Can you guess which fruit is rated the best? It’s sweet and juicy. It has no fat, 82 calories for a whole cup and as an added bonus it has 3.4 grams of fiber. It’s packed with vitamins and antioxidants. It’s small and round and blue.
Blueberries are one of the best fruits we can eat.
There has been a great deal of research regarding the benefits of eating blueberries. They are high in antioxidants and they fight free radicals. Ok, that sounds impressive but what does it mean.
Let me tell you what I learned.
“Free radicals cause cell mutations, damage immune function, cause wrinkles and aging and are a contributing cause behind many diseases including cancer, heart disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and others.
Antioxidants are good.
“In simple terms, an antioxidant is a chemical compound that protects cells against the effects of free radicals.” Says Lindsey Getz of Today’s Dietitian.
“Food is the best source of antioxidants,” says Joanne Larsen, MS, RD, LD, of www.dietitian.com
Blueberries are one of the fruits that have the highest levels of antioxidant.
Here are 5 reasons why blueberries are good for us.
1. Blueberries have the highest antioxidant capacity of all fresh fruit and are rich in vitamin C, B complex, vitamin E, vitamin A, copper, selenium, zinc and iron. Blueberries boost your immune system and prevent infections.
2. Helps to preserve vision: Blueberry extract was used in clinical studies regarding vision. The results suggest that blueberries can prevent or delay age related eye problems like macular degeneration, cataract, myopia dryness and infections.
3. Aids Digestion: The high fiber in blueberries keeps your system working well. The fibre helps to fill you up and help you feel full for longer. Blueberries also promote a healthy urinary tract, which helps to ward off infections. The vitamins, sodium, copper, fructose and acids improve digestion. http://www.womenfitness.net/blueberries.htm
4. Aid in the prevention of high blood pressure or hypertension. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition followed a large group of men and women. They ate more than a ½ cup of blueberries a week. The results showed that the blue-red pigments found in blueberries called anthocyanins—offer protection against high blood pressure. Eating blueberries reduced their risk of developing high blood pressure by 10 percent compared to those who didn’t eat any blueberries.
5. Blueberries are low on the glycemic index, which means they do not have a big impact on blood sugar levels. They are good for everyone, but they are a super food if you have diabetes. http://www.womenfitness.net/blueberries.htm
How to Choose?
Choose fresh blueberries that are firm and have consistent colour. The whitish bloom means they are ripe. Shake the container gently, they should move easily.
Frozen berries are a good alternative. Freezing the berries does not alter the antioxidants.
How to eat them?
Use blueberries as fresh toppings on your cereal, oatmeal, waffles and pancakes.
Add to greek yogurt for a parfait.
Whip up a smoothie using frozen berries, low-fat milk and yogurt.
Mix fresh or dried blueberries into your regular salad.