The little blueberries are renowned for their antioxidant properties, but should they be?
As part of my lentil-induced health kick, I am also going mad for blueberries, and pop some in my morning smoothie every day. The dark purple-blue berry adds a certain degree of sweetness to the powders and greens I also pop in my smoothies.
But I am adding it for no good reason? Or should I believe the hype about its powerful anti-oxidant properties?
What are antioxidants and why do we need them?
Antioxidants are needed by our bodies to keep our cells healthy and able to resist free radicals. Free radicals cause oxidative damage to our cells and cause them to degenerate. Making sure our diet is full of fresh fruit and vegetables helps to combat this process.
While most fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidant properties the blueberry is often touted as the superfood in this department. It contains high levels of Vitamin K, and people taking blood-thinning medicines should consult their doctors before consuming them.
Blueberries also contain fibre, potassium, and Vitamin C and Vitamin B6, as well as folate. The blue colour comes from anthocyanin, which also doubles the health benefits of the small berry.
Blueberries are said to help lower blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease and cancers, so it’s worth popping some in your shopping trolley next time.