7 Benefits of Blueberries When Taken Regularly

Written: June 23, 2022 | Updated on June 25th, 2022 | Jun P. Espina | 11 min read

The 7 Benefits of Blueberries When Consumed Daily

The benefits of blueberries may include degenerative health issues like heart diseases, metabolic syndrome (e.g. diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.), impaired immune function, neurological (Alzheimer’s, dementia) disorders, poor cognitive function (memory loss), fatigue, eyesight issues, obesity, and cancer.

Blueberries are known to contain potent phytonutrients (plant chemicals) with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and other properties essential in boosting our DNA and immune health. Powerful anthocyanins represent the major red, purple, and violet pigment in many plants and fruits and the purplish deep-blue skin in blueberries.

Flavonoid is a type of polyphenol, and anthocyanin is a type of flavonoid, the sister of carotenoid in the family of potent antioxidants. Without antioxidants (like Vitamins A, C, E, Carotenoids, Flavonoids, etc.) the body cannot exist healthily because of the attacks of free radicals (or abnormal cells) that damage the body’s DNA, proteins, lipids, cell membranes, etc.

Wrote Wilhelmina Kalt, et al. on the benefits of Blueberries: “Blueberries contain a large number of phytochemicals, including abundant anthocyanin pigments. Of their various phytochemicals, anthocyanins probably make the greatest impact on blueberry health functionality. Epidemiological studies associate regular, moderate intake of blueberries and/or anthocyanins with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, death, and type 2 diabetes, and with improved weight maintenance and neuroprotection.” [1]

The Benefits of Blueberries Cover Their Health Role in Chronic Diseases

benefits of blueberries

Luyao Ma, Zhenghai Sun, et al. also confirmed that “Blueberry is rich in flavonoids (mainly anthocyanidins), polyphenols (procyanidin), phenolic acids, pyruvic acid, chlorogenic acid, and others, which have anticancer, anti-obesity, prevent degenerative diseases, anti-inflammation, protective properties for vision and liver, prevent heart diseases, antidiabetes, improve brain function, protective lung properties, strong bones, enhance immunity, prevent cardiovascular diseases, and improve cognitive decline. The anthocyanins and polyphenols in blueberry are major functional ingredients for preventive chronic disease. These results support findings that blueberry may be one of the best functional fruits, and further reveals the mechanisms of anthocyanins and polyphenols in the health role of blueberry for chronic disease.” [Emphasis supplied.] [2]

Table 1: Illustrates the Functional Ingredients for Preventive Chronic Disease in Blueberry.

Chronic Disease Functional Components
Anticancer Anthocyanins, phenolic acids, pyruvic acid, pterostilbene
Anti-obesity Anthocyanins, polyphenols
Prevent degenerative diseases Anthocyanins, chlorogenic acid, polyphenols
Anti-inflammation Anthocyanins, phenolic acids, flavonoids
Protective vision Anthocyanins, polyphenols
Protective liver Anthocyanins, polyphenols
Prevent heart diseases Anthocyanins, procyanidin, polyphenols
Antidiabetes Anthocyanins, polyphenols
Improve brain Anthocyanins, phenolics
Protective lung Anthocyanins
Strong bones Anthocyanins
Enhance immunity Polysaccharide, polyphenols
Prevent cardiovascular diseases (heart and blood vessels) Phenolic acids, flavonoid
Improve cognitive decline Polyphenols

[▸ Source of Table 1]

1. May Help Keep Your Heart Healthy

We find in Table 1 that the functional ingredients in blueberry for heart disease are anthocyanins, procyanidin, polyphenols, and cardiovascular diseases (heart disease and those issues affecting the blood vessels), phenolic acids, and flavonoids. These nutrients and phytochemicals found in blueberries are understood in layman’s terms easily if we factor in polyphenols—the biggest group of phytochemicals—contained in this superfood.

Polyphenols are antioxidants phytochemicals from which flavonoids are a member of the polyphenol family, and anthocyanin, a type of flavonoids.

Polyphenols give the plant color, taste, and protective layers against diseases, and pests, and “help protect them in many different ways.” The four main types of polyphenols are (1) lignans (e.g. seeds); (2) stilbenes (e.g. dark chocolate, red wine); (3) phenolic acids (e.g. cinnamon, clove, oregano); and flavonoids (e.g. wine, green tea, many fruits and vegetables). [3]

One study shows the activities of blueberries in reducing the risk elements for cardiovascular disease. A cup of these fruits (or 150 grams) daily proves to work by up to 15 percent. [4]

•  The Benefits of Blueberries Come from Different Nutrients and Phytochemicals.

