Sometimes healthy food choices are downright delicious and delightful to behold! Blueberries are one of the beautiful and tasty superfoods. They are full of nutrients and bursting with a sweetness that you don’t have to feel guilty about.
Nutrients in Blueberries
Blueberries are an excellent source of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, manganese and fiber. They also contain iron, B Vitamins, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium. Blueberries do contain fruit sugars but interestingly, studies indicate that blueberries may protect against type II diabetes.1
Blueberries contain antioxidants, which make them protective against some diseases. Did you know that the antioxidants are responsible for the blue color in blueberries? The pigment that makes blueberries blue is part of the reason blueberries are useful as an anti-aging food and cancer preventative.2
Health Benefits of Blueberries
Daily consumption of blueberries appears to reduce blood pressure, according to a Pubmed report.3 This is probably one reason that blueberries have a reputation for protecting the heart. The Vitamin C content is also important for heart function.
Eating blueberries seems to be protective against cancer.4
The high vitamin C content make blueberries a great food to eat during coldand flu season. Vitamin C and antioxidants in blueberries also support healthy skin.
Because of the fiber and water content, blueberries are a great natural remedy for constipation.
Between the vitamin and water content of fresh or frozen blueberries, blueberries can be a great post workout snack. They are also refreshing when you are hot from exercising.
Blueberry consumption has been associated with increased cognitive function and decreased depression.5
If you didn’t know that blueberries were such a powerhouse of nutrition and disease prevention, you might feel a little bit guilty about indulging in them on a regular basis.
What Kind of Blueberries Should I Eat?
Fresh organic blueberries will be the most delicious choice. However, frozen wild blueberries are also an excellent option. Wild blueberries may even have higher levels of nutrients in them. If you live near a "pick your own" blueberry farm, take advantage of that in the summer. Fresh blueberries can be frozen for use all winter long without significant compromise to the nutrition. Plus you will get the benefits of some sunshine and exercise while you pick!
10 Ways to Enjoy Blueberries
Sprinkle them on your oatmeal.
Add them to fruit or vegetable salads.
Enjoy them with walnuts in plain yogurt.
Add dried blueberries to trail mixes.
Mix them into your pancake batter.
Toss some into your favorite smoothie recipe.
Include them in homemade fruit jello.
Stir them into cottage cheese for lunch.
Make blueberry muffins.
Indulge in Blueberry Oatmeal Cookies. (Recipe below.)
In your blender, mix the following:
½ cup blueberries
1 frozen banana
½ cup milk kefir, almond milk or plain yogurt
1 teaspoon coconut oil
Pinch of sea salt
1 tablespoon honey (optional)
You may wish to add a little more milk or kefir to get your preferred consistency.
Blueberry Oatmeal Cookies
Mix together in a bowl:
½ cup extra virgin coconut oil (soft, but not melted)
¾ cup raw sugar
1 T. blackstrap molasses
¼ cup water
1 t. vanilla
1 cup unbleached flour
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 ½ cups quick oats
½ cup unsweetened coconut
1 cup dried blueberries
½ cup chopped nuts (optional)
Drop batter by spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350* for 9-10 minutes until lightly browned. Cool. Remove to wire rack.
Blueberry Side Effects
Because of the fiber content, blueberries can cause digestive distress in some people. If you are not used to eating raw fruit, start with a little and increase the amount you eat slowly over the course of several days.
Unfortunately, some people are allergic to blueberries. Blueberry allergy could cause the mouth to itch, hives, runny nose, etc. Again, if you are not used to eating blueberries, it may be best to start with a few and make sure they suit you.
Do you eat blueberries? What is your favorite blueberry recipe? Have you found them to be beneficial for your health? Please send us some feedback!
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