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Blueberries: Superfood With A Big “S”

Blueberries: Superfood With A Big “S”

Blueberries, arguably contain more antioxidants than all other fruits on the planet. This is especially true with wild blueberries. They fight inflammation and have anti-cancer properties. Blueberries are at the top for being a super-immunity, superfood. 

Super-immunity is a phrase that means the immune system is functioning at optimal levels. Although there are many medicinal advancements, many people are still susceptible to common illnesses due to a weak immune system.

Gaining the knowledge to know how to strengthen your immune system is vital to your health as well as to protect your body from toxins and free radicals. 

This small fruit is like a military nutritional army. In combination, the blueberry has more powerful disease-fighting antioxidants than any other fruit or vegetable. It is the superfood of superfoods.

Nutrients In Blueberries

The following is for one cup of fresh blueberries:

  • calories             – 84 
  • cholesterol        – 0 grams
  • protein              – 1.1 grams
  • fat                    – 0.49 grams
  • carbohydrates  – 21.4 grams
  • total sugars      – 14.7 grams
  • Vitamin A         – 80 IU
  • Vitamin B-6      – 0.077 milligrams
  • Vitamin C         – 14.4 milligrams
  • Vitamin E         – 0.84 milligrams
  • Vitamin K         – 28.6 mcg
  • thiamin            – 0.055 milligrams
  • Riboflavin        – 0.061 milligrams
  • Niacin              – 0.619 milligrams
  • Folate              – 8.8 mcg
  • Fiber                – 3.6 grams
  • calcium            – 8.88 milligrams
  • zinc                  – 0.237 milligrams
  • selenium          – 0.148 mcg
  • sodium             – 1.48 milligrams
  • Iron                 – 0.41 milligrams
  • Manganese       – 0.497 milligrams
  • Magnesium       – 9 milligrams
  • potassium         – 114 milligrams
  • phosphorous     – 18 milligrams
  • Carotenoids 
  • phytonutrients 
  • Phytoestrogens
  • Salicylic acid 
  • Polyphenols 
  • anthocyanin
  • catechins
  • ellagic acid
  • quercetin

Benefits Of Blueberries

As one positive report after another has come out on blueberries, the media have taken to calling them “brain berries” and “youth berries,”

Blueberries May Fight atherosclerosis

Blueberries may help fight against atherosclerosis, according to a study that was conducted by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS).

Atherosclerosis is the hardening of the arteries. The research shows direct proof that blueberries can help prevent harmful the growth of plaques or lesions that can cause atherosclerosis.

In the study, the lesion size, measured at two areas in the aorta (the artery that leading away from the heart), was 39 and 58 percent less than that lesions found in mice that were not fed blueberry powder.

Antioxidant Protection

One serving (1/2 cup) of blueberries contains five times more antioxidants compared to five servings of apples, broccoli, or carrots.  More interesting, 2/3 cup of blueberries has the equivalence in antioxidant protective power as 1,200 milligrams of vitamin C.

Anti-Aging Benefits

The amazing anti-aging benefits of blueberries have to do with their role in lowering the risk for cardiovascular disease, and possibly cancer. They also help in maintaining younger-looking skin and reducing sag lines and bags due to the aging process.  

One recent study published in The Journal Of Clinical Nutrition concluded that people who ate one cup of blueberries daily had an increased level of antioxidants in their blood—enough that it played a vital role in preventing cardiovascular disease, Type 2 Diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, senility, and cancer. 

They are also high ORAC food. ORAC stands for “Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity,” which is an analysis that measures the complete antioxidant power of foods and other substances. A study conducted with an ORAC analysis concluded that blueberries can slow the aging process.

Improved Cognition

A case study was conducted by the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University on 13 men and 24 women, between the ages of 60 and 75 years. They were given a cup of blueberries per day and were tested for balance, gait, and cognition. The tests concluded that blueberries enhanced cognition in these older adults.

Blueberries Lower Blood Pressure

An eight-week study was done on 48 obese adults where they ingested either blueberry juice. The finding was that it did lower blood pressure in adults.

The Fruit With The Most Antioxidants

Blueberries Are The Fruit With The Most Antioxidants

A test was conducted by James Joseph, a Tufts University Scientist to find out which fruit contained the most antioxidants. Joseph used a new test called ORAC, or (oxygen-radical absorbance capacity), to figure out the best fruit in terms of antioxidants. The result was the blueberry.

Are Anti-Inflammatory

Blueberries have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect due to its high levels of phytonutrients. A very powerful flavonoid contained in the berry is called “anthocyanin.” Anthocyanin is what gives them their deep blue-purple color.

It was discovered that the darker the berry is, the more anthocyanin it will contain.  Anthocyanins are one of the phytonutrients that give them their powerful anti-inflammatory abilities.

Extensive research has determined that chronic inflammation may be the culprit behind many diseases. The anthocyanins in the blueberries act as an army to combat inflammation, killing free-radicals that wreak havoc to the cells and tissues of the body.  

