THE BLOG
08/09/2014 10:54 am ET | Updated Oct 09, 2014

7 Reasons to Add Blueberries to Your Diet

As a nutritionist, I love recommending blueberries to my clients. And I regularly eat them as well. Blueberries are healthy, low in calories, versatile, and taste great. You can throw a handful of blueberries into your yogurt, add them to a salad, or microwave frozen blueberries and eat them warm (they taste like the filling from blueberry pie -- yum).

Here are seven reasons to add blueberries to your diet.

1. Blueberries are relatively low in calories.
A 1-cup serving of blueberries contains 80 calories.

2. Blueberries are chock full of nutrients.
Blueberries contain the antioxidant vitamin C, manganese, and are full of fiber, with nearly 4 gram of fiber per 1 cup serving.

3. Blueberries may promote cardiovascular health.
Blueberries contain a category of phytonutrients called polyphenols which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and can contribute to heart health and a reduction of other chronic diseases. Blueberries may also help lower blood pressure. A study conducted on obese subjects with metabolic syndrome, found that those who consumed a blueberry beverage over an eight-week period had a decrease in their blood pressure when compared to those who consumed a placebo beverage.

4. Blueberries may improve insulin sensitivity.
A study found that drinking blueberry smoothies helped pre-diabetic obese adults improve insulin sensitivity. Anthocyanins, compounds in blueberries that give them their blue hue, contain antioxidant properties, which may contribute to improved insulin sensitivity.

5. Blueberries may contribute to brain health and improve cognitive function.
A study found that object memory loss that occurs normally with aging can be not only prevented but also reversed by feeding older rats blueberries. Furthermore, the improvement persisted for at least a month.

6. Blueberries may help fight cancer.
Blueberries contain the antioxidant anthocyanins which may play a pivotal role in reducing the risk of cancer. Further, recent research has demonstrated that breast tumor growth can be reduced in mice supplemented with blueberries.

7. And finally, blueberries taste great.