By Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, CSO, LDN; Reboot Nutritionist
July is blueberry month and boy does that make me happy! Blueberries are one of my ultimate favorite foods. Fresh, local, organic or wild grown right here in New England are simply the best this time of year. We have shared lots of information with you about the benefits of blueberries, but what about blueberry juice specifically? We often blend fresh or frozen blueberries in smoothies, add them to salads, bake them in waffles or muffins, or simply eat them straight out of the pint container.
While blueberries taste sweet they actually have a lower glycemic index and may even help improve insulin resistance. Blueberries are also low in the type of sugars that are notorious for bloat and IBS symptoms.
Benefits of Blueberries
Blueberries are rich in the antioxidant, anthocyanin, a polyphenol-based phytonutrient that gives these berries and other plant foods their blue/purple vibrant color. Even black beans have some anthocyanin! Consuming blueberries has been linked to a healthy heart and lower blood pressure. In older persons, eating frozen blueberries compared to drinking carrot juice was found to help improve functional mobility.
Blueberry’s potent nutrients have some serious staying power. Meaning that our body may benefit from the actions of these gems, even days after we’ve consumed them. That’s pretty cool! One study showed that anthocyanin’s metabolites showed up in participant’s urine samples up to 5 days after they consumed blueberries.
Why Blueberry Juice is Worth Talking About
Juicing blueberries may offer additional advantages beyond simply eating or even blending them. Preliminary research in animals shows that blueberry juice may help to combat obesity, inhibit weight gain, reduce cholesterol, improve insulin resistance, decrease fat accumulation in the blood and liver plus regulate appetite-inhibiting hormones, like leptin. Another preliminary study found that blueberry juice may help boost the liver’s antioxidant defenses, reducing conditions like hepatic fibrosis. Blueberry juice’s polyphenol phytonutrients may also support cognitive function and treat age-related conditions.
Researchers showed that compared to blending blueberries, juicing blueberries may offer a better vehicle for absorbing some of anthocyanin’s key metabolites. Eating and blending blueberries absolutely still have many health promoting benefits, but including blueberries in your next juice may offer an additional bioavailability boost.
Looking for some deliciously healthy Blueberry Juice Recipes?!