Berries truly are Mother Nature’s gifts to mankind. We’ve discussed the amazing properties of elderberries and now you’ll see how blueberries are remarkable in their own right! Here are a few reasons why blueberries should be a part of your Active Wellness regimen:
1. They’re low in calories but high in nutrient value. That means the blueberry is one of the most nutrient-dense berries. One cup of blueberries contain about 80+ calories and 4 grams of fiber, 24% of the RDI for Vitamin C, 36% of the RDI for Vitamin K and 24% of the RDI for manganese. Many fruit-restrictive diets allow for berries to be incorporated in moderation.1
2. Known as “king of antioxidant foods,” the blueberry contains large amounts of flavonoids. Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants with anti-inflammatory and immune system benefits.2
3. People continue to search for the fountain of youth, but aging is an inevitable part of living. Oxidative DNA damage is unavoidable and believed to occur tens of thousands of times per day in every cell of the body. It is part of the reason we age and plays a role in the development of disease. Although there’s no such thing as perennial youth, why not slow down the aging process? Because blueberries are high in antioxidants, they can help neutralize some of the free radicals that damage our DNA. In one study, 168 people drank 34 ounces (1 liter) of mixed blueberry and apple juice daily. After four weeks, oxidative DNA damage due to free radicals was reduced by 20%.3
4. Blueberries are a heart-healthy food because antioxidants are strongly linked to reduced levels of oxidized LDL,4 the bad cholesterol that helps cause heart disease. In one study a daily 2-ounce (50 gram) serving of blueberries lowered LDL oxidation by 27% in obese people.5 Another study determined that eating 2.5 ounces (75 grams) of blueberries with a main meal significantly reduced the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. 6
5. Blueberry consumption may help lower blood pressure. In an 8-week study, obese people who had a high risk of heart disease noted a 4 -6% reduction in blood pressure after consuming 2 ounces (50 grams) of blueberries per day. 7
6. Eating blueberries regularly may help maintain brain function and improve memory. Oxidative stress can accelerate brain’s aging process, negatively affecting brain function. Antioxidants in blueberries appear to benefit aging neurons, leading to improvements in cell signaling. In one study, 9 older adults with mild cognitive impairment consumed blueberry juice daily. After 12 weeks, they experienced improvements in several markers of brain function.8
7. Research suggests that the anthocyanins (the compounds that give the fruit its blue color) in blueberries may have beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism. Blueberries provide moderate amounts of sugar compared to other fruits, with about 15 grams of sugar per cup, equivalent to a small apple or large orange. The bioactive compounds appear to outweigh any negative impact of the sugar when it comes to blood sugar control. These anti-diabetes effects appear to occur with both blueberry juice and extract. 9
8. Blueberries may help reduce muscle damage after strenuous exercise. They are believed to help lessen the damage that occurs at the molecular level, minimizing soreness and reduced muscle performance. The soreness and fatigue after exercise is due partly to local inflammation and oxidative stress to the muscle tissue. In a small study of 10 female athletes, blueberries accelerated muscle recovery after strenuous leg exercises. 10
At Nikken, there’s a wonderful way to make a shake that has a substantial amount of blueberries, because the berries are integrated into a superfruit juice concentrate. Simply incorporate a serving of Kenzen Super Ciaga® into your Kenzen Vital Balance® Meal Replacement Mix with PiMag® water. Both chocolate and vanilla KVB are delicious with Super Ciaga® mixed in—it’s like dessert in the form of a smoothie. Or, mix an ounce of Kenzen Super Ciaga with seltzer water to replace soda with a world of good.
Take advantage of our special on chocolate Kenzen Vital Balance® at 33% discount—Get 3 for the price of 2!