Blueberries are full of phenolic compounds like flavonoids, phenolic acids, and stilbenes, all of which have high antioxidant capacity. These compounds may offer beneficial effects as nutraceutical ingredients that boost vascular health, as previously noted. Here Leslie Locklear, Food.news, reflects on preventing or managing osteoarthritis with consumption of blueberries:
Adults looking for ways to prevent or manage osteoarthritis should consider making the nutritious blueberry a staple in their diets, according to a team of researchers from Texas Woman’s University.
The researchers, in a paper published in the journal Nutrients, noted that this could be linked to the fruits’ rich stores of polyphenols – a group of plant chemicals that exhibit incredibly potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
The researchers arrived at this particular conclusion after conducting a four-month, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in which they split their pool of participants – 63 men and women between the ages of 45 to 79, all of whom had self-reported symptomatic osteoarthritis – into two random groups.
One group received 40 grams of freeze-dried, whole blueberry powder, while the other received 40 grams of a placebo. Both powders were split into two 20-gram packages, which the participants were made to consume twice daily.
Aside from making the participants consume the powders, the research team also subjected the participants to a battery of tests – including blood draws and pain and gait assessments – throughout the trial.
The researchers found that the participants who consumed the blueberry powder exhibited significant reductions in areas such as pain and stiffness, as well as improvements in their ability to perform daily activities. These improvements, however, were not observed in the placebo group.
This, the researchers said, meant that the daily incorporation of whole blueberries in one’s diet may help reduce the pain and stiffness experienced by individuals with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis.
What are polyphenols?
Polyphenols are natural compounds that are found in plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices, as well as plant derivatives such as dark chocolate and wine.
These compounds can act as antioxidants, which means that they can help neutralize the harmful cellular damage caused by free radicals in the environment.”
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