Fight the Battle of the Bulge with Blueberries


Double Handful of Fresh Blueberries

When you're trying to lose weight, you need all the help you can get. When that help comes in the form of a tangy/sweet fruit like blueberries – well, what could be better? Blueberries have plenty of health benefits, but there are also some indications that they can help you lose weight.

Blueberries come in both wild and cultivated forms. Cultivated forms are generally sweeter than wild forms and are more readily available. Native to North America, blueberries were a favorite fruit for many Native Americans; and belong to the same family as cranberries. Although they can be cooked in dishes like pancakes, eating them raw offers the greatest nutritional benefits.

Although low in calories (one cup has only 85 calories), blueberries are loaded with vitamins and minerals, including vitamins C and E, riboflavin, niacin, folate, potassium, iron, magnesium and manganese. They also contain antioxidants and phytonutrients, as well as salicylic acid – the original “aspirin.” They are high in fiber, which helps promote a feeling of fullness and supports the digestive process.

Blueberries' weight loss boost seems to come from catechins, antioxidants that help turn on the fat-burning genes in abdominal fat cells. They also seem to increase insulin sensitivity. People who have metabolic syndrome, which goes along with obesity and is often a precursor to diabetes, tend to be less sensitive to insulin. Research from Texas Women's University found that eating blueberries lowered cholesterol and triglycerides.

When you want to lose weight, eating real foods with proven health benefits is a good way to go. We have a number of recipes at the Metabolic research Center that either include blueberries or contain other kinds of fruit for which blueberries could be substituted. Or... you could just eat them on their own or in a mixed fruit bowl. Blueberries can help you battle the bulge.

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