Healthspan Blog

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Blueberries, antioxidants, and your health

14th April 2006

According to this blueberry health page, USDA Human Nutrition Center (HNRCA) researchers have found that blueberries have more antioxidant activity than all of the 40 other fresh fruits and vegetables they studied.

This is important because many people believe that free radicals cause all sorts of problems, from aging to cancer.  Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals. I feel that the more antioxidants I have, the healthier I’ll be.

If that’s not reason enough for you to eat more blueberries, on the page I’ve already linked to you’ll also find information on research that shows blueberries help prevent age-related memory loss (the test was done on rats, but it may help humans as well), reduce bad cholesterol, promote urinary tract health, improve eysight.

If you’re like me and you love blueberries, you’re lucky. If you’re unlike me and you want some more scientific facts, read this paper on the ORAC (some composite measure of various antioxidants) of blueberries. The most important thing I was able to gain from the paper was that you should prefer mature blueberries: “Berries harvested immediately after turning blue had lower ORAC and total anthocyanins than berries well matured that were harvested 49 days later.”

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