There are certainly a lot of foods out there that can help with longevity. And yet, while there are many foods you can eat for a longer life, there’s one snack food, in particular, that should be in your regular meal rotation, and that’s blueberries. Blueberries are a smaller fruit compared to most, yet when you look at the health benefits of blueberries, they can easily be categorized as the best snack food to eat for longer life. Here’s why, and for more healthy eating tips, be sure to check out our list of 21 Best Healthy Cooking Hacks of All Time.
Why blueberries are the best snack
In order to understand why blueberries are the best snack food, we need to take a close look at the health benefits—particularly the antioxidants. Blueberries actually have the highest amount of antioxidants compared to any other food, and according to a study by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, foods rich in antioxidants help with longevity. In particular, having a diet rich in antioxidants—which are typically found in fruits and vegetables—have been proven to slow down the aging process and ward off “degenerative diseases of aging such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, immune-system decline, brain dysfunction, and cataracts.”
One study by the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry concluded that blueberries are one of the best fruits in terms of antioxidants, along with blackberries, raspberries, and pomegranates. So by simply eating blueberries as a snack, you can reap the benefits of high antioxidants for a mere 85 calories a cup.
Plus, because of those antioxidants, blueberries can help neutralize the free radicals that cause DNA damage within your body. DNA damage happens as you age, but by consuming a good amount of antioxidants, you can slow down the damage, which studies show does lead to disease like cancer.
Lastly, those antioxidants can even help lower your LDL “bad” cholesterol levels through a process of oxidation. One study by the Journal of Nutrition showed how blueberries were able to lower cholesterol levels for obese people by 27% in just a mere eight weeks! This is due to the polyphenols in blueberries—called anthocyanins and flavonoids—which are key for promoting cardiovascular health and limiting the effects of the aging of your cells, according to a study published in the journal Nutrients.
Along with being rich in antioxidants, blueberries are full of all other kinds of nutrients that are great for your body and for your longevity. One cup of blueberries includes 4 grams of dietary fiber, 24% of your daily vitamin C needs, 36% of your vitamin K needs, as well as 25% of your manganese needs—which is an important mineral for your body’s overall function.
Snacks to make with blueberries
If you want to simply eat a bowl of blueberries as your snack, there’s nothing stopping you from doing so! However, if you’re looking to add more to your snack that will make it a filling meal, here are a few of our favorite ways to enjoy blueberries for a snack.
- Sprinkle them on plain Greek yogurt with a bit of honey.
- Top them on a rice cake with nut butter.
- Enjoy them on top of these protein pancakes or waffles.
- Or bake them into these protein muffins!
- Add them to a jar of cinnamon overnight oats.
- Or an overnight chia seed pudding.
- Blend them up into a smoothie.
- Dip them in dark chocolate or yogurt and freeze for a sweet treat later.
- Make a blueberry compote and top on pancakes or toast.
- Spread ricotta cheese on toast and top with blueberries and honey.
- Bake them into healthy scones to enjoy with an afternoon cup of tea.
- Sprinkle them on top of an acai bowl with nuts and seeds.
Looking for even more snack ideas? Here are some of our favorite healthy snack ideas to get you started.