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The #1 best fruit you can eat for good liver health, says Dietitian

One thing you can do today to protect your liver is to eat foods that fight liver inflammation. Arguably the best fruit you can eat for good liver health is blueberries.

You’ve gotta love your liver. The body’s second-largest organ (behind your skin) works hard behind the scenes to keep you alive. You probably know that its primary function is flushing toxins out of the body, but it also processes nutrients from foods, filters the blood and metabolizes the drugs you take, stores glycogen, produces chemicals that help the blood clot, makes bile, and helps regulate blood sugar. Yes, it’s a lot.

See, your liver deserves your attention and a regular dose of the healthiest fruits for good liver health. But you’re not a heavy drinker, you say? What’s to worry about? Perhaps you’ve heard of NAFLD, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. It’s one of the leading causes of death worldwide and it affects one-quarter of the U.S. population, according to the Mayo Clinic. NAFLD is not related to alcohol consumption, but it’s characterized by liver inflammation and can lead to the same damage caused by heavy drinking—scarring of the liver known as cirrhosis.

NAFLD is a fat problem. Deposits of fat form in the liver typically due to being overweight or obese, having high blood sugar, and high triglycerides, a blood fat. Avoiding NAFLD means doing all those things that support a healthier body overall—losing weight, eating less sugar, exercising, and keeping cholesterol levels in check.

One thing you can do today to protect your liver is to eat foods that fight liver inflammation. Arguably the best fruit you can eat for good liver health is blueberries.

1. Wild Blueberries nutrition facts

Wild blueberries grow around the world, and they taste delicious. These berries are significantly smaller than their cultivated relatives, and they are much more flavorful too. They are also thought to be one of the healthiest berries.

Basic Nutrition Facts For Blueberries Per 100g

Calories: 57 kcal
Carbohydrate: 14.5 g
Fiber: 2.4 g
Sugars: 10 g
Fat: 0.3 g
Saturated Fat: 0.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1 g
Omega-3: 58 mg
Omega-6: 88 mg
Protein: 0.7 g

Vitamin K: 24% (% RDI)
Vitamin C: 16%
Vitamin B6: 3%
Vitamin E: 3%
Vitamin B1: 2%
Vitamin B2: 2%
Vitamin B3: 2%
Vitamin A: 1%
Vitamin B5: 1%
Folate: 1%

Manganese: 17% (% RDI)
Copper: 3%
Iron: 2%
Potassium: 2%
Calcium: 1%
Magnesium: 1%
Phosphorus: 1%
Zinc: 1%
Selenium: Trace amounts
Sodium: Trace amounts

Carbs: One cup of raw blueberries (148g) contains about 84 calories and 21 grams of carbohydrates. It also yields nearly 4 grams of fiber. Though a cup of blueberries contains 15 grams of total sugar, its glycemic load, which factors in how much of a particular food will raise blood sugar levels, is below 10, which is considered low.

Fats: Blueberries contain just a trace amount of fat and are cholesterol-free.

Protein: Blueberries have a minimal amount of protein. You should include other protein sources in your diet to meet your daily needs.

Vitamins and Minerals: Blueberries are a rich source of essential nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin K, and the mineral manganese, which helps the body process cholesterol and nutrients like carbohydrates and protein. Vitamin K is a key nutrient in blood clotting and healthy bones.

Calories: One cup of raw blueberries (148g) provides 84 calories, 91% of which come from carbs, 5% from protein, and 5% from fat.

Blueberries are low in calories, and they offer a good source of vitamin C, K, and manganese.

The #1 best fruit you can eat for good liver health, says Dietitian

2. The #1 Best Fruit for Your Liver, Says Dietitian

“Wild blueberries have the highest concentration of anthocyanins: a natural pigment that gives the berries that gorgeous blue hue,” says registered dietitian nutritionist Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, who is a member of the Eatthis.com medical advisory board and the author of The First Time Mom’s Pregnancy Cookbook. “Data shows that anthocyanins may counteract oxidative stress that can occur in the liver and reduce liver-related inflammation.”

Anthocyanins are found in the skins of red, purple, and blue fruits; vegetables; and cereal grains. Research shows that their content is proportional to the density of the color. So, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, cranberries, currants, and strawberries are all good sources of the antioxidant—the deeper and richer the color the better.

Manaker notes that you don’t want to consume huge bowls of blueberries. “Eating too much fruit can cause your body to consume excessive amounts of fructose, which can negatively affect the liver,” she says. But reasonable servings are fair game.

“Adding wild blueberries to your smoothie, yogurt parfait, or simply eating them on their own can be one of the best foods that you can include in your diet if you want to keep your liver health in check,” says Manaker.

3. Health Benefits of Wild Blueberries

Blueberry consumption may reduce DNA damage

DNA contains all the information our body needs to grow, develop, and stay healthy.

As a result, DNA damage can cause a wide range of problems and has links with everything from Alzheimer’s disease to melanoma skin cancer.

Interesting, some studies show that blueberry consumption may help to prevent DNA damage.

A randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial demonstrated that daily consumption of blueberries for eight weeks significantly lowered a blood biomarker of oxidative DNA damage.

In a randomized trial, one single 300-gram portion of blueberries significantly reduced (-18%) a marker of DNA damage compared to the control group.

May improve cognitive health in older adults

Some recent research demonstrates that blueberry intake could have value for improving cognitive health in older people.

In a randomized and controlled trial funded by the National Institutes of Health, older adults supplementing with blueberries had a statistically significant improvement in memory discrimination.

Also, a further clinical trial on memory in older adults gave wild blueberries as juice to participants showing early signs of dementia. After 12 weeks, there were improvements in cognitive tests, some of which were statistically significant.

Another randomized controlled trial supplied older adults with the equivalent to one cup (148 g) of fresh blueberries per day for 90 days. The participants showed positive improvements during cognitive tests after 45 and 90 days.

May lower blood pressure (in high doses)

Studies show that blueberry intake may help to lower blood pressure levels.

For example, in a randomized controlled trial of 48 participants with metabolic syndrome, “dietary achievable” doses of blueberries reduced blood pressure.

This study lasted for eight weeks and involved daily doses of 50 grams of freeze-dried blueberries, which is equivalent to about 500 grams fresh – quite a high amount.

However, after the eight weeks, the blueberry group had a significant decrease in systolic (-7.8%) and diastolic (-2.5%) blood pressure.

A further randomized controlled clinical trial in postmenopausal women with hypertension showed similar results.

This study used equivalent to approximately 250 grams of fresh berries, and daily consumption for eight weeks increased nitric oxide production and reduced blood pressure.

Fight Inflammation

Phyto (plant) components are abundant in blueberries. These include flavonoids, which are responsible for the berry’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. Blueberries also have lots of vitamin C. It acts as an antioxidant, aiding in wound healing, supporting the immune system, and providing anti-aging properties.

Reduce Heart Attack Risk

In one study, eating three or more weekly servings of berries like blueberries reduced the risk of heart attack in women by 32%. Blueberries are so beneficial in part because they’re rich in heart-healthy, filling fiber. Fiber is the indigestible part of carbohydrate that aids in satiety, regulates the bowels, helps pull cholesterol away from the heart, and helps stabilize blood sugar.

Blueberries also contain anthocyanins, antioxidants that may benefit the heart by improving blood flow and countering plaque buildup.

Source: Eatthis/Nutritionadvance!

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