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Blueberries - What Your Mother Didn't Tell You
7 Incredible Benefits of Blueberries - The Superstar of Nutrition
Hold on to your hat - you're about to discover a health habit your mother never told you about!
Blueberries. This small round fruit with blue, purple or blackish skin are loaded with vitamin C, fiber, manganese and a whole lot more. There are plenty of reasons your body will thank you for adding blueberries to your diet. Optimal health is one and here are 7 more:
- Regulates the Blood Sugar - Recent studies show that type 2 diabetes participants, who eat at least 3 servings of low-GI fruits each day, show significant improvement in the regulation of blood sugar over a three month period of time. I'm type 2 diabetic and can vouch for this.
- Improves Cardiovascular (heart) - I wish my brother new that consuming just 1-2 cups of blueberries each day improves blood fat balances and protects the cells lining the blood vessel walls. And there's more. Just listen to the next benefit.
- Blood Pressure - Once you start eating blueberries (daily) you may see a reduction in both your systolic and diastolic blood pressures. A group of my friends did!
- Antioxidants - You're going to get antioxidant support for the whole body - This means that muscle damage, (the kind that follows strenuous exercise) can be reduced. Even protection for the nervous system from oxidative stress has been discovered. Imagine!
- Cognitive benefits - Cognitive functioning including memory may slow down in older folks according to recent studies. (This happened with my sister.) This is reason enough for aging adults to increase their intake of blueberries right?
- Anti-cancer benefits - This one touches close to home with me. Having lost my mother to breast cancer, my son (in the prime of life) to testicular cancer, and my best friend to colon cancer, I wish this information would have been available years ago. Perhaps it may have helped save lives. (I realize that other factors are involved.) More research is being done every day on the benefits of blueberries and the potential ability to reduce the risk of some forms of cancer.
- Eye health - Blueberries help to protect the eyes from such diseases as cataracts (mine were removed) and glaucoma. Foods high in phytonutrient antioxidants are being studied for their ability to help protect the retina from oxygen damage. Blueberries are high in phytonutrients. Just look at the list below - it's altogether amazing!
Love Your Blueberries - Love Your Body
When buying blueberries stick with plump, firm, dry ones making sure the skin is smooth..
What Are Phytonutrients?
Blueberries are filled with Phytonutrients .What are Phytonutrients? According to webmd.com:
" Plant foods contain thousands of natural chemicals. These are called Phytonutrients or phytochemicals. "Phyto" refers to the Greek word for plant. These chemicals help protect plants from germs, fungi, bugs, and other threats.
Fruits and vegetables contain phytonutrients. Other plant-based foods also contain phytonutrients, such as:
- Whole grains
Phytonutrients function both as anti-inflammatory and antioxidants in the body.
The list of phytonutrients is a long one. I've decided to keep the list short while giving you a brief description of the following:
- Anthocyanins - This is what the Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology describe this phytonutrient (in a nut shell.) "Anthocyanins are members of the flavonoid group of phytochemicals, a group predominant in teas, honey, wines, fruits, vegetables, nuts, olive oil, cocoa, and cereals.
- Flavinoids - Used for anti-cancer, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammitory, anti-viral, allergy relief.)
- Resveratrol (produced by the plant as a defense against disease.) Foods such as grapes, blueberries, rasberries and mulberries contain resveratrol.
- Ellagic acids - You'll get plenty of this antioxidant in cranberries, blueberries, blackberries, pecans, pomegranates, strawberries, walnuts, grapes and peaches.
- Alkaloids - Well-known alkaloids include morphine, quinine, ephedrine, nicotine, and strychnine.
- Carotenoids - These are the colorful plant pigment found in fruits and vegetables providing the body with powerful antioxidants.
- Coumestans - This is an estrogen-like substance made by some plants and may have anticancer effects.
- Flavan3 OLS - Found in cocoa and chocolate.
- Lignans (Silymarin - From the milk thistle plant, helps protect the liver by the growth of new liver cells.)
A few months ago I was diagnosed with high liver enzymes - no, I'm not a drinker. I started a regimen of Silymarin (milk thistle) and by the time my next doctor visit was due; my enzymes were perfectly normal.
Am I a believer? You bet!
Blueberry Smoothie - You're Gonna' Love The Taste
You must love blueberries or you wouldn't be here. Or maybe you're not crazy about these purple little goodies, but you've heard they're good for you, so a smoothie is worth trying. And you're also looking for a recipe that isn't loaded with sugar and other chemicals.
