Blueberries, also referred to as ‘tiny powerhouses’ of nutrition, are jam packed with healthy compounds including fiber, folate, vitamin C, manganese, and antioxidants which may reduce the risk of developing cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other age-related diseases
Research continues to show high levels of antioxidants, phenolics, anthocyanins, and high ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) values in blueberries. These properties are thought to be linked in preventing certain cancers, cardiovascular disease, and other diseases that occur as a result of the oxidative stress and unstable molecules called free radicals that are also responsible for tumor growth. In other words as we undergo the natural and inevitable process of oxidation, antioxidants help stabilize the harmful effects of free radicals that are a result of that process.
What’s more is that the antioxidants found in blueberries may also help combat the effects of pre-mature aging, wrinkling of the skin, and the sun’s harmful rays that are particularly strong here in Arizona. But why eat blueberries? Aren’t there other foods containing antioxidants? Yes, but blueberries rank near the top for antioxidant levels and they even taste good – so why not eat them? Also, with over 3 grams of fiber, less than 80 calories, and zero grams of fat in a one cup serving, blueberries can aid in weight loss and help reduce cholesterol.
Blueberries are nutrient dense either fresh or frozen but, as with many fruits and vegetables, frozen can sometimes be the healthier option. Here’s why: produce is picked from the vine and then almost immediately flash frozen sealing in all those powerful properties and nutrients. Whereas fresh fruits and veggies lose their nutrient content consistently after being picked from the vine. Again, both are good choices but to get the most out of your blueberries go with frozen – they’ll also last up to one year in the freezer. Blueberries are versatile little fruits that can be eaten alone made in one many blueberry recipes.
For an easy and tasty way to get in your blueberries try this Blueberry Smoothie for approximately 300 calories:
1 cup plain or vanilla soymilk
½ cup plain, non-fat yogurt
½ cup frozen blueberries
1 T. freshly ground flaxseed
1 T. honey
1 tsp cinnamon
Add all ingredients to blender and blend well.