Battle the bulge by indulging in the fruit say scientists
Eating blueberries could help you lose weight, scientists revealed yesterday.
Already regarded as a ‘superfood‘ because of their high vitamin and antioxidant content, the berries may also have the power to trim excess fat from our bodies.
Experts in the US who carried out the latest study into the berries‘ health benefits, believe they may change the way we processes fat and sugar in our diet. Their findings were presented to the Experimental Biology convention in New Orleans after tests on obese rats.
Researchers found that if the animals were given meals enriched with blueberries, they lost fat from their stomachs. Belly fat is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. The rats also showed improved blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol.
The results offered ‘tantalising clues’ to the potential of blueberries to reduce cardiovascular disease and Metabolic Syndrome which can lead to heart attacks, diabetes and strokes.
The benefits ‘were even better when combined with a low-fat diet’, the report added, giving rats lower body weight, less overall fat and healthier livers. The effect is thought to be due to the high level of phytochemicals – naturally occurring antioxidants – that blueberries contain.
Blueberries are rich in vitamins C and E, as well as other antioxidants such as anthocyanins and phenolics. They help protect the body against degenerative diseases. Another study recently found that blueberries contained a chemical called pterostilbene which could help prevent colon cancer.