Good for you. You've come to the right place. I'm going to share with you my favorite healthy, easy to make, skinny blueberry drink. It's so delicious that your friends and family will be asking for seconds.
So if you're looking for the ultimate, healthy, great-tasting smoothie look no further.
Ingredients For This Mouth-Watering Smoothie
All you need to whip up this blueberry smoothie will be:
1 cup organic fresh blueberries (frozen are ok too)
1/4 tsp. flaxseeds
1/4 tsp. chia seeds
1 cup unsweetened vanilla flavor almond milk
1 - 2 packets of stevia (sweeten to taste)
5 - 8 ice cubes (add more to thicken)
1/2 cup chocolate protein powder
If you're not watching your weight, and if you're fortunate enough not to have type2 diabetes, you may use sugar in place of stevia.
According to the latest studies - mixing blueberries with milk is a no-no. According to a study in the March 15, 2009 journal Free Radical Biology & Medicine, ingesting blueberries with milk impairs the antioxidant properties of the blueberries
I've included a link below in the event you'd like to read more about this.
For a Super-Quick Mix Here's What To Do
This is so easy even the kids will love this part:
- Clean and wash berries and be gentle about it.
- Combine all ingredients into a blender. ( But hold the ice for a second. Add your ice cubes one-at-a-time blending before adding the next one.)
- Blend slowly adding desired amount of ice cubes until desired thickness is reached.
- Pour into frosty-cold mugs or drinking glasses.
Get a Load Of The Nutrition Value In This Blueberry Smoothie
Serving size depending on thickness: Serves 1 or 2
- Calories: 120
- Fat 3 g (good fat)
- Fiber 16 g
- Protein 10 g
One of the benefits of making your own smoothie is how you can add just about anything of nutritional value. And smoothies are a great meal replacement too.
Add a Handful Of Blueberries to Oatmeal
Here's A Choice Blueberry Tip
To keep your heart healthy be sure to include blueberries in your diet three to four times a week. That's right! You only need 148.00 grams (one cup). Add a few to your morning cereal or pop a couple right in your mouth, frozen, directly from your freezer. Kids love them this way.
Unusual Facts About Blueberries
Do you know?
- Early colonists made gray paint out of blueberries by boiling them in milk.
- The blueberry industry of North America ships over 500 metric tons of fresh berries to Japan each year and over 100 metric tons to Iceland
- Blueberries grow best in acidic soil at a pH of four to five and make a good container plant.
- Native Americans once called them "star berries,"
- Blueberries are one of the only natural foods that are truly blue in color
- blueberries rank only second to strawberries in popularity of berries
- Organically grown blueberries turned out to have significantly higher concentrations of total phenol antioxidants and total anthocyanin antioxidants than conventionally grown blueberries, as well as significantly higher total antioxidant capacity.
- In July 2003 the United States Department of Agriculture proclaimed that July is National Blueberry Month in the USA!
Only wash blueberries just before eating to avoid early mold.
In Closing -
We, alone. are responsible for our health. We know our bodies better than anyone. Our quality of life absolutely depends on our health. Today more than ever it is up to each one of us to take command of our vessel, our body, and make the healthy life-style changes needed.
The health care system is not what it once was (understatement) and a topic for another time. With environmental problems and processed food loaded with chemicals - you and I must take a stand - and with all the passion we can muster up, treat our bodies with love and respect.
- Question your doctor and when needed get a second opinion.
- Get regular check-ups.
- See your dentist regularly.
- Check your prescriptions and if in doubt ask.
- Eat a healthy diet - avoid sugar as it depletes essential minerals. Studies have shown that sugar increases the rate of calcium excretion. This can throw off the calcium-magnesium ratio and the calcium-phosphorus ratio that your body needs
- Move your body. As the Nike commercial states, "Just Do It!"
- Increase healthy, organic fruits and vegetables - especially blueberries. But do not eat these berries with milk including yogurt. Remember the video above.
- Love you. Love the person you are. Always love and forgive yourself. You are a diamond.
Thank you for being here. I would love to hear your thoughts and concerns. The comment section below is important to me. I read each comment.
Good health is your birthright.
The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements
How Much Do You Like Blueberries?
Do You Include Blueberries In Your Diet?
© 2016 Audrey Hunt