1. Flavonoids. Berries are rich in polyphenols. One of the two general classes of polyphenols (out of over 8000 types identified) is flavonoids. The other major class is phenolic acids. [5] They are “involved in defense against ultraviolet radiation, various environmental pollutants, and pathogens.” [6] Flavonoids are a “very diverse group of phytonutrients.” Anthocyanins are a subclass of Blueberry flavonoids that have a ton of health benefits for human beings.

2. Anthocyanins. “Anthocyanin isolates and anthocyanin-rich mixtures of bioflavonoids” and the activities of polyphenols work together to potentiate blueberry’s health benefits. Anthocyanins have antioxidant, anti-viral, and other properties. [7, 8]

The benefits of blueberry anthocyanins “include anticancer, anti-obesity, prevent degenerative diseases, anti-inflammation, protective vision, protective liver, prevent heart diseases, antidiabetes, improve brain, and protective lung.” [9]

•  The Benefits of Blueberries Come from Very Potent Antioxidants.

1. Free Radical Scavengers. Anthocyanins are used in a variety of nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, medicinal and cosmetic applications. These plant compounds are subdivided into different subgroups, which are: “flavones, flavonols, flavanones, flavanonols, flavanols or catechins, anthocyanins and chalcones.” [10] Their free radical scavenging abilities qualify anthocyanins as “some of the strongest antioxidants.” [11] Blueberries contain anthocyanins richly.

2. 365 Different Anthocyanins. Wrote Dr. Axe: “Anthocyanins are a family of powerful antioxidants that fight the effects of aging and oxidative stress. To date, more than 635 different anthocyanins have been identified.” [12]

Roundup Blueberries (among other berries) have gained enormous interest from the scientific community, which resulted in the pool of research materials from different researchers globally involving the benefits of blueberries on heart health. These data, however, require more research and are not intended to replace prescription drugs.

2. Blueberries are Proven to Support Eye Health

benefits of blueberries

Eye Vitamin. Visual acuity may be improved by eating blueberries or their capsulized concentrates. Anthocyanin pigments prove to “enhance night vision or overall vision.” [13] Blueberry is second only to cloudberry for having the highest total carotenoid content among berries. “All berries had lutein but it was a predominant carotenoid in blueberry,” which is an eye vitamin. [14] Lutein and zeaxanthin carotenoids are eye-nourishing phytonutrients that reduce eye fatigue and improve night vision. The coaction of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin and the flavonoids anthocyanins proves blueberries’ health-giving benefits for eye sharpness.

Roundup Supplementing our diet with blueberries for a long period proves beneficial in ensuring excellent health.

3. May Lower the Risk of Cancer

Colon Cancer. Blueberries contain the highest content of anthocyanidins (a subclass of flavonoids), and research shows these “Berry phenolics have protective effects in relation to colon carcinogenesis.” [15] The powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities of blueberries elicited a reduction, according to research, in intestinal inflammation and colon tumorigenesis. The anthocyanins of bilberry reduced the symptom of adenomatous polyposis, “a condition characterized by multiple intestinal polyps potentially developing to carcinomas.” [16] Blueberry has higher anthocyanins than bilberry. [17]

Effective Against Carcinogenesis. Mary Ann Lila wrote that “anthocyanins have demonstrated marked ability to reduce cancer cell proliferation and to inhibit tumor formation . . . interfere with the process of carcinogenesis . . . inhibit tumorigenesis by blocking activation of a mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway. In other research, fruit extracts with significant anthocyanin concentrations proved to be effective against various stages of carcinogenesis.” [18]

Berries chemopreventive and therapeutic responses against cancer through the following mechanisms and modes of action. [19]

  • Anti-oxidative action (Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) sequestration).
  • Effects on enzymes of phase-I and -II.
  • Cell-cycle arrest.
  • Induce apoptosis (cell suicide).
  • Anti-proliferation/Anti-survival of cancer cells.
  • Anti-inflammatory action (stop cell inflammation).
  • Anti-angiogenesis (block new blood vessels for cancerous tissues).
  • Metastasis inhibition (induce cancer cell dormancy).
  • Cell adhesion and movement inhibition (check the spread of cancer).

