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Health and Nutritional Benefits of the Blueberry

Blueberries are nutritious in much the same was as other fruits and vegetables. They contain a large amount of different vitamins and minerals, many of which in large quantities. They contain very little fat, sodium or cholesterol and at the same time provide a very sweet flavor with very few calories. The blueberry is native to North America, but is now grown almost everywhere in the world. Because of this, it is a readily available and inexpensive fruit.

One of the leading nutritional benefits of blueberries is their use as a sugar substitute. Similar to bananas and strawberries, the blueberry is a great way to add a sweet flavor to many foods without the need for refined sugar and the problems associated with it. Blueberries are commonly used in cereals, baked goods and even pancakes to increase flavor and sweetness, but at the same time the blueberry increases the nutritional value to whatever they are added.

Blueberries contain a large variety of vitamins and minerals. Some of the vitamins found in good quantities include vitamin A, vitamin B6 and B12, vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin K. Blueberries also contain many minerals including zinc, potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper and selenium. Nearly every function in the body requires these vitamins and minerals, so it is easy to see how replacing the sweetness of table sugar with the sweetness of blueberries will greatly increase the nutritional value of the food.

Blueberries contain a large number of antioxidants, including vitamins A,C,E and K, which have been shown to have a huge number of health benefits. Antioxidants are chemicals that neutralize free radicals and prevent them from damaging cells and causing other problems in the body. Free radicals are compounds that are responsible for causing most types of cancer by interfering with cellular division. The antioxidants found in blueberries also prevent free radicals from causing the death of brain cells, which leads to Alzheimer’s disease. And finally, antioxidants prevent cholesterol from forming plaques inside arteries, which leads to atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.

There are many nutritional benefits of blueberries, not the least of which is it’s ability to replace sugar as a sweetener. Like most fruits, blueberries contain a large amount of vitamins and minerals as well as dietary fiber which all help to increase the health of an individual. The blueberry also contains a large number of antioxidants which reduces the risk of many of the leading causes of death in the world, including cancer and cardiovascular disease.