Berry Benefits

While blueberries are plump in cancer–fighting antioxidants, new research is shedding light on a host of other nutrition advantages. It appears blueberries may reduce the effects of intestinal disorders, help trim belly fat, aid cognitive function, decrease risk for metabolic syndrome and diabetes, and strengthen the immune system.

So pop these bold bursts of flavor to upgrade your health:

  • Look for berries that are firm and dark with a pearly sheen. Shake the container or bag (if frozen) to see if they move freely — if they don’t, it could indicate the berries are overripe, moldy, or have been thawed and refrozen. To preserve quality, avoid washing them until just before serving to reduce moisture contact, which speeds up spoilage.
  • Sprinkle blueberries on top of yogurt to enhance their positive effects on the gut — the fiber in blueberries seems to absorb inflammation–causing substances in the large intestines. One study found that the berry combined with probiotics enhanced the growth of immune–supporting microbes more than good bacteria alone.
  • Drink up blueberries in the form of juice. Not only does the fruit perform similarly to cranberries in aiding urinary tract health, new evidence suggests its phytochemicals responsible for preventing other diseases may also enhance memory and slow down mental degeneration.

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