Ahhh…blueberries. So gorgeous. They look like tiny clusters of dark blue and very precious gems growing on bushes. Right down the road from the home where we lived when my son was little, there were dozens of wild blueberry bushes. Every other day or so, he and I would take a small pail and fill it up. We ate blueberries every day. Tossed into our morning cereal or oatmeal, on top of ice cream, pancakes and waffles or baked into muffins. We’d pop a handful of blueberries into our mouths as a quick pick-me up treat. Nature’s candy.
Have blueberries whenever you are low – destiny will change and you will be high. – Adam Voichester
What’s amazing about blueberries is they’re so abundant, especially here in the US. Did you know we are the world’s largest producer of blueberries? If all the blueberries grown in North America in one year were spread out in a single layer, they would cover a four-lane highway from New York to Chicago. Talk about nature’s bounty.
Did you also know that blueberries were called “star berries” by Native Americans because the five points of blueberry blossoms make a star shape? They also believed that the ‘Great Spirit’ created the berries to feed their hungry children during famine.
Here’s the best thing about blueberries, though.
They are, with a doubt, a very powerful super food!
If you aren’t already including fresh blueberries in your daily diet, here are a few reasons why you should:
They are packed with nutrition. Blueberries contain vitamin C, B complex, vitamin E, vitamin A, copper, selenium, zinc, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium and fiber.
Blueberries are great for your brain! The juice from blueberries improves memory in older adults, so it’s a good idea to give blueberries to your aging parents, and you’re concerned with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease later on in years, eat more blueberries now. Dr. James Joseph, from the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University calls the blueberry the brain berry. “When it comes to brain protection, there is nothing quite like blueberries,” he says.
They have anti-cancer benefits. Studies with blueberries have found that breast cancer, colon cancer, esophageal cancer, and cancers of the small intestine were reduced. These studies were on human cells or laboratory animals and more research is needed, but so far. research points to astounding healing powers. There is an increasing percentage of research focusing on blueberries and anti-cancer benefits.
Blueberries are good for your heart. Research shows that women who ate at least three servings of blueberries per week had fewer heart attacks. Blueberries contain high levels of compounds that have cardiovascular benefits.
Blueberries can help reduce your risk of Diabetes. One of the antioxidants found in blueberries, the anthocyanins, (which give them their beautiful blue color) has been found to lower risk of Type 2 diabetes. Those who ate two or more servings of blueberries weekly reduced their risk of developing diabetes by 23 percent in one study. Blueberries are also low on the Glycemic Index, so people with diabetes can enjoy them without worrying about drastic or dangerous highs in their blood sugar levels.
Blueberries can help you lose weight! If you want to activate your fat burning genes, blueberries can help! They contain catechins and when you eat foods rich in catechins, you can double your total weight loss. That’s according to research at Tufts University. Blueberries may even help reduce belly fat, so if you want to get rid of your muffin top – eat less muffins and more blueberries! 🙂
WOW! All those benefits from one beautiful, bountiful fruit!
Are you ready to begin eating more blueberries?
Here’s a few things you should know before you get started.
Stick with organically grown blueberries. Most U.S. grown blueberries can have high levels of pesticide residue. Blueberries are in the top fifteen list of crops with the most pesticides, according to the Environmental Working Group. Even if you rinse your conventionally grown blueberries really well, you probably aren’t removing all those pesticides, including what’s inside the blueberries, so go with organic if you can.
Blueberries are relatively inexpensive. Even if you’re buying organic blueberries, they’re still very affordable and they’re the least perishable of all berries. They’ll keep in your fridge for a long time.
Blueberries freeze really well. If you find them on sale, but can’t eat them all at once, toss them in a freezer bag or container. Take advantage of blueberries in season and pop a bunch into your freezer so you can enjoy them all year long. They’re also great to snack on when frozen or you can add frozen blueberries into your morning smoothie or jazz up plain old water with a handful of them.
They can help control your sugar cravings. Try eating some fresh blueberries instead of candy when those sweet cravings kick in. Have a small handful of nuts like almonds, cashews or walnuts along with the blueberries for an afternoon pick-me-up. All those benefits of the blueberries PLUS the protein, vitamins and minerals from the nuts and you’ll feel satisfied, more focused, more energetic and regulate your blood sugar. And, here’s one of my favorite tips: if you’re addicted to sweet bottled salad dressings, but want to cut back on all that sugar, add a small handful of blueberries into your green salads for a touch of natural sweetness. Toss it all together with your own simple, homemade dressing made with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and some fresh herbs and spices.
Yours in Happiness, Health and Success,
Raccoon with blueberries photo is from boredpanda.com
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Hi! I’m Cynthia Parrott. As a board certified Health and Wellness Consultant, life coach, entrepreneur and owner of Metamorphosis Healthy Lifestyle Coaching, I am on a mission to help amazing women become even more amazing, not just by showing them how to eat so they can achieve their specific wellness or weight loss goals, but how to create the happiest, healthiest, most successful and exciting lives imaginable! You can learn more about that here.
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