Blueberries, the Post Menopause Superfood

Blueberries are super nutritious they contain dietary fibre, vitamins (A, B, C, E), minerals (selenium, zinc, iron, and manganese), and other phytonutrients (resveratrol, beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, flavonoids (anthocyanins), flavanols, and phenolic acids (hydroxycinnamic acid))

From the phytonutrient list, a flavonoid called anthocyanin may play the biggest role in promoting health. Anthocyanins provide the colour pigment found in red, purple, blue, or black coloured fruits and vegetables. The amount of anthocyanin rise as the fruit ripens to help with the colour identification of a fully ripe compared to unripe fruit.

In the famous Nurses study involving 16,00 nurses, the greater intake of blueberries and strawberries was associated with slower rates of cognitive decline. 

Does anyone want greater executive function? Executive function is the brain's ability to make decisions, organise thoughts, stay focused and manage emotions. A study looking at women ages 60-75 years old, found the blueberry group had improved executive function and memory.

Let’s check out what the research has to say about blueberries and heart health. Blueberry research indicated many possible benefits including a 

  • 25% reduced risk of coronary artery disease
  • 32% reduction in heart attacks
  • 10% reduction in hypertension

The greatest risk reduction was noticed in women over 60. 

Another study looking at diabetic patients with cardiovascular disease found the blueberry group after 12 weeks had an increase in HDL (good cholesterol), a decrease in LDL (Bad Cholesterol), as well as improved endothelial function - which is fabulous results but the trial, continued and after 24 weeks they also noted further improvements such as a reduction in inflammatory markers like C reactive protein.

A large observational study involving over 35,000 women all over the age of 45 found a positive association with higher blueberry intake and reduced risk of age-related vision impairment. 

Other health benefits associated with regular blueberry intake include: Better glucose regulation with a  reduced risk of diabetes and diabetic complications

The therapeutic range varied across the different trials from 1/3 to 1 punnet (125gm) daily.

This superfood is so easy to include in your diet. They are my favourite fruit, but I actually prefer to consume them frozen as a treat. Other women may prefer them fresh or dried. You can eat them alone or add them to your salads, smoothie, chia seed pudding, breakfast cereals or blended frozen into a yummy sorbet. Just do it regularly!


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