DUBAI: Devinder Bains, personal trainer and nutrition coach at Fit Squad DXB, shares her expert advice on the superfoods that will help you lead a longer and healthier life.
It’s hard to believe that this unassuming little berry, easily available at most food stores, is one of the healthiest things you could possibly eat. Blueberries can be enjoyed on their own, in breakfast bowls, smoothies, muffins and even as garnish on your pancakes and waffles. Here are five ways they can improve your health.
We need antioxidants to protect our cells from damage, and blueberries contain more antioxidants than almost any other food. The job of antioxidants is to combat free radicals in the body, which are increased by factors such as air pollution, cigarette smoke, alcohol intake, poor diet, tissue damage, infections and excessive sunbathing. Too many free radicals can lead to damaged DNA, increasing the risk of many cancers and diseases.
Blueberries are a good source of vitamin K, which works with calcium to build strong bones. A deficiency in the vitamin can often be a sign of osteoporosis. Vitamin K is also essential in the process of blood clotting and contributes to good heart health.
Blood pressure and heart disease
The antioxidants in blueberries can also help to lower bad cholesterol, in turn making the heart’s job a little easier and lowering blood pressure. Observational studies have shown that proper intake of anthocyanins (the main antioxidants in blueberries) could reduce the risk of heart attacks by 32 percent.
The oxidative stress that free radicals cause can also affect the brain and accelerate its ageing process. Studies have shown that eating blueberries can help improve brain function in older individuals with mild cognitive impairments and can also delay mental ageing by over two years.
Blueberries have just 40 calories per half a cup. They are about 85 percent water and high in fiber and are thus great for keeping you full and staving off hunger. Studies have also shown that the anthocyanin antioxidants present in blueberries improve insulin sensitivity in obese patients and can lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes.