Highway 6: Blueberries produce huge health benefits

Updated: Jun. 14, 2019 at 5:00 AM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - They’re the main ingredient for delicious desserts. Nothing satisfies a sweet tooth like a scrumptious blueberry cobber or blueberry pie. Blueberries are the base of many sweet treats. While they may be high in calories, the actual berry is not.

“Two cups of blueberries only contain 168 calories,” says Melody Kyzer, a nutrition consultant at Pender Memorial Hospital.

The low calorie content is just one of several reasons the little berry produces big health benefits. Blueberries are extremely high in antioxidants.

“There are basically unstable chemicals in compounds in the environment called free radicals and they cause oxidation, which is a fancy word for saying they basically work to destroy and weaken your cells,” says Kyzer. "Blueberries come in and prevent that oxidation from occurring, so they truly are nature’s superfood.”

The benefits don’t stop there. Kyzer says blueberries are high in potassium and vitamin C and are considered a good source to prevent heart disease.

“Blueberries can actually help lower your blood pressure,” Kyzer says. “They’ve actually done research and people who ate blueberries once a day had a two to six percent decrease in their blood pressure on a daily basis. They prevent the bad cholesterol that you ingest from sticking to the side of your arteries and giving you heart disease. There’s even some new research that suggest blueberries may help blood sugar control for diabetics.”

Blueberries primarily consist of 14% carbohydrates, 84% water, and small amounts of protein and fat. They also provide close to 4 grams of fiber.

Blueberries are considered one of the healthiest foods making the berry a top choice for doctors and nutritionists.

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