The anthocyanins have been proven to strengthen the capillary system by assisting in the production of collagen—the building block of tissues.

Blueberries Fight Cancer

They provide another antioxidant known as ellagic acid. Research suggests this antioxidant blocks the metabolic pathways that can promote cancer.

Various studies have demonstrated that people who consume fruits with the most ellagic acid were three times less likely to develop cancer than those who consumed little or no dietary ellagic acid.

 Studies have shown that blueberries also contain a compound called pterostilbene (pronounced TARE-o-STILL-bean) that can help the body fight against a dangerous protein, cytochrome P450. This protein has been linked to increasing the risk of cancer.  

Can Restore Memory

In a study, 19-month-old rats(equivalent to 65 or 70-year-old humans) were fed a diet filled with blueberry extract daily for an eight week period. Results showed that some loss of balance and coordination was reversed and improved short-term memory improved.

How To Eat Blueberries

There are many ways to eat them. Here area few ways to enjoy their flavor:

  • Sprinkle them on yogurt.  
  • Put them in hot oatmeal.  
  • Throw some in cold cereal.  
  • Make a quick smoothie with yogurt, banana, non-fat milk.  
  • Nibble on some fresh blueberries while watching TV or reading a book.

But if you are in the mood to get fancy with them, here are a couple of recipes to make your mouth water:

Fruit Salad 

This delicious fruit salad is a mixture of fruits. 

Ingredients 

  • 1       green apple, diced
  • 1       red apple, diced
  • ½     cup of red grapes, cut in half
  • ½     cup of green grapes, cut in half
  • 1      kiwi, diced
  • ½     cup of blueberries, fresh 
  • ½    cup of strawberries, diced
  • ¼     cup of brown sugar
  • ¼     cup of fresh lemon juice
  • ¼     c. water

Directions

1. Put the apples, grapes, kiwi, blueberries, and strawberries, in a bowl. 

2. In another bowl put the brown sugar, lemon juice, and water; stir this concoction until the brown sugar has dissolved. 

3. Pour the liquid over the fruit and toss everything slowly. 

4. Enjoy this delicious snack. 

Raisin Orange-Spiced Oatmeal

This microwave recipe is made with oats, cinnamon, and honey for a warm, delicious breakfast.

Ingredients

  • ¾     cup of rolled oats/oatmeal 
  • ½     tsp. cinnamon 
  • ¼     cup of raisins 
  • ½     cup of blueberries 
  • 1      tsp. honey (optional) 
  • 1      pinch of ginger (optional) 
  • 1      cup of water 
  • ¼ – ½    cup of fresh orange juice  

Directions

1. Put the rolled oats, cinnamon, raisins, and blueberries in a bowl. 

2. Add the honey and ginger if desired.  

3. Add in the water and mix ingredients. 

 4. Put it in on high in the microwave for about two minutes or until you see that the water has evaporated. 

5. Stir in the fresh orange juice to the consistency that you prefer.  

6. Enjoy this delicious oatmeal.

Blueberry Health Breakfast Shake 

This makes a tasty, breakfast shake that will have you full of energy to start the day.

Ingredients

  • 2      cups of plain low-fat yogurt 
  • 1      cup of fresh blueberries 
  • 1      ripe banana
  • ½     cup of orange juice 
  • 1      scoop of your favorite protein powder

Directions

1. Put the yogurt, blueberries, banana, and orange juice in a blender. 

2. Blend until it is smooth. 

3. Pour some into a glass and enjoy a healthy breakfast shake.

Blueberry Chicken Marsala

Blueberry Chicken Marsala

This is a tasty and colorful chicken entree. 

Ingredients

  • 4      boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1      cup of flour
  • ¼     cup of chopped parsley
  • 3      tsp. olive oil
  • 3      cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1      onion, finely diced
  • ½ – ¾  cup of Marsala wine
  • 2      cups of fresh blueberries
  • 1      fresh lemon
  •         grated rind of 1 orange
  •         salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Dust chicken breasts in flour. 

2. Sauté the chicken in olive oil until brown, approximately 7 to 10 minutes. 

3. Remove chicken breasts from pan and keep warm. 

4. At the time sauté garlic and onion together with the chicken as it is cooking. 

5. Add the Marsala wine, blueberries, orange rind, and parsley; let it simmer for about 5 minutes until most of the liquid is evaporated. 

6. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

7. Cut the fresh lemon into four pieces and serve with the chicken. 

8. Enjoy this healthy, delicious entree.

Summary

If you desire to want to live a healthy life, then the regular consumption of blueberries should be a must in your diet. They are the ultimate superfood that will positively affect your immune system and every vital part of your body.

They are full of antioxidants and flavonoids, vitamins, and minerals. And to top it, they are anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer. Why wouldn’t anyone want to eat some blueberries?