Nutritional Information for Blueberries

Blueberries are one of those foods with a big antioxidant bang for its buck.  Antioxidants in blueberries that are commonly studied include anthocyanins, ellagic acid, and pterostilbene. Researchers suggest increasing blood antioxidant status may result in reduced risk of many chronic  diseases, especially cancer. So “Go-Big” on the berries!

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Blue Cure

Benefits of Blueberries

Cancer Prevention Benefits

Cancer patients eating blueberries appear to have an improved antioxidant status. When comparing certain foods, blueberries tend to be a major source of antioxidants in the diet. Having tons of antioxidants cruising through the blood is advantageous for both cancer prevention and survival. Blueberries have a known impact on enhancing immunity. They help boost the action of natural killer (NK) cells – the body’s first line of defense against cancer cells (Note: black pepper and cardamom have also been shown to boost NK activity). Some studies have shown NK cells can increase from roughly 2 billion to 4 billion cells in runners eating 1.5 cups of blueberries a day for 6 weeks.

Men's Health Benefits

Men eating flavonoid-rich foods like blueberries may help prevent erectile dysfunction. Blueberries have also been found to slow cognitive decline. It appears the anthocyanins in berries are protective against the aging process. Blueberries may even help reduce blood pressure and arterial stiffness. Adding ½ cup of blueberries to the diet every day can only help counter disease risk.

Ways to Use Blueberries

  • Put on top of oatmeal or mix in overnight oats.
  • Enjoy plain on their own.
  • Add frozen blueberries to smoothies or top off banana ice “cream.”
  • Put on top of whole wheat toast with all natural, no sugar added nut or seed butter.
  • Spice-up salads by adding blueberries, lemon juice, and chopped nuts.
  • Mix fresh blueberries into grain salads, such as quinoa or bulgur.
Resources for Blueberries

“Foods that Fight Cancer” from AICR: Blueberries

Nutrition Facts: www.NutritionFacts.org

Physicians Committee: http://www.pcrm.org/health/reports/applying-the-precautionary-principle-to-cancer

USDA Nutrient Database: Blueberries 

Citations
  1. Cassidy A, Franz M, Rimm EB. Dietary flavonoid intake and incidence of erectile dysfunction. Am J Clin Nutr. 2016;103(2):534-41.
  2. Lee GY, Lee JJ, Lee SM.  Antioxidant and Anticoagulant Status Were Improved by Personalized Dietary Intervention Based on Biochemical and Clinical Parameters in Cancer Patients. Nutr Cancer. 2015;67(7):1083-92.
  3. Devore E, Kang J, Breteler M, Grodstein F. Dietary intakes of berries and flavonoids in relation to cognitive decline. Ann. Neurol. 2012;72(1):135 -143.
  4. Seeram N. Recent trends and advances in berry health benefits research. J. Agric. Food. Chem. 2010;58(7):3869-70.
  5. Seeram N. Berry fruits for cancer prevention: Current status and future prospects. J. Agric. Food. Chem. 2008;56(3):630-635.
  6. McAnulty L, Nieman D, Dumke C, et al. Effect of blueberry ingestion on natural killer cell counts, oxidative stress, and inflammation prior to and after 2.5 H of running. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2011;36(6):976 – 984.
  7. Caligiuri M. Human natural killer cells. Blood 2008 112(3):461 – 469.
  8. Cappello P, Novelli F, Forni G, Giovarelli M. Death receptor ligands in tumors. J. Immunother. 2002:25(1):1-15.
  9. Amagase H, Sun B, Nance D. Immunomodulatory effects of a standardized Lycium barbarum fruit juice in Chinese older healthy human subjects. J Med Food. 2009 12(5):1159 – 1165.
  10. Majdalawieh A, Carr R. In vitro investigation of the potential immunomodulatory and anti-cancer activities of black pepper (Piper nigrum) and cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum). J Med Food. 2010;13(2):371 – 381.
  11. McAnulty LS, Collier SR, Landram MJ, et al. Six weeks daily ingestion of whole blueberry powder increases natural killer cell counts and reduces arterial stiffness in sedentary males and females. Nutr Res. 2014;34(7):577-84.
  12. Kay CD, Holub BJ. The effect of wild blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) consumption on postprandial serum antioxidant status in human subjects. Br J Nutr. 2002 Oct;88(4):389-98.
  13. Johnson SA, Arjmandi BH. Evidence for anti-cancer properties of blueberries: a mini-review. Anticancer Agents Med Chem. 2013;13(8):1142-8.

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