How Do Berries Interrupt the Inflammation/Oxidative Stress Cycle?

benefits of blueberries

“Conceptual schematic representation depicting the contribution of oxidative stress and inflammation in the deregulation/disturbance of homeostatic balance in a cell, thus leading to cancer. Berries by means of their numerous constituents (synergistic action) can interrupt this vicious cycle, thereby extending protective effects against cancer.” [▸ Adapted Concept from this Source]


The Benefits of Blueberries May Include the Reduction of the Risk of Breast Cancer

Fight Breast Cancer. A recent study conducted in New Zealand proves that breast cancer’s cellular abnormalities could have been avoided or at least minimized with regular consumption of these fruits. “Women might be able to reduce the risk of breast cancer by eating more blueberries, according to a New Zealand research.” Wrote Janyawat Vuthijumnonk, “Blueberries contain phytochemicals called anthocyanins, which may be responsible for the health benefits of blueberries. They reduce free radicals in our system, decrease new blood vessel formation and increase the number of beneficial bacteria—all elements which help in the fight against breast cancer.” [20]

https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/health/health-science/article/2000201652/researchers-say-a-blueberry-diet-can-lower-breast-cancer-risk

More Research Needed. Laboratory studies show the many phytochemicals, the powerful antioxidant compounds, and the anthocyanins stuffing blueberries that have anticancer effects and the potential for DNA damage protection. Blueberries have the properties to suppress inflammatory and oxidative processes. They inhibit cancer cell proliferation and cause apoptosis in cancer cells. Oxidative stress which results in oxidative DNA damage marks the development of different cancers. More studies are needed, though, to understand the complexities of blueberry’s role in cancer prevention.

Roundup Regular consumption of blueberries offers heaps of advantages against the aggression of cancer in the body. Volumes of scientific materials have been collected for decades about the benefits of blueberries on the threats of cancer.

4. May Help Control Blood Pressure

“Daily blueberry consumption may reduce blood pressure and arterial stiffness, which may be due, in part, to increased nitric oxide production.” [21]

The benefits of blueberries may include the lowering of high blood pressure. When your arteries are plagued with fatty deposits, your blood pressure can rise.

“Accumulating evidence indicate that blueberries have anti-hypertensive properties, which may be mainly due to its rich polyphenol content and their high antioxidant capacity.” [22]

“Daily blueberry consumption may reduce blood pressure and arterial stiffness, which may be due, in part, to increased nitric oxide production.” [23]

⚙ ⚙ ⚙

Causes of Hypertension

• Smoking
• Being overweight or obese
• Lack of physical activity
• Too much salt in the diet
• Too much alcohol consumption (more than 1 to 2 drinks per day)
• Stress
• Older age
• Genetics
• Family history of high blood pressure
• Chronic kidney disease
• Adrenal and thyroid disorders
• Sleep apnea

[▸ Source: WebMD]
Roundup A study shows the effects of blueberries on
hypertension two hours after consuming blueberry drinks. Researchers saw improvement in endothelial function, “a key factor in blood clotting and blood pressure regulation.”

5. Blueberries May Help Obesity and Diabetes

One cause of obesity is the lack of a healthy gut microbiome. Good gut bacteria feed on prebiotics from the soluble fibers we ate. Chia seeds and flaxseed are prebiotics (they feed our gut microbiome) better than any probiotic supplement given the possibility of dead lactobacillus acidophilus inside its capsules. The second cause is excess consumption of sugary food like grains (bread), soda, and fruit drinks. Third is stress, lack of exercise, no restful sleep (stage 4) during the night, and sedentary life. One author said: “Move or Die.”

Study shows that “Blueberry phytochemicals may affect gastrointestinal microflora and contribute to host health. . .. In a study with high-fat–fed rats, blueberry intake moderated the negative effects of the high-fat diet on inflammation and insulin signaling and also led to modification of the gut microbiota.” [24]

The Benefits of Blueberries May Include the Lowering of the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

“Blueberries are a rich source of polyphenols, which include anthocyanin bioactive compounds. Epidemiological evidence indicates that incorporating blueberries into the diet may lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2DM). These findings are supported by pre-clinical and clinical studies that have shown improvements in insulin resistance (i.e., increased insulin sensitivity) after obese and insulin-resistant rodents or humans consumed blueberries.” [25]

Roundup Wrote Amanda Penn in 2019, “More than two-thirds of American adults are overweight, and one-third are obese, and this isn’t just a problem for adults. Obesity in children is on the rise as well. Of children ages 6 to 11, 18% are overweight, and of children ages 12 to 19, 21% are overweight. A further 15% are at risk of becoming overweight.” [26]

The most obese country, according to WHO in 2020, is Nauro (10,000 population near Papua New Guinea) and the problem is an unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle. Wrote Jannette Aguirre: “The obesity and overweight problem found in Nauru may be because of the lack of proper nutrition in Nauruan’s diets. Many of their diets consist of white rice, instant noodles, imported Westernized foods and soda with very little fruits and vegetables.” [27] The mention of “Westernized foods” (plus the American obesity epidemic!) speaks volumes.

