Blueberries are one of the most popular fruits in the world, but this highly seasonal treat can be hard to find in grocery stores during the off season. Rather than letting your health suffer or paying a premium for berries that have been stagnating on store shelves, why not turn to blueberry powder instead?
What is Blueberry Powder?
Made from nothing but fresh blueberries, blueberry powder comes from berries that are freeze dried and ground into a fine powder. This makes their nutrients and flavoring far more concentrated, meaning that just a tablespoon of powder is equivalent to what you would get from a ½ cup of berries, and it will last for months on your shelves rather than days.
12 Benefits of Blueberry Powder
As a member of the Vaccinium angustfolium family, blueberries grow on sandy-soil dwelling bushes that are native to North America and Europe. Though blueberries have been enjoyed fresh for centuries, new research has revealed that these tasty berries are actually nutritional superfruits, and blueberry powder is a stellar way to take advantage of their benefits.
Below are some of our favorite benefits for this impressive fruit powder.
1. Rich in Antioxidants
Dark coloring is often a sign of enhanced nutrition in fruits and vegetables, and blueberry powder is no exception. Raw, freeze-dried blueberry powder is filled with antioxidants, or the natural vitamins that work to neutralize free radicals in your blood stream. When you eat antioxidant rich foods, you reduce your risk of having mutated cells and suffering from age-related causes of cancer, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Polyphenols (a kind of antioxidant) are responsible for blueberry’s blue hue, and they are concentrated enough to make the fruit one of the richest sources of antioxidants in the world. A study from the USDA Human Nutrition Center found that blueberries topped their list for antioxidant activity when compared to 40 other popular fruits and vegetables.
While the nutritional content of fresh verse dried fruits can vary in some ways, antioxidant content isn’t one of them. This means you get the same boost of antioxidants from a tablespoon of blueberry powder in your smoothie as you could from a cup of the berries themselves.
2. Helps Prevent Bladder Infections
The humble cranberry might be more famous for helping prevent bladder infections from getting out of control, but blueberries have been found to be helpful as well. Taking daily blueberry powder will help stop harmful bacteria from attaching to the walls of your bladder, which prevents infections from getting a strong foothold. In the same way, blueberries have a high fiber content that helps to keep your digestive system regular, and they naturally lower your blood sugar levels, which can cut out the food source for invasive bacteria as well.
3. Helps Keep the Brain Healthy
Aging might be inevitable, but filling up on blueberry powder may make the process more graceful. Researchers have found that regularly eating blueberries can support the brain from oxidative stress, which can stave off the signs of aging for longer than normal. Similar studies have found that the antioxidants in blueberries accumulate in the parts of the brain that are essential for intelligence, and there is evidence that diets that regularly involve blueberries can significantly improve learning capacity and motor skills while you age.
While studies specifically on humans haven’t been fully developed yet, the initial results seem promising. One study found that elderly patients that drank blueberry juice everyday saw improvements in their cognitive functioning after three months, and another study found that eating blueberries was linked to delays in mental aging by several years.
4. High in Vitamins
Blueberry powder doesn’t just provide you with a concentrated dose of antioxidants, each serving is also rich in vitamins K, C and many others. Anthocyanins, found in blueberries, help support the functioning of vitamin C to improve the health of your capillaries and even increase the effectiveness of collagen in your skin. This prevents free radical damage to your cells and also helps you look younger.
5. Healthy Source of Prebiotics
Everyone knows that probiotics are important for the health of their digestive system, but it turns out that prebiotics might be just as important. Prebiotics are specialized plant fibers that nourish the good bacteria already in your digestive system, essential acting as a fertilizer to keep them productive. Happily enough, blueberry powder happens to be a rich natural source of them.
Thanks to their flavonoid content, studies have shown that blueberries are able to improve the conditions of your gut to boost immunity against dangerous bacteria while better supporting the cultivation of beneficial bacteria in it.
6. Low in Calories, But High in Nutrients
While a scoop of blueberry powder won’t fill you with unnecessary calories or sugar, a serving is filled with a host of other valuable nutrients that can make a difference for your health. Just one serving of blueberries (fresh or powdered) contains 4 grams of fiber, 24% of your recommended daily value of vitamin C, 36% of vitamin K and 25% of manganese, along with trace amounts of many other nutrients.
7. Blueberries Reduce DNA Damage
No matter what you do, daily life is damaging your DNA. Some estimates state the oxidative damage happens thousands of times a day to every cell in your body, which can lead to deadly diseases like cancer. However, blueberry powder actively works to combat this damage, because its high level of antioxidants can neutralize free radicals that cause the damage in the first place. In fact, a 4-week study found that participants who drank a liter of blueberry juice each day experienced 20% less DNA damage by the end of the study, and these results have also been replicated with berry powder.
