Blueberries are a popular and tasty fruit that packs big nutrition into a small package. Whether you enjoy them fresh on their own, sprinkled over your yogurt parfait or as an addition to smoothies and desserts, they add a speckling of bright blueish purple color and a delicious flavour to many recipes. In fact, I’ve included an amazing recipe in this article for Keto Blueberry Muffins that you’re sure to love.
Often touted as a superfood, blueberries are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They provide a good dose of vitamin K1, vitamin C, and manganese. Consuming blueberries regularly as part of a balanced diet may prevent heart disease, improve brain health, and even stabilize blood sugar levels.
What’s more, the impact of blueberries on weight management has been extensively studied. In this article, we’ll look more closely into this body of research. So keep reading to find out how eating blueberries can help you lose weight and feel great.
Are Blueberries Keto Friendly?
Most of the carbs in blueberries come from natural sugars like glucose and fructose, but they also contain some fiber. In fact, around 16% of the carb content of blueberries is made up of indigestible fiber.
Small amounts of blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries can be incorporated into the Keto diet. A good rule of thumb is to stick to a 1/4 cup serving of berries and combine them with a source of protein and healthy fat, such as Greek yogurt and a handful of nuts, for added satiety.
How Many Carbs are in Blueberries?
A 68-gram serving of fresh blueberries (roughly 50 berries) contains 8.4 grams of net carbs. If you’re following a low carb diet, combine blueberries with other low carb items like Greek yogurt and nuts.
How Many Calories are in Blueberries?
A 68-gram serving of fresh blueberries contains only 39 calories. Blueberries are a great food choice for those following a calorie reduction diet plan. Just be careful not to eat too many baked goods containing blueberries, such as muffins and scones, as these are often high in calories.
|Serving: 68 grams of Blueberries (about 50 berries)|
|Total Fat 0.2 grams||0%|
|Saturated fat 0 grams||0%|
|Polyunsaturated fat 0.1 grams|
|Monounsaturated fat 0 grams|
|Cholesterol 0 milligrams||0%|
|Sodium 0.7 milligrams||0%|
|Potassium 52.4 milligrams||1%|
|Total Carbohydrate 10 grams||3%|
|Dietary fiber 1.6 grams||6%|
|Sugar 7 grams|
|Protein 0.5 grams||1%|
|Vitamin A||0%||Vitamin C||11%|
|Vitamin D||0%||Vitamin B-6||0%|
Types of Blueberries
The 5 major varieties of blueberry grown in the United States include:
- Lowbush – As their name suggests, these bushes are shorter than their highbush counterparts, generally growing under 1 ½ feet in height.
- Northern Highbush –– These bushes are native to the eastern and northeastern United States and grow to between 5-9 feet in height.
- Southern Highbush – These bushes grow between 6-8 feet in height and grows well in areas with mild winters, as they require less chilling time to break bud and flower.
- Rabbiteye – This type of bush is native to the southeastern United States and grows between 6-10 feet in height, thriving in areas with long, hot summers.
- Half-high – These bushes a cross between northern highbush and lowbush berries and will tolerate colder climates.
Rich in Vitamins and Minerals
Blueberries are an excellent source of manganese and vitamins C and K1. They also contain trace amounts of copper, vitamin E and vitamin B6.
High in Antioxidants
Blueberries are rich in the following antioxidants:
Anthocyanins – These antioxidants give blueberries their color and may reduce your risk of heart disease.
Quercetin – High intake of this flavonol has been linked to lower blood pressure and a reduced risk of heart disease.
Myricetin – This flavonol may have a number of health benefits, such as helping prevent cancer and diabetes.
Promotes Heart Health
Various studies report a relationship between berries and improved heart health because of their flavonoid properties. Research indicates that blueberries may have significant health benefits for people with high blood pressure. Blueberries also help inhibit the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol. In fact, one observational study found that a high intake of anthocyanins was linked to a 32% lower risk of heart attacks.
Supports Brain Function
Adequate intake of flavonoid-rich foods like blueberries has been linked with improved brain health. Eating blueberries may prevent oxidative stress on the brain. One six-year study in geriatric adults found that blueberries slowed aging of the brain by over two years.
Improved Blood Sugar Control
Blueberries do not cause spikes in blood sugar levels, in part due to their high content of bioactive compounds. Specifically, the anthocyanins in blueberries are responsible for the beneficial effects on blood sugar levels. In fact, studies show that blueberries consumed even after a high-carb meal blocked certain digestive enzymes, resulting in reduced blood sugar spikes.
Blueberries do not have any known adverse effects in most individuals when eaten in moderation. Allergy to blueberries exists but is very rare.
Keto Blueberry Muffins Recipe
- 2 1/2 cups almond flour
- 1/3 cup sugar-free sweetener (such as Swerve)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan sea salt
- 1/3 cup melted butter
- 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup fresh blueberries
- Zest of 1/2 lemon
- Preheat oven to 350 Degrees Farenheit and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.
- In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients – almond flour, sweetener, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Whisk in the wet ingredients – melted butter, almond milk, eggs, and vanilla until combined. Do not overmix.
- Fold in the blueberries and lemon zest until evenly distributed. Spoon equal amounts of batter into each cupcake liner until the cups are 3/4 full.
- Bake until slightly golden for about 20 minutes. You can stick a toothpick into the middle of a muffin and if comes out clean, they are finished. Allow to cool or serve them warm.
Recipe makes a dozen muffins, each containing 3 grams of net carbs.
Are Blueberries Good for Weight Loss?
Scientists have been studying blueberries and their potential to help reduce body fat for some time now. New research suggests that consuming blueberries regularly may even affect the way our bodies metabolize fat and sugar.
Recent findings suggest that blueberries influence the genes that regulate fat-burning and storage, ultimately helping to reduce abdominal fat and lower cholesterol. When consumed as part of a healthy diet, blueberries might even lower triglycerides and improve blood sugar levels.
One animal study observed rats that ate a diet rich in blueberries lost abdominal fat – the visceral type of fat linked to heart disease. This resulted in lowered cholesterol levels and improved glucose control even if the diets of rats that were otherwise unhealthy.
Another study conducted by Harvard Medical School suggests that consuming more fruits like blueberries could aid weight loss. Scientists reported that adding more fruit to the diet prevented weight gain. It was determined that high flavonoid fruits and vegetables, such as apples, pears, and especially berries, significantly benefited weight control.
Are Blueberries Safe for Diabetics?
Blueberries have a score of 53 on the glycemic index (GI), which is relatively low. Therefore, blueberries are considered safe for people with diabetes as they are not likely to cause a sharp spike in blood sugar.
In fact, one study found that two blueberry smoothies daily over a period of six weeks helped improve insulin sensitivity in obese people who were at risk of developing diabetes.