6. May Reduce Cognitive Decline

In Table 1, we pointed out the polyphenols (the family of flavonoids and anthocyanins) in blueberries as one antioxidant phytochemical that helps boost cognitive function. The declining memory retention that we experienced as we age may be curbed by eating this super fruit regularly. It is a part of the benefits of blueberries.

“Blueberries,” reported Robert Krikorian, et al., “contain polyphenolic compounds, most prominently anthocyanins, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. In addition, anthocyanins have been associated with increased neuronal signaling in brain centers mediating memory function as well as improved glucose disposal, benefits that would be expected to mitigate neurodegeneration. We investigated the effects of daily consumption of wild blueberry juice in a sample of nine older adults with early memory changes. At 12 weeks, we observed improved paired associate learning (p = 0.009) and word list recall (p = 0.04). In addition, there were trends suggesting reduced depressive symptoms (p = 0.08) and lower glucose levels (p = 0.10).” [28]

Roundup They said, “Dementia can be your OMG moment.” (OMG, do I have dementia?) What is it? It is your impaired ability to remember or think, and it interferes with your daily life. Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia. Sugar and lack of movement are the common causes of this disorder. When the body’s insulin is not performing efficiently, the liver becomes fatty, and it can cause an abnormal rise in blood sugar levels. The brain uses sugar in your body for energy. The abnormal blood sugar in your system disrupts the normal functions of the brain. Blueberry may help slow down dementia and improve brain health. [29]

7. May Help Boost the Immune System

In Table 1, we wrote about the “functional ingredients” that mark the benefits of blueberries. The natural antioxidant properties of these super fruits (namely: the polyphenols, flavonoids, anthocyanins, and their related synergistic nutrients and chemical compounds) can stabilize harmful molecules in the body known as free radicals (or molecules having unpaired electrons).

Free radicals cause illness and aging.

These free radicals are abnormal cells (highly reactive and unstable molecules) that damage normal cells in the body. Inhalation of toxins like tobacco smoke, for example, can trigger a free-radical attack on your healthy cells (or those having paired electrons). Consuming blueberries regularly may help subdue free-radical attacks (or the “stealing” of electrons from healthy cells).

The Benefits of Blueberries Hinged on the Highly Powerful Antioxidants They Contain

Eating antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruits like blueberries is essential in extending one’s healthspan.

“Exposure to UV light, cigarette smoke, and other environmental pollutants also increases the body’s free radical burden. The harmful activities of free radicals are associated with damage to membranes, enzymes, and DNA. The ability of antioxidants to destroy free radicals protects the structural integrity of cells and tissues.” [30]

Roundup Consuming blueberries regularly helps boost our body’s defense mechanism or immune system on which our survival depends on. Without a strong immune system, our bodies could not fight harmful cells (cancers), viruses, bacteria, and parasites (eg. worms). Our self-defense system “involves many types of cells, organs, proteins, and tissues.” One of the benefits of blueberries (regularly consumed) includes the supercharging of our immune mechanisms.
Evidence-Based Article

⚙ ⚙ ⚙

DISCLAIMER

THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE.
The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Notes

Ref. Numbers 1-10

1) Wilhelmina Kalt, et al. “Recent Research on the Health Benefits of Blueberries
and Their Anthocyanins.” National Library of Medicine. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31329250/ (accessed June 24, 2022).
2) Luyao Ma, et al. “Molecular Mechanism and Health Role of Functional Ingredients in Blueberry for Chronic Disease in Human Beings.” National Library of Medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6164568/ (accessed June 24, 2022).
3) Gundry MD Team. “Break Down of Polyphenols: What Are They & What Do They Do?.” GUNDRY MD. https://gundrymd.com/what-are-polyphenols/ (accessed June 24, 2022).
4) University of East Anglia. “Eating blueberries every day improves heart health.” ScienceDaily. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/05/190530101221.htm (accessed June 24, 2022).
5) Manuwar Abbas, et al. “Natural polyphenols: An overview.” Taylor & Francis Online. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10942912.2016.1220393 (accessed June 24, 2022).
6) Mary Ann Lila. “Anthocyanins and Human Health: An In Vitro Investigative Approach.” PubMed Central. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1082894/ (accessed June 24, 2022).
7) Correa-Betanzo J, et al. “Stability and biological activity of wild blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) polyphenols during simulated in vitro gastrointestinal digestion.” PubMed Central. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25038707 (accessed June 24, 2022).
8) Cathy Wong. “What Are Anthocyanins?” verywellhealth. https://www.verywellhealth.com/the-scoop-on-anthocyanins-89522 (accessed June 24, 2022).
9) Luyao Ma. Ibid.
10) A. N. Panche, et al. “Flavonoids: an overview.” PubMed Central. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5465813/ (accessed June 24, 2022).