8. Blueberries Protect Cholesterol from Becoming Damaged
Cholesterol in your body isn’t inherently dangerous, but when LDL (the bad cholesterol) becomes oxidized, it can lead to heart disease. However, the antioxidants in blueberries can help to reduce this risk and keep your cholesterol from causing farther problems. Just 50 grams of fresh blueberries a day (or a scoop of blueberry powder) can reduce LDL oxidation by over a quarter if you’re in a high risk category.
In the same way, adding blueberry powder to your diet might help lower your cholesterol levels in general. A study on hamster cholesterol levels found that when the rodents were fed blueberry extract, their cholesterol rates went down, even when they ate a high fat diet.
9. Blueberries May Lower Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a leading killer around the world, but blueberry powder might have a benefit for lowering it to safe levels. A study that looked specifically at people who were at risk for high blood pressure found that they saw about a 5% reduction in their blood pressure readings after eating a daily serving of blueberries for two months. Farther research has found that the benefits seem to be most profound for post-menopausal women.
10. Can Have Anti-Diabetic Effects
Compared to many other fruits, blueberries are relatively low in sugar. In fact, one cup has just 15 grams, which is the same amount in a small apple. Even better, blueberries have bioactive compounds that help control blood sugar. The anthocyanins in blueberries have been shown by research to have a positive impact on insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism, making them a smart choice for diabetics who need to monitor their blood sugar levels. To enjoy the benefits for yourself, try replicating what they did in this study by drinking a blueberry smoothie every morning. You might be amazed how positively your insulin levels improve in time.
11. Blueberries May Help Reduce Muscle Damage After Strenuous Exercise
Strange but true, a little blueberry powder might actually make your workouts easier to manage. Strenuous exercise inevitably leads to muscle soreness and fatigue, mostly due to inflammation and oxidative stress in muscle tissue. However, taking blueberries after exercising can reduce this damage at the cellular level, which will help you heal faster and experience less soreness in the long run.
12. Better Eye Care
While you might still wear your glasses to make yourself look smart, blueberries have proven benefits for keeping your eyes healthy and delaying age-relatd eye problems like macular degeneration, cataracts, chronic dryness and retina infections. These benefits are all thanks to their high antioxidant levels, which contain compounds like vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, zinc and more that are beneficial for the health of your eyes.
How to use Blueberry Powder
Have we convinced you at blueberry powder is the next need-to-try healthy ingredient for your diet? Good. Now let’s talk about how to make it work for you.
There are so many ways to add blueberry powder to your daily life, but if you aren’t used to working with plant powders the process can be daunting. It’s recommended that you stick with servings that are about 1-2 tablespoons each, otherwise you might get an over-concentration of the health benefits.
Below are some of the best ways to use blueberry powder in regular life.
- Blend the powder into your smoothies for a refreshing snack anytime of the day.
- Swirl in plain yogurt for a boost of flavor and color
- Add to muffin or cake batter to enjoy a tangy blueberry taste
- Mix into oatmeal for a kick of antioxidants
- Sprinkle over top desserts as a low-calorie alternative to sugary icings (or mix it directly into the icing instead!)
- Incorporate it into homemade granola bars
- Use it as a secret ingredient to make stellar, naturally flavored Jello
Best of all, blueberry powder can keep for a considerable long time. So long as you store it in airtight containers, it should stay fresh in your pantry for well over a year.
What are the Negative Side Effects of Blueberry Powder?
There are few side effects attributed to eating blueberries today, though it pays to be careful when taking them in powdered form because it’s easy to take servings that would be completely excessive with fresh fruits. For this reason, pregnant and breast-feeding women should take care to stick with a single tablespoon serving size of the powder, and diabetics should carefully monitor their blood sugar levels to ensure they stay within the safe range. It’s also possible that blueberries can affect blood glucose levels in a way that has negative consequences for surgery, so it’s a smart idea to stay away from blueberry powder for about 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
If you’re concerned about the effects of blueberry powder on your health, be sure to talk with your doctor before making a major change to your diet.
Where to Buy Blueberry Powder
The kind of blueberry powder you buy can make all the difference for the product you end up with. It’s important to look for brands that rely only on blueberries for their powders, lest they use cheap filler ingredients to cut down on costs. It’s also important to look for organic berries whenever possible, as they are the most likely to be free from pesticide contamination and other negative synthetic additives.
Below, we’ve highlighted some of the brands we trust the most. Any of these five options is a perfect option for high quality blueberry powder.
- Bulksupplements Pure Blueberry Extract Powder
- Super Sprout Blueberry Powder – 80 Grams
- MD Life Blueberry Powder 100g
- Vimergy Wild Blueberry Powder
- Arctic Power Berries 100% Pure Blueberry Powder Small