K Potassium Calcium Phosphorus Magnesium Fiber
Blueberries contain trace amounts of the following vitamins and minerals:
Vitamin E Thiamin Riboflavin Niacin Vitamin B6 Vitamin B12 Pantothenic Acid Betaine Sodium Iron Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium
The Healthiest Blueberries
What makes blueberries healthy are the antioxidants and plant phenols. And like grapes the antioxidants and phenols produce much higher volumes in the presence of adversity. In fact the organic blueberry nutrition profile is much richer in antioxidants than their commercially grown counterparts.
Since anthocyanins and resveratrol are like antiobiotics for plants, they grow in much more abundance when the blueberries are experiencing hardship. Pesticides, chemicals and other unnatural techniques keep plants from producing these antioxidants in high volume.
So if you're seeking out the healthiest blueberries, look for organic blueberries grown in high altitude locations. You're sure to reap the benefits of the antioxidants then.
Physiological Benefits of Blueberries
You don't have to look very hard to see people advertising blueberry memory pills, arthritis drinks, and anti-aging serums. If you read these studies, make sure you truly understand how the study was conducted.
In a recent study, the University of Michigan's Cardiovascular Center put out a report that blueberries reduce belly fat and improve cardiovascular performance.
Some studies indicate blueberries prevent urinary tract infections like cranberries do. Other studies show that blueberries are great for preventing Alzheimer's Disease.
But in reality, the studies of blueberries are the same as the ones for cherries, raspberries, grapes and other antioxidant-heavy fruits. It's not the blueberry nutrition specifically, it's what the antioxidants in the blueberries do in the body.
Antioxidants in the Body
Do you know what antioxidants do? They bring to the body an extra electron. I know, this sounds like some sort of biology class. But really, molecules are made up of protons (the center), neutrons and electrons (the outer ring). What makes a molecule healthy is when it is perfectly stable or when it has an extra electron.
Molecules missing a crucial electron are called ions, or free radicals. Because they are unstable, nature makes them go out and find an electron to make them stable.
Most of the time a free radical must steal the electron which makes the victim unstable and the process starts again. You can read more about antioxidants here - but know that perfectly stable free radicals quite often donate an extra electron thereby helping to stall the damaging effects of free radicals. Author: Dan R Morris