From 1995 to 2011, the consumption of blueberries in the United States increased from 283 million pounds to 853 million pounds per year. Blueberries are a powerhouse of nutritional benefits. Consuming blueberries may help slow the aging process, promote a healthy immune system, prevent bone loss, aid in learning performance and help protect against cancer. While blueberries are small in size, they offer numerous beneficial nutrients for a small number of calories.
Calories in One Cup
In a one-cup serving of raw blueberries, you will consume 84 calories. Based on the percent daily value found on the nutrition label, the calories in blueberries supply 4 percent of your daily caloric needs based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower, depending on your personal caloric needs.
Total Fat, Protein and Carbohydrates
Blueberries have less than half a gram of fat and only one gram of protein per one-cup serving. The majority of calories in a cup of blueberries comes from its carbohydrate content. One cup of blueberries contains 21 grams of carbohydrates, including 3.6 grams of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber is essential for digestive health and helps to lower cholesterol levels. The average American only consumes 10 to 15 grams of dietary fiber per day. The National Institutes for Health recommends adults to consume 20 to 35 grams of dietary fiber per day.
Vitamins Found in Blueberries
Blueberries are a good source of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps maintain a healthy immune system and may help reduce the duration of a cold. A cup of blueberries provides 14 milligrams of vitamin C, supplying almost 25 percent of your daily needs. Vitamin C also helps to maintain healthy capillaries and gums as well as aiding in the formation of collagen. Blueberries also contain vitamin K, several B vitamins, vitamin A and vitamin E.
Minerals found in Blueberries
Manganese is important for healthy bone development and for converting proteins, fats and carbohydrates into energy for your body to use. Blueberries are an excellent source of manganese, providing 14 percent of your daily needs. Blueberries also contain calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc.
Phytochemicals found in Blueberries
Phytochemicals, also referred to as phytonutrients, are non-nutritive plant chemicals that may protect against disease. Phytochemicals are nonessential nutrients and are not required in the diet. While the human body can live without phytochemicals, they have been found to protect you against diseases. Polyphenol, a phytochemical found in blueberries, has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that may protect you against chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and age-related cognitive decline diseases.
- U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council: Health Benefits of Blueberries
- Aging Cell: Blueberry Polyphenols Increase Lifespan and Thermotolerance in Caenorhabditis Elegans
- The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry: Blueberry Prevents Bone Loss in Ovariectomized Rat Model of Postmenopausal Osteoporosis
- Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry: Inhibition of Estrogen-Mediated Mammary Tumorigenesis by Blueberry and Black Raspberry
- Psychopharmacology: Blueberry Supplementation Induces Spatial Memory Improvements and Region-Specific Regulation of Hippocampal BDNF mRNA Expression in Young Rats
- National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Full Report (All Nutrients): 09050, Blueberries, Raw
- MedlinePlus: Fiber
- MedlinePlus: Vitamin C and Colds
- Phytochemicals: What Are Phytochemicals?