What Are the Health Benefits of Blueberries?

They’re called a “superfood” for a reason. Tiny-but-mighty blueberries pack a powerful punch of healthy vitamins and minerals. They’re delicious and so easy to snack on, and they’re super versatile in cooking and baking, too. Best of all, they add flavor and sweetness to your healthy diet without adding to your waistline. Read on for a list of just some of this fruit’s health benefits:

Blueberries are full of antioxidants.

The beautiful color of blueberries? That comes from anthocyanins, which are antioxidants that help protect your body from free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage your cells and contribute to premature aging and can also increase the risk of certain cancers. The antioxidants in blueberries may also help maintain healthy brain function and improve memory.

Blueberries contain fiber.

Fiber is important for the health of the digestive system and for lowering cholesterol. According to the American Heart Association, we all need about 25-30 grams of fiber per day, and many foods contain fiber, like apples, oranges, vegetables, lentils, peas, and oats. One cup of blueberries has 4 grams of fiber, which is a small portion of the daily amount, but they’re a such a tasty way to supplement your fiber intake from other sources.

Blueberries contain vitamin C.

One cup of blueberries contains 24 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. Vitamin C is proven to help protect against immune system deficiencies, eye disease, cardiovascular disease, and even wrinkles.

Blueberries contain vitamin K.

One cup of blueberries contains a whopping 36 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin K, which is needed by the body to produce prothrombin. This is an essential protein that helps regulate blood calcium levels, helps promote blood clotting, and helps support strong bones.

Blueberries contain manganese.

One cup of blueberries contains one-fourth of the daily recommended allowance of manganese. This is a mineral that the body needs in small amounts to help the brain function normally and to protect the nervous system.

Blueberries can help lower blood pressure.

High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease. In one eight-week study, obese people who had a high risk of heart disease were found to have a reduction in blood pressure after eating just 2 ounces of blueberries per day—that’s only one-fourth of a cup!

Blueberries may help fight UTIs.

It makes sense, since blueberries are related to cranberries. Both berries (and huckleberries, too) contain substances called anti-adhesives. These substances help prevent harmful bacteria like E. coli from adhering to the bladder wall.

All of these benefits… and blueberries are also low-cal!

That’s right—all of these health benefits come with a low-cal price tag. One cup of blueberries contains just 84 calories, so munch away!