Can you guess which fruit is rated as one of the best?
It’s sweet and juicy.
It has no fat.
Only 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.
Yes, it’s blueberries!
So why are blueberries good for us?
A) They are high in antioxidants and they fight free radicals.
Ok, that sounds impressive but what does it mean?
“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, and others”.
Antioxidants are good.
“An antioxidant is a chemical compound that protects cells against the effects of free radicals.
Food is the best source of antioxidants”, says Joanne Larsen, MS, RD, LD.
B) Blueberries help 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.
C) Blueberries aid digestion. The high fiber in blueberries keeps your system working well. The fiber helps to fill you up and helps you feel full for longer. The vitamins, sodium, copper, fructose and acids improve digestion.
D) Blueberries aid in the prevention of high blood pressure. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition followed a large group of men and women. The results showed that eating blueberries reduced their risk of developing high blood pressure by 10 percent compared to those who didn’t eat any blueberries.
E) 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.
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, milk and some fresh spinach.
Mix fresh or dried blueberries into your regular salad.
Be creative and find fun ways to eat them.
Today’s little step: Incorporate ½ cup of blueberries into your daily food choices.