Science tells us that the darker the food, the higher the antioxidant level. Antioxidants are to the body, the way rust-proof works on a car – they have the ability to mop up free radicals and keep you looking younger, longer. Thus, dark foods with a purple pigment such as blueberries, are known for having amazing healing powers.
Here are some reasons why you should run out and buy some wild blueberries:
1. Blueberries can ease the pain of arthritis: Molecules in blueberries provide the building blocks for an antioxidant known as SOD, superoxide dismutase. SOD is important in disarming the most harmful of free radicals our bodies (1) – specifically the nasty free radicals that like to break down the synovial fluid that lubricates our joints.
2. Blueberries improve your memory: Research shows that flavanoids in blueberries decrease the risk of age-related memory decline by protecting the area of the brain that houses memory. Kaempferol is a specific flavanoid shown to exercise protection of neural tissue and may be helpful in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. (2)
3. Blueberries are packed with pectin, a great soluble fibre: Science shows that pectin has an effect on cardiovascular health (3) by preventing the thickening of arterial walls. It is the thickening of arteries along with plaque build-up that makes arteries narrow, which affects blood pressure and eventually leads to cardiovascular disease.
4. Blueberries are an excellent source of manganese: We need very little quantities of this mineral so we always get it from our food, but the small amounts do a big job! Manganese is necessary for bone growth and synthesis of new bone in growing children. (4) It can also aid in repairing bones in cases of damage such as a break or fracture.
5. Blueberries are a great source of the always wonderful vitamin C: Blueberries can help our bodies resist the physical signs of ageing such as wrinkles and saggy skin as Vitamin C is extremely important in the synthesis of collagen (5) – the connective tissue that gives our skin its youthful elasticity.