Among fruits, blueberries have one of the highest antioxidant capacities. Like cranberries, blueberries promote urinary tract health. They have also been shown to support memory, balance, and coordination. Blueberries also support eye health by increasing circulation of the capillaries of the eyes, which reduces oxidation in these tissues. They also strengthen other capillaries, as well as arteries and veins. And, blueberries have anti-inflammatory properties.
In a recent study, blueberries were given to athletes to measure their health benefits. Because strenuous exercise acutely generates oxidative stress as well as an inflammatory state, it serves as a great way to test antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capabilities. Subjects were given 250 g of blueberries per day for 6 weeks and 375 g 1 hour prior to 2.5 hour of running.
Twenty-five well-trained subjects were randomized into blueberry or control groups. Blood, muscle, and urine samples were obtained pre-exercise and immediately post-exercise, and blood and urine 1 hour post-exercise. Blood was examined for oxidative stress, cortisol, cytokines, homocysteine, leukocytes, T-cell function, natural killer (NK), and lymphocyte cell counts for inflammation and immune system activation, and antioxidant capacity. Continue reading “Blueberries: Small in Size, Big in Antioxidant Capability”Read More