Blueberries: Super Food with Bragging Rights
Our continuing interest in super foods brings us to blueberries, which are loaded with vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants that have important health benefits. Read on to discover why blueberries are one of the best foods to add to your daily routine for healthy living.
Blueberries Earn Bragging Rights as a Super Food worth Boasting About
Blueberries are classified as one of the "super foods" we hear about often, and with good reason. These great-tasting berries are loaded with antioxidants - more than any other berries. You may not know about the additional health benefits blueberries have, so let's share some of that information with you now.
A Little Berry with Lots of Big Benefits
Eating blueberries contributes many health benefits, and this is one fruit that has something for almost every part of your body. These berries are low in calories and high in fiber. A one-cup serving contains less than 100 calories, and gives you ╝ of your daily requirement in Vitamin C.
The berries have plenty of other vitamins and minerals also, and contain specific nutrients that improve memory and keep your brain healthy. Scientists are also claiming that blueberries restore and maintain a healthy nervous system, protect brain cells from dying prematurely, a key concern for the onset of Alzheimer's disease.
Another benefit associated with eating blueberries is improved vision. This is due to compounds in the berries called flavonoids and anthocyanosides, which is said to slow or prevent the development of macular degeneration, cataracts, and myopia. Blueberries also contain heavy molecules that help wash away harmful bacteria in the urinary tract, preventing infections.
Anthocyanins, also found in red wines, are another important group of antioxidants known to promote good cardiovascular health and prevent heart disease. These types of antioxidants defend the body against damage from free radicals. This super food component of blueberries is even being studied for prevention of varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and peptic ulcers.
There are a few interesting cautions regarding blueberries that have been discovered. Milk protein depletes the antioxidant power of acids contained in blueberries. Because of this, at least one study suggests you eat blueberries one hour before or two hours after drinking milk. This makes the much-advertised ritual of adding blueberries to your morning cereal less nutritious than you think. A better choice is to eat some blueberries as a high-energy snack or for topping off a green salad.
Blueberries also contain oxalates, which can become concentrated and crystallize in the body, creating concern for those with the potential for kidney stones or gallstones. Good advice is to consume all foods in moderation, and to pay attention to specific allergies or other health concerns before indulging in certain foods.
Guidelines for Selecting and Eating Fresh Blueberries
What are the criteria for selecting and eating blueberries? Good-tasting, ripe blueberries are still firm and uniform in color, never dull-looking or watery. Water actually causes the berries to spoil more quickly, so you'll want to wash and dry only what you'll eat now, and store the rest in dry containers in the refrigerator.
If fresh blueberries aren't available, buy frozen instead. These berries freeze well and can be bought whole or crushed. Then, all it takes is a quick thaw to enjoy the same great taste and benefits. If you're using frozen berries for cooking, either thaw them first or add them into the recipe frozen and adjust the cooking time slightly for best results.
Blueberry recipes are found in every section of a cookbook, from salads to sauces, breakfast to breads, and desserts to drinks. This is one berry you can enjoy any time of day. Even by themselves, they make a quick and easy super-food snack that satisfies.
These berries are a super-food packed with nutrition and flavor, and they're so versatile, you'll find many ways to include them in your daily meals. It's a berry that's certainly worth boasting about as part of your healthy diet.