Blueberries are more than a healthy snack to add to your diet, although that’s reason enough to add them anyway. These small, flavorful fruits are some of the richest vitamin sources anywhere in nature. Every berry is packed with essential compounds that improve any mealtime.
But what makes them such a dietary powerhouse? Well, let’s start with an underrated quality of nutrition – convenience.
Blueberries – the easiest way to level up your diet
Fresh blueberries are refreshing and sweet when you need an afternoon pick-me-up. Frozen ones aren’t just an affordable option on a tight budget, either. They can be stored for longer without losing any nutritional benefits, and they’re easier to find out of season for the perfect smoothie ingredient
However you prefer, there’s a way to get all the benefits you need from one serving.
Blueberries are so nutrient-dense that you can hold a quarter of your daily needs in the palm of your hand. 1 cup of blueberries contains about 25% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) of Vitamin C and manganese. That goes up to 36% for Vitamin K.
An organic way to add sweetness
For all those nutrients, they’re just as low in the compounds you might be trying to limit. Blueberries are low fat and low calorie and have zero cholesterol. Like all fruit, most of the carbohydrates are in the form of natural sugars.
Fructose and glucose aren’t necessarily healthier than added sugars – the body absorbs them all the same way for the most part. However, the source of these sugars is worth noting for two reasons.
Firstly, the concentration. As a heavily refined sweetener, granulated sugar is one of the purest forms you can find it in. There’s up to 99.8g of total sugar per 100g of it. Blueberries, on the other hand, only contain 10g of total sugar per 100g serving, and they’re 85% water.
Secondly, blueberries offer sweetness with all the other health benefits of eating fresh produce. They give you the sugar you need for quick energy while adding fiber and micronutrients to your diet.
You may not want to stir blueberry juice into your morning coffee, but a cup of berries can help curb sugar cravings throughout the day.
Health benefits of blueberry fruit
That covers the main reasons to pick up blueberries next time you’re in the produce section. Now let’s look at what they can do for you once you’ve enjoyed a serving.
All the nutrients mentioned above aren’t just good for one of two things. They offer complementary effects that boost your overall health in ways you can feel. As much as we love the taste and convenience of blueberries, their properties are what make them so popular and beneficial.
These are by far the best ones.
Rich in antioxidants
In general, berries are known for the high levels of antioxidants they provide. Blueberries are among the richest source of any fruit group or superfood. Most of these antioxidants come in the form of flavonoids, and we can thank one in particular for many of the benefits we feel.
Anthocyanin is the compound that gives blueberries their distinctive color and antioxidant properties. Highbush blueberries – the varieties most of us eat – contain the highest amount of anthocyanins, which play a key role in heart and brain function.
Vitamin C is one of those essential compounds that give blueberries their reputation as a superfood. Not only is it a powerful immune booster – it’s great for your skin too. Vitamin C is key to producing the most abundant protein in the body, collagen, which gives skin its elasticity and structure.
Collagen’s effect on our skin also helps reduce visible wrinkles while improving blood flow. As an antioxidant, the Vitamin C in blueberries neutralizes free radicals too. This protects the skin from oxidative stress that damages cells.
Free radicals aren’t the only thing that causes oxidative stress in the body. High cholesterol has the same effect when it's oxidized. Specifically, LDL cholesterol is the type we associate with risks to cardiovascular health.
It's a good thing that blueberries are packed with antioxidants that reduce LDL oxidation, protecting the entire system. Oxidative damage is one of the main risk factors associated with heart disease, so reducing LDL means staying healthier for longer.
Managing blood pressure and sugar levels
High blood pressure is another risk factor that needs to be managed. It puts incredible strain on the heart while damaging the vessels that circulate blood through the body. The polyphenols in blueberries have fantastic cardio-protective effects that help lower blood pressure and oxidative damage.
Blueberries have a similar effect on blood sugar levels. They’re low in sugar compared to refined sweeteners but play a proactive role in blood sugar control too. Anthocyanins have anti-diabetic properties that improve glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity.
Supporting brain function
Oxidative stress impacts every organ, including the brain. Damage to these cells can accelerate the mental effects of aging like declining memory. The flavonoids and polyphenols in blueberries have shown an ability to improve brain function while slowing cognitive decline.
These compounds don’t just pass through with circulation, either. When eaten over sustained periods, they accumulate in the brain for long-term benefits to the cell structure and signaling system.
Even if you weren’t aware of oxidative stress before, you’ve probably felt it after a hard gym session. Strenuous exercise creates lactic acid buildup, which causes inflammation in muscle tissue.
The lactic acid and low-oxygen environment are what make muscles feel sore and weak for days after. Blueberries are a great way to combat high oxidation, which can reduce inflammation and help muscles recover faster.
One of nature’s best supplements
Blueberries are the closest thing to a perfect fruit anywhere in nature. They’re tasty, nutritious, and high in beneficial compounds that support good health. That’s why they’re one of the 20+ greens in Nature’s Sustenance – our 100% plant-based supplement for mental clarity and daily energy.