Blueberries, Superfoods and Health
Of all the popular fruits in the United States, the blueberry is one of the few fruits native to North America. It is often listed as a “superfood”, a term which is overused, but they clearly should be part of a healthy diet. They are very common and found all over the world, are readily accessible and fairly inexpensive.
Blueberries are an excellent source of vitamins C, K and manganese. Additionally, they are a strong antioxidant secondary to many phytochemicals, such as anthocyanins (causes the deep blue color), catechins, quercetin and resveratrol.
They have been proposed to treat Alzheimer’s, slow cognitive decline and decrease the risk of cancer. Recent work by Fang, et al adds another element of the benefit of blueberries. Dr. Fang’s group previously showed that resveratrol, from red grapes, can be used as a radiosensitizer for prostate cancer. A more recent study showed a similar effect of blueberries and cervical cancer. The blueberry appeared to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells and promote apoptosis, or cell death, of the cancer cell.
Just another reason to promote fruits and vegetables as an essential core of our daily nutrition. A handful of blueberries every day could go a long way.
Davidson, KT, Fang, Y., et al. Blueberry as a potential radiosensitizer for treating cervical cancer. Pathology and Oncology Research, 2017.