Dried blueberries pack a nutritional punch. They are low in sodium and in calories, offering 127 calories per one-quarter cup, and they contain no cholesterol. In addition, these fruits contain nutrients that are vital for your health. There are many ways for you to enjoy these sweet treats. You can make a smoothie by blending dried blueberries and a banana with a low-fat milk or add blueberries to hot oatmeal.
It Keeps Your Bones Strong and Healthy
Dried blueberries are rich in vitamin K, providing about 23.8 micrograms of the vitamin per one-quarter cup. This amount equates to 20 to 26 percent of the recommended daily value for vitamin K. Vitamin K helps your blood clot properly and plays a crucial role in your bone health. Furthermore, vitamin K helps your body use calcium to build bones. Evidence suggests that vitamin K helps cut the risk of bone fractures, especially in postmenopausal women who are at risk for osteoporosis, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
It Combats Free Radicals
One-quarter cup of dried blueberries contains about 9.5 milligrams of vitamin C, meeting 11 to 13 percent of your daily needs. A water-soluble vitamin, vitamin C aids in bone growth and tissue repair. Your body needs vitamin C for healing wounds, as well as for repairing and maintaining your teeth and bones. Vitamin C also helps build collagen, which is a protein used to form ligaments, skin, blood vessels, tendons and cartilage. Collagen limits the damaging effects of free radicals through its antioxidant activity. Free radicals are unstable compounds that damage your DNA and may contribute to heart disease and cancer.
It May Help Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Dried blueberries are a good source of fiber. One-quarter cup of dried blueberries provides you with 3 grams of fiber, fulfilling 10 to 12 percent of your daily fiber needs. Fiber helps keep your digestive system running smoothly and it also regulates bowel movements. Clinical studies suggest that consuming foods rich in fiber, such as dried blueberries, may help prevent type 2 diabetes, may lower blood sugar and insulin levels and may improve cholesterol levels in people with diabetes, according to the UMMC.
It Improves Your Cardiovascular Health
Dried blueberries are a rich source of anthocyanins, which are potent phytochemicals that give these fruits their blue color. Apart from this, anthocyanins help fight free radicals. Epidemiological and clinical studies have demonstrated an association between anthocyanins and improved cardiovascular health, according to a study published in the March 2010 issue of the journal "Nutrition Reviews." Also, human intervention studies using fresh or freeze-dried blueberries have shown notable improvements in metabolic risk factors such as glucose metabolism, lipid peroxidation, total plasma antioxidant capacity and low-density lipoprotein oxidation.
- USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Blueberries, Dried, Sweetened
- University of Florida IFAS Extension: The Benefits of Berries
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin K
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Fiber
- Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology: The Change of Total Anthocyanins in Blueberries and Their Antioxidant Effect After Drying and Freezing
- American Institute for Cancer Research: Blueberries
- Nutrition Reviews: Berries: Emerging Impact on Cardiovascular Health