Ref. Numbers 11-20

11) Hock Eng Khoo, et al. “Molecular Mechanism and Health Role of Functional Ingredients in Blueberry for Chronic Disease in Human Beings.” PubMed Central. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6164568/ (accessed June 24, 2022).
12) Jillian Levy, CHHC. “Anthocyanin Benefits the Brain, Eyes & Immune System.” Dr. Axe https://draxe.com/nutrition/anthocyanin/ (accessed June 24, 2022).
13) Mary Ann Lila. Ibid.
14) Katya A Lashmanova, et al. “Northern berries as a source of carotenoids.” ResearchGate. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/221716537_Northern_berries_as_a_source_of_carotenoids (accessed June 25, 2022).
15) Aleksandra S. Kristo, et al. “Protective Role of Dietary Berries in Cancer.” PubMed Central. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5187535/ (accessed June 25, 2022).
16) Aleksandra S. Kristo, et al. Ibid.
17) Deividas Burdulis, et al. “Comparative study of anthocyanin composition, antimicrobial and antioxidant activity in bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) and blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) fruits.” National Library of Medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19702172 (accessed June 25, 2022).
18) Mary Ann Lila. Ibid.
19) Aleksandra S. Kristo, et al. Ibid.
20) Xinhua. “Researchers say a blueberry diet can lower breast cancer risk.” The Standard. https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/health/health-science/article/2000201652/researchers-say-a-blueberry-diet-can-lower-breast-cancer-risk (accessed June 25, 2022).

Ref. Numbers 21-30

21) Sarah A Johnson, et al. “Daily blueberry consumption improves blood pressure and arterial stiffness in postmenopausal women with pre- and stage 1-hypertension: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial.” National Library of Medicine. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25578927/ (accessed June 25, 2022).
22) Rami S Najjar et al. “Blueberry Polyphenols Increase Nitric Oxide and Attenuate Angiotensin II-Induced Oxidative Stress and Inflammatory Signaling in Human Aortic Endothelial Cells.” National Library of Medicine. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35453301/ (accessed June 25, 2022).
23) Johnson SA, Figueroa A, et al. “Lower Blood Pressure with Blueberries.” WorldHealth.Net. https://www.worldhealth.net/news/lower-blood-pressure-blueberries/ (accessed June 25, 2022).
24) Wilhelmina Kalt, et al. Ibid.
25) April J Stull. “Blueberries’ Impact on Insulin Resistance and Glucose Intolerance.” National Library of Medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5187542/ (accessed June 25, 2022).
26) Amanda Penn. “Why Are Americans So Fat? 4 Reasons You Haven’t Considered.” SHORTFORM. https://www.shortform.com/blog/why-are-americans-so-fat/ (accessed June 25, 2022).
27) Jannette Aguirre. “5 FACTS ABOUT NAURU’S OVERWEIGHT HEALTH ISSUE.” The BorGen Project. https://borgenproject.org/5-facts-about-naurus-overweight-health-issue/ (accessed June 25, 2022).
28) Robert Krikorian, et al.. “Blueberry Supplementation Improves Memory in Older Adults.” National Library of Medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2850944/ (accessed June 25, 2022).
29) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “The Effects of Diabetes on the Brain.” CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/library/features/diabetes-and-your-brain.html (accessed June 25, 2022).
30) A Bendich. “Physiological role of antioxidants in the immune system.” National Library of Medicine. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8227682/ (accessed June 25, 2022).

About Jun P. Espina

A former educator, Jun P. Espina is a family man, author, blogger, painter, a Bible believer, a preacher, businessman, a lover of books—passionate about many things. He believes life is good when fed constantly with the biblical truth that is wiser than what most people think. Find him at Facebook,Twitter,or at www.junespina.com.


Sharing is caring!

Leave a Comment

© 2012-2022 ByThisVerse | Jun P. Espina. All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy