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The 3 Most Surprising Health Benefits Of Blueberries (They Make You Smarter, Too!)
One of the healthiest additions you can make to your diet is also one of the most delicious: blueberries! While it may be a popular and widely used flavor, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to get health benefits from eating anything with blueberries in it. Lots of confectionary goods and juices have blueberry flavoring in them, but they are also loaded with sugar, completely negating the positive effects. In order to obtain the health benefits of blueberries, it is best to eat them in their naturally occurring form.
Blueberries come in two main varieties. There are the highbush blueberries, which are the larger, more common berries most people would recognize immediately, and the smaller lowbush berries. Blueberries in the wild tend to look more like these, and have a somewhat higher concentration of nutrients. Both varieties however are very healthy.
1. Blueberries are PACKED with antioxidants
Oxidative stress on the cells is what causes the body to age, and is also linked to an increased likelihood of a wide range of diseases, including cancer. The good news is that blueberries just might be the strongest and best tasting edible defense against free radicals. While blueberries are not the only berry or fruit that is rich in antioxidants, blueberries do have more antioxidants than almost any other kind of fruit. By eating more blueberries, you are protecting your cells from oxidative stress and are essentially keeping your body younger for longer.
The primary type of antioxidants found in blueberries are flavonoids, the most potent of which is called anthocyanin. This compound is responsible for giving blueberries their dark color, and is linked to protection from free radical damage and a number of other powerful health benefits.
The antioxidants in blueberries also help protect your DNA and defend against cancer. A study published in the Oxford Journal Carcinogenesis: Integrative Cancer Research found that drinking a blend of blueberry and apple juice for just 4 weeks led to a 20 percent reduction in oxidative DNA damage in the participants.
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