Blueberries: Benefits and Risk

You’ve probably heard that blueberries are supposed to be a super food and a nutritional powerhouse. Indeed, they seem to offer some great health benefits due to their antioxidant compounds, which reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, a main component in numerous diseases. They’ve also been touted to improve mental deterioration, and the oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) scale, a method of measuring antioxidant capacities of various foods, lists them as having one of the highest values. Health benefits attributed to the blueberry include:

Blueberries are available in thirty different varieties and were first cultivated in the early 20th century by a botanist named Elizabeth White who worked for United States Department of Agriculture. White went on to establish a commercial blueberry business, and although we can thank White for our ability to enjoy blueberries today, it is nature we can thank for our ability to indulge in such a tasty fruit that fights disease, improves memory, and protects vision.

Although blueberries have many good health benefits, there are some health risks associated with them:

  • Allergies. Blueberries are high in salicylates, so if you have a salicylate intolerance or problems with aspirin, you may want to avoid them. In addition, some people have allergic reactions to blueberries that can result in hives, itching, or swelling.
  • Pesticide residue. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration in 2014, blueberries are included among the top 48 foods known for high pesticide content, and although they are listed at number 23, pesticides are known to cause health risks, such as cancer, birth defects, and harm to growing children as their bodies are still developing. Therefore, to be on the safe side buy certified organic blueberries whenever possible.

5 Comments

  1. I eat Blueberrys every day.
    I have had macular Degeneration since I was 9 Years old.
    I am 68 now.
    I wonder what my eyes would be like without eating all these eye health foods?
    We also sell low Vision aids in our Retail store.
    If you want to take a look type in http://www.jimunser.com

  2. Hmmm…not my favorite fruit since they are so tiny but I love blueberry muffins! That’s good info about eating to protect against cataracts. Wbat, no human studies? Well, it can’t hurt to eat them anyway, right?

  3. Deliscious and good for your body, what can’t blueberries do?

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