Blueberries the Superfood in Disguise
Blueberries also known as Vaccinium corymbosum are from the plant kingdom and are listed under the genus Vaccinium. They are a delicious fruit that have been around for thousands of years and they’ve also been used in Ayurvedic medicine. This berry is packed with nutrients, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and antioxidants. Blueberries are certainly worthy of being called a superfood. They are more than the delicious additions to waffles and muffins. They have a lightly tart taste and the color is a beautiful hue of deep purple and dark blue. The color comes from anthocyanins which are flavenoids that are part of a family of antioxidants that have health properties that benefit the human body. These antioxidants work against free radicals to prevent damage to DNA and cellular functions.
Nutritional Properties & Benefits of Blueberries
Blueberries are a great source of vitamin C, this vitamin is essential for the immune system and helps to strengthen skin and aids in wound healing. An interesting fact is that one cup of blueberries contains 24% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C.
It is also an excellent source of vitamin K, this vitamin plays a vital role in creating proteins that work both in coagulation and anticoagulation. Among other fruits blueberries are unique in that they contain some of the highest amounts of antioxidants. Flaven-3-ols are phytonutrients that have antioxidation properties and they can prevent and treat UTI’s. The antioxidants prevent bacteria and germs from collecting in the urinary tract.
This superfood can also fight against dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. There are several research studies where blueberries were utilized in testing for memory improvement. The results provided evidence indicating that the anthocyanin properties that blueberries posses were in fact responsible for increasing cognition in older adults.
Blueberries also contain properties that are known to fight cancer. One of its other antioxidants is called resveratrol. It is a poloyphenol that most plants naturally produce. Resveratrol works to protect the plant against fungus, bacteria, and disease. When you consume blueberries you can benefit from these properties as well. There are numerous studies that have shown that resveratrol prevents cancer cells from growing. It does this by inhibiting the signaling pathways when cancer cells begin to proliferate. With a great taste and so many incredible properties it is no wonder blueberries are considered a superfood.
Ways to Use Blueberries in Your Diet
There are many ways that you can use blueberries in your diet. For instance you can have blue berry tea, for every one cup of tea simply add ¾ of a cup of organic blueberries to 16 ounces of water and bring it to a boil. Let the tea sit for a minute, sweeten if you desire, then strain and enjoy.
You can also have a blueberry smoothie just add one to two cups of organic blueberries and eight ounces of organic plain low fat yogurt. Then sweeten with two teaspoons of manuka honey or organic brown sugar. Add one teaspoon of lemon juice and one cup of organic two percent low fat milk. Blend them and chill your smoothie in the refrigerator for at least thirty minutes. Additionally, if you like you can add a ripe banana for some added potassium and sweetness in place of the honey or brown sugar.
Blueberry lemon iced tea is another way to enjoy blueberries. It is also a practical and delicious treat for a hot summer day. Just add 16 ounces of blueberries to four cups of water and bring them to a boil. Let it cool, then strain it and add it to a pitcher and squeeze enough lemons to obtain one cup of lemon juice and blend it. Blend in ¾ cup of organic brown sugar and place it in the refrigerator until it is nice and cold.
Perhaps the simplest way you can enjoy blueberries is just to eat them as a snack. You can grab a handful or two instead of reaching for an unhealthy snack like potato chips. You can also pour some in a small bowl of organic low fat yogurt, grab your favorite spoon and dig in.
With blueberries offering so many health benefits it is no wonder it has been deemed a superfood. As an added bonus there are so many healthy and delicious ways that you can enjoy them.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 E Randall
Robert Clarke from UK on June 24, 2021:
I bake them into banana bread - although not sure if the cooking process removes some of the goodness?