Slowing down the aging process also extends to your diet, and eating the right things plays an integral role in helping you look and feel young.
Experts have been searching for the proverbial fountain of youth for generations, and at one point, looking young meant resigning yourself to expensive cosmetics, botox, or plastic surgery. As science continues to progress, dietitians have found that the amount of sleep you get each night, the exercise you do during the day, and the amount of water you drink all play into how many wrinkles and age lines you keep at bay.
Slowing down the aging process also extends to your diet, and eating the right things plays an integral role in helping you look and feel young. There may not be one superfood out there that can work miracles but one particular fruit gets pretty close: Blueberries.
Blueberries are the all-purpose berry: They’re reasonably priced, beautifully colored, delicious, and ideal for eating by themselves as a snack or in cereal, smoothies, salads, muffins, or pies. They are known as a superfood because they are highly nutritious, containing lots of powerful antioxidants.
Blueberries are found in most grocery stores, wild or cultivated, either frozen or fresh. They are a low-glycemic source of carbohydrates and packed full of nutrients.
Blueberry Nutrition Facts
One cup of raw blueberries (148g) provides 84 calories, 1g of protein, 21g of carbohydrates, and 0.5g of fat. Blueberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese. The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA.
Vitamin C: 14.4mg
One cup of raw blueberries 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.
Blueberries contain just a trace amount of fat and are cholesterol-free.
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.
One cup of raw blueberries (148g) provides 84 calories, 91% of which come from carbs, 5% from protein, and 5% from fat.
“Blueberries are a nutrition powerhouse and high in the antioxidants vitamins A and C, and anthocyanin,” Lisa Young, PhD, RDN, author of Finally Full, Finally Slim, says.
The antioxidants locked inside this particular berry hold the secret to looking and feeling younger and can go a long way towards doing a ton of good for your body.
“These antioxidants help to prevent inflammation and protect the body from oxidation which can lead to aging and disease,” Dr. Young continues. “They also help to protect the skin from damage due to oxidation, stress, and everyday living.”
Science continues to uncover more and more secrets locked away in this fruit as time goes on. According to a study published in Mutagenesis, the root of aging stems back to damage that your DNA takes on over the course of one’s life. A study in the European Journal of Nutrition found that blueberries not only prevent DNA damage, but they might also help prevent cancer and other forms of illness that relate to DNA mutation and destruction. You don’t even have to eat fresh blueberries—scientists discovered in the same study that the freeze-dried version of the fruit holds the same benefits.
Another study found in Life Extension Magazine backed up these findings and discovered that the fruit may also have the ability to extend lifespans and keep your brain healthier thanks to its massive antioxidant load per serving.
Health Benefits Of Blueberry
Blueberries have been shown to help maintain memory and prevent cognitive decline. One small study showed that people who regularly drank blueberry juice had improved performance on memory tests (and also decreased symptoms of depression). A much larger, long-term study, published in 2012, credited berries for delaying cognitive aging by as much as two and a half years.
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.
Decrease Cancer Risk
Some research suggests that eating foods with anthocyanins may also help to fend off cancer. Anthocyanins are a type of flavonoid, and they are found in brightly colored fruits and vegetables including blueberries.