Study Shows a Diet Including Blueberries Blasts Belly Fat

Studies show that blueberries will help fight one of the worst types of fat.

Adding fruits and vegetables to your diet has always been a way to help you slim down, and fresh and frozen blueberries are an important and delicious part of that equation. Scientific studies have recently shown that not only is the blueberry a healthy part of any diet or weight-loss plan, but they are beneficial health-wise in additional ways. Explore what the latest scientific research has shown about the health benefits of blueberries when it comes to weight and the amount of fat on your body.

Blueberries and Glucose

A 2011 study by the University of Michigan looked at the effects of adding blueberries to the diets of obese rats. The study found that obese test subjects that were fed the little blue fruit—even as part of a high-fat diet—had improved insulin sensitivity and the ability to metabolize glucose, or turn sugar into energy. The study also showed the addition of the berries reduced triglycerides, a mechanism related to cholesterol and cardiovascular disease, and lowered fasting insulin rates. 

Similarly, the study also included feeding berries to obese test subjects as part of a low-fat diet. The addition of these berries also significantly reduced liver weight, body weight, and the test subjects' total fat mass. Lastly, lean test subjects fed the berries had higher body weight and reduced triglycerides.

One other striking finding in this particular study is researchers discovered that blueberries caused the test subjects to have less belly fat than those not fed the berries. Higher levels of abdominal fat have been linked to a higher risk for cardiovascular disease and are believed to contribute to other health concerns.

However, researchers concluded that more studies were needed to confirm and explain the findings.

Recent Studies With Blueberries

A recent study published in ”The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,” undertaken by researchers at the University of East Anglia, seemed to offer further proof. The study used women who are identical twins to study the effects of eating dietary flavonoids, a class of antioxidants that give fruits and vegetables their pigments, on fat mass in the body.

They found that eating flavonol-rich foods, like the blueberry rich in the flavonoid class anthocyanins, not only increased weight loss, but that a lot of the weight loss was from the abdominal area. The effects of antioxidants like anthocyanins on weight loss were present even after researchers factored in differences in physical activity, calories consumers, and the total consumption of fruits and vegetables.

Furthermore, the amount of anthocyanins that made a difference was about 41 mg a day, roughly the amount in a quarter cup of blueberries. Researchers maintained the study, “highlights that a simple dietary change has the potential to have a great impact on weight management”.

Find recipes for using both fresh and frozen berries at the Blueberries From Florida’s Pinterest recipe boards. Keep in mind that freezing blueberries makes more antioxidants and nutrients available, but cooking at high heat levels or for long times can reduce antioxidant levels. Research suggests that baking, such as blueberry muffins, doesn’t reduce antioxidants as much as high-heat cooking methods like frying or sautéing.

The Florida blueberry season lasts about six weeks from March through April, so stock up on fresh, delicious berries at your grocery store!