Eating all fruits including blueberries as part of a balanced diet sounds promising. For a healthy adult, a 0.5 cup daily serving of blueberries is ideal keeping in mind optimum nutrition.
However, if you have an underlying health condition like, Salicylate sensitivity, check with your doctor before adding them to your diet. Despite their antioxidant load and benefits for the brain and the heart, overeating blueberries may work against you.
Here are the 4 possible side effects of eating too many blueberries.
- Can Cause Digestion Problems: Dietary fiber is very beneficial for our health but having too much of fiber is bad for our health. A cup of blueberries contains 3.6 g fiber, excess consumption of blueberries can cause stomach discomfort, gastrointestinal problems like bloating, flatulence, diarrhea etc. It can also hamper the absorption of nutrients by our intestines and give rise to many health problems. Because of this risk associated with high fiber, it is advisable to eat blueberries in moderate quantity. This side effect will be more prominent in people who have digestive diseases like ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.
- May Trigger Bleeding: Blueberries is a good source of Vitamin K and eating one cup of blueberries provide around 29 micrograms of Vitamin K. Vitamin K is a vital nutrients that plays an important role in keeping us healthy and performs a number of functions in our body, like regulates blood clotting, improving bone density and making our bones stronger, reducing risk of cancer, providing cardiovascular benefits etc. There are some side effects associated with intake of high dosage of Vitamin K and for this reason, it is advisable to eat blueberries in moderation. High dosage of Vitamin K may give rise to increased risk of internal bleeding and bruising etc. Blueberries are also not suitable for the individuals who on anticoagulant medicines as the Vitamin K present in blueberries may interfere the function of anticoagulant medicine and increase the risk of bleeding.
- Can Lower Blood Glucose Abnormally: Blueberries have a significant effect in reducing blood sugar and increasing insulin sensitivity. They have been shown to reduce the blood glucose spike after a carb-rich meal by blocking the function of certain digestive enzymes. They can even slow down protein digestion. This might not be a good news for diabetics on medication since eating too many blueberries may further lower the blood glucose levels below normal. You must consult your doctor on whether you should at all have blueberries and if you can, what the portion size is advisable.
- Salicylate Sensitivity: Blueberries contain very high amounts of salicylates — the active ingredient in aspirin which is also found naturally in many plants — which can cause side effects in people who are sensitive to salicylates. For those who can’t tolerate salicylates, blueberries might cause a rash, headaches or a host of gastrointestinal symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, reflux, bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation. Blueberry juice is especially high in salicylates. Eating blueberries in small amounts may ease some of the pain and discomfort associated with the ingestion of salicylates.
Moderation is the key to any food you like to avoid toxicity and gain optimum health benefits.