Blueberries boost healthy cholesterol

BOUNCE IN YOUR STEP: Blueberries pack a powerful punch and are shown to have a wide range of positive effects on human health
Picture: PIXABAY

ANASTACIA SAMPSON

In the 1985 Disney animated television series Gummy Bears, the titular bears would drink a super-charged berry juice.

In real life, berries are able to give you a boost.

Blueberries, originally from North America, are now becoming accessible to more people around the world.

Through scientific research, we know that these berries help in supporting one’s eyes, cardiovascular system, brain, blood and cholesterol levels to be in optimal states.

In bygone days, the leaves of the blueberry plant were made into medicinal tea, while berry juice was also an acclaimed remedy.

Blueberries are high in fiber and vitamin C, however it is their content of antioxidants (including anythocyanins) that deserves more praise.

There are different types of anythocyanins and they all tend to give foods a red, purple or black colour, along with a wealth of health benefits.

For example, one of these benefits is protection against cancer development. Anthocyanins have been shown by research to raise HDL (high-density lipoprotein) levels.

HDL is a form of bound cholesterol that moves from the arteries to the liver.

The liver is a prime site of cholesterol production and processing for excretion.

People may well know the danger of too much cholesterol, but why do we even have cholesterol? Cholesterol is essential for health, as it is the precursor to vitamin D and various hormones (including the reproductive hormones of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone).

One’s brain has a very high content of fat, including cholesterol, for a reason.

You know when you have a short circuit and the plug points keep ‘tripping’?

Well consider your brain with all its electrical connections via the neurones (nerve cells).

The fatty components ensure that these electrical impulses can transmit quicker and more efficiently.

Cholesterol is a major component of bile, which is made in the liver and stored in the gall bladder. Bile helps in the digestion of fatty foods.

Foods that encourage healthy cholesterol levels and protection against environmental toxins, include blueberries.

So a cup of blueberries or berry juice may indeed give you a bounce in your step.

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