If it isn’t a chocolate muffin, it’s likely a blueberry muffin. A delicious treat and a slightly healthier option than its cocoa-based partner, the blueberry muffin plays host to one of the most nutrient-dense foods available. While a muffin may not necessarily be the best way to do so, barring an allergy, adding blueberries to your diet can see significant improvements in several health markers.
Blueberries are famed for their antioxidant content. Antioxidants are essential to many crucial health markers, including longevity and aging. In the body, antioxidants remove and regulate the amount of free-radicals in the body. Free radicals will attack healthy cells in search of electrons. They will look to draw them from absolutely anywhere. This leads to the degradation of healthy cells which leads to cell aging. It is essential to consume antioxidant-rich foods to keep free-radical levels low.
When free radicals damage cells, they cause oxidative damage to your DNA. This DNA damage is known to cause aging, but also to contribute to your risk of cancer. One study found that increased consumption of blueberries saw a reduction in DNA damage of 20%. By reducing the amount of DNA damage your body experiences, you are reducing your risk of exposure to cancer.
Blueberries have also been shown to have a significant positive impact on levels of oxidation of LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol. Oxidation of LDL cholesterol is part of the process that leads to heart disease. A 2 ounce daily serving of blueberries has been shown to reduce oxidation by 27%. Consuming the same amount of blueberries was also shown to lower blood pressure by 4-6% over eight weeks.
Oxidative stress caused by free-radicals accelerates the aging process in the brain. This has a significant effect on your brain’s ability to function. Animal studies have also shown that the antioxidants in blueberries can have a significant positive impact on intelligence. They have also been shown to produce improvement in the brains of older adults diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment. One study found a delay in mental aging of up to 2.5 years in older people.
Reduced Muscle Damage
Exercise causes muscle stress and damage. Oxidative stress and inflammation are partly to blame. One study found that, in female athletes who had undergone strenuous leg exercises, blueberry supplementation resulted in improved muscle recovery rates leading to improved performance and a reduction in recovery time.
As with any food, it is crucial to take an allergy test before introducing blueberries into your diet. With symptoms including itching, hives, and swelling, it is vital to identify any blueberry intolerance or allergy to make sure you aren’t compromising your health. You can identify a potential allergy with any of our allergy tests. We have a wide range of tests available to suit all budgets.