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Blueberries for Weight Loss

author image Felicia Greene
Based in North Carolina, Felicia Greene has written professionally since 1986. Greene edited sailing-related newsletters and designed marketing programs for the New Bern, N.C. "Sun Journal" and New Bern Habitat ReStore. She earned a Bachelor of Science in business administration from the University of Baltimore.
Blueberries for Weight Loss
handful of blueberries Photo Credit: Carly Hennigan/iStock/Getty Images

Blueberries make an excellent addition to your weight-loss program, and they are widely available. Blueberries grow in wooded and mountain environments, although you might encounter a “pick your own” blueberry farm almost anywhere. You can find commercially grown fresh blueberries at the grocery store virtually year-round, though they are most plentiful--and least expensive--from May through October. You also can buy frozen blueberries year-round.

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Nutrients and Calories

blueberries on bush
blueberries on bush Photo Credit: Taiftin/iStock/Getty Images

Blueberries are a nutritional powerhouse with a small calorie footprint. For example, blueberries contain vitamin C, potassium and powerful antioxidants, which are compounds that neutralize free radicals. Blueberries also contain fiber that assists your digestive system. They contain no fat, cholesterol or sodium. Finally, a half-cup of blueberries has only 40 calories. This potent combination makes the fruits a healthy and nutritious option for any weight-loss program.

Digestive Benefits

bowl of blueberries
bowl of blueberries Photo Credit: Valentyn Volkov/iStock/Getty Images

Blueberries have insoluble fiber, which assists the digestive process by moving food through the intestines. A faster elimination process helps you avoid constipation. Your weight-loss program also will benefit from regular waste elimination. In addition, blueberries contain tannins, which function as a natural astringent within the digestive system. The tannins reduce digestive tract inflammation, which in turn reduces the possibility of diarrhea.

Snacking Strategies

blueberry smoothie
blueberry smoothie Photo Credit: Lecic/iStock/Getty Images

If healthy snacking is part of your weight-loss program, consider a blueberry and banana smoothie. Other healthy snack options include a toaster waffle topped with fresh blueberries and yogurt, or a blueberry, yogurt and granola parfait. Or enjoy a handful of the little blue fruits alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fruit, including blueberries, is a low-energy-dense food, which means you can consume larger amounts with fewer calories.

Blueberry Selection

cartons of blueberries
cartons of blueberries Photo Credit: Fuse/Fuse/Getty Images

To enjoy fresh blueberries, purchase berries that are appetizing to the eye. Blueberries should have a bright and even color, and the fruits should move freely you shake the container. If the berries appear soft and squishy, moisture and potential mold may be present. For frozen berries, shake the frozen food bag; if the berries don’t move around easily, they might have thawed and refrozen.

Pesticide Considerations

fresh blueberres in strainer
fresh blueberres in strainer Photo Credit: Rosemary Buffoni/iStock/Getty Images

When choosing blueberries for your weight-loss program, keep in mind that many U.S.-grown blueberries might have pesticide residues that could affect liver, cellular and nervous system functions. In fact, blueberries are among the 12 foods most likely to contain the residues, according to the Environmental Working Group. To avoid this pesticide contamination, look for organically grown blueberries in your grocer’s produce section.

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