Recent studies indicate that adding blueberries to your diet can help you get the best from your workout. Nature’s little blue powerhouses provide the proper nutrients and phytochemicals to help lower oxidative stress and reduce muscle soreness and inflammation following exercise.
Blueberries are one of nature’s unique gifts. Aside from being universally regarded as a superfood, they are delicious, low in calories, and brilliant in helping hydrate the body naturally. In addition, they also have a few other, perhaps lesser-known benefits, which could prove very useful if you are fitness-focused. In this piece, we’ll be looking at what the latest research on them has uncovered.
Exercise has many hugely positive effects on both the body and the mind. However, one of the downsides is that increased physical activity induces oxidative stress, inflammation, and muscle soreness. Studies have found that strenuous muscular workouts can oxidative stress levels, which is when there is an excess of free radicals over antioxidant defences.
Markers of inflammation can also increase during strenuous exercise, which may contribute to the wear and tear of skeletal muscles. It is important to control the level of oxidative stress and inflammation in the body as they can cause various harmful age-related diseases, one of which is Alzheimer’s.
Blueberries provide an array of nutrients and phytochemicals which have been linked to reductions in oxidative stress and inflammation.
Known worldwide as a ‘superfood’, blueberries are a complex carbohydrate which can help the body sustain energy. They are also rich in antioxidants, which can help boost your recovery after your workout.
The antioxidants found in blueberries can help to prevent free-radical damage to the muscles and strengthen the tissue – allowing you to get the most out of your fitness regime.
A new scientific paper published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health has reviewed articles looking at dietary supplementation with oral antioxidants, which included those from berries.
The authors concluded that supplementation with blueberries (before or during a bout of exercise) reduced oxidation. Larger studies using more people and specific muscular strength exercises are now needed to build on these findings.
Dr Emma Derbyshire, public health nutritionist and adviser to Love Fresh Berries, said, “Fitness is central to health and wellbeing. Excessive training can sometimes leave us feeling sore and contribute to a state of ‘oxidative stress’. This is a natural process, but in excess can contribute to muscle damage.
“Certain dietary and lifestyle strategies may help to dampen this. Blueberries are renowned for their potent antioxidant profiles, which could be a logical and useful way to help soothe and alleviate exercise-induced oxidative stress.”
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