We all love blueberries for their great taste, but you probably didn’t know that they’re also great for our health. Blueberries are highly important for our cardiovascular system thanks to their high antioxidant content. They also contain anthocyanins, a class of flavonoids which gives these berries their nice color and most of their health benefits.
Anthocyanins can prevent the accumulation of plaque in the arteries, fight free radicals in the body and improve your cardiovascular system as well. According to studies, this class of flavonoids has been linked with a reduced risk of heart attack, and they can also relieve high blood pressure and reduce the arterial stiffness which has a negative effect on your heart health.
Furthermore, the flavonoids have been linked with a lower risk of memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease, digestive problems and cancer.
Nutritional profile of blueberries
Thanks to their rich nutritional profile, blueberries are the ideal snack. They are full of fiber and essential vitamins and minerals which can improve your digestion and metabolism and help you lose weight. A cup of blueberries has about 25% of the RDA of manganese, which most people lack.
Manganese is important for our musculoskeletal system, blood clotting and sex hormones, and plays a big role in calcium absorption, carb metabolism and glucose levels as well. The mineral is also important for our brain.
How to grow blueberries at home
Blueberries are cheap and easily available, but there’s no sure way to tell if they’re organic. You can benefit from organic blueberries only, but even better, you can easily grow them at home. If you decide to try it, get the “top hat” blueberries which can easily grow in pots. Make sure the soil you buy has a pH of 4.5-5.0, and get a short and large container.
Fill two thirds of the container with acidic soil, then put the bush in the center of the pot and fill in the edges around it with more soil. Tap the soil with your hands, then add as much as you need and water it in the end.
Pour 1-2 inches of acidic mulch (pine needles) on the top, then leave the bush at a sunny spot in your home. Make sure it has access to about 6 hours of sunlight daily. The berries should start growing soon – once they’re ripe, you can harvest and enjoy them.