It is just about that time of year again, where the warmer weather sweeps in and the fruit is juicier than ever before! The sweetest, and most antioxidant filled berry better known as the blueberry has been quite a crowd favorite with both people and dogs alike for sometime now. Some people eat them everyday, while others cannot tolerate their unique constancy, but nonetheless they are so very good for you! Blueberries are quite often referred to as a superfood, which does not surprise me one bit!
Fun Facts About Blueberries
- Blueberries help repair damaged brain cells, and can fight diseases like Alzheimers and Parkinsons.
- Blueberries help you retain a better memory.
- Blueberries work similarly to cranberries, and may help ease a urinary tract infection.
- Blueberries contain vitamin A, E,C, B and a variety of other nutrients like potassium, selenium, zinc, copper, and manganese (2).
- Blueberries can naturally lower your blood pressure, and they are low in sodium and calories.
- Blueberries can help with digestion because they are also high in fiber.
- Blueberries are grown on a bush, and are green before they turn bright purple and blue.
- Blueberry muffins are the most popular muffin in America (3).
- July is national Blueberry month.
- Blueberries can be used as a natural stain or dye.
- The blueberry is the state fruit for New Jersey.
Health Benefits of Blueberries
These small but mighty berries are chocked full of goodness, and they are full of healthy antioxidants which rid our bodies of free radicals. Are you familiar with what free radicals are? According to Authority Nutrition, “ Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage cellular structures and contribute to aging and diseases like cancer” (1). So what makes blueberries so good? The polyphenol (or compounds of the antioxidant) responsible for this goodness is called a flavanoid. Blueberries have been known to feed the brain in the most healthy of ways, by the simple ingredient they harbor: their antioxidants.
Because our cells are damaged daily, we age. Blueberries contain so many antioxidants that they can neutralize the damage caused to the cells, which means that they can help with anti-aging too! Nature’s cure for growing old, well at least for a little while. On top of helping someone stay younger looking on the outside, they can also keep your heart healthy on the inside. The different antioxidants found in blueberries have been known to protect the unhealthy cholesterol from getting damaged, which in turn takes you down the road to heart disease (1).
Uses For Blueberries
The uses for natural, wild, and raw blueberries are abundant and they are so tasty! Don’t be fooled by the knock off version of blueberries found in your grocery stores. The culprits are fake blueberry cream cheese spreads, sauces made from corn syrup, and “fake” berries that are found in popular muffin mix brands. Those are not the blueberries we are referring to when it comes to all of the health benefits! Stay away from those sugar filled and processed versions of blueberries, as they will not be good for you in the long run.
But what about adding fresh blueberries onto your pancakes in the morning? Check out this delicious protein pancake recipe, with optional blueberries topping them! Or how about going to your local farmer’s market to purchase fresh blueberries grown organically! Talk about flavor! You can make banana bread and add them to the mix, or you could simply put a little yogurt with berries to enjoy a light summer snack filled with healthy probiotics, antioxidants, and protein. Dogs also love blueberries and they are a great treat for them especially in the summer, just do not overdo it!
The options are truly endless when it comes to blueberries, and how to incorporate them into your diet. For those of you who do not like the consistency of the berries, try blending them into a smoothie, so you can enjoy all of the benefits without the texture. Try this Blueberry Mint Lemonade Smoothie, or this plain Blueberry Smoothie for all of the perks! No matter how you can incorporate them into your daily diet, remember all of the health benefits you will be gaining when you do!