Health Benefits of Super Food Blueberries and Nutraceutical Recipes
Beating the High Cost of Healthcare With Super Foods
As healthcare costs rise and the shortage of doctors and nurses in America and globally rises, some individuals and families are turning toward natural remedies. This is a good idea in order to stay healthy and to avoid high treatment costs in some conditions.
Some people rely more heavily of effective nutrition and diet to prevent health problems. They may even find cures for certain physical and psychological disorders. Many of these nutritional sources are quite effective if used properly -- By this I mean that one should not "overdose" on a good dietary item.
Did you know that Native North Americans in Eastern Canada and the Eastern Woodlands of what became USA always ate blueberries and dried them, along with cranberries, for a winter fruit source?
Blueberry - Antioxidant, Nutraceutical, Super Food
Americans are Eating More Blueberries
Weight of blueberries consumed per person
15.5 oz. (almost one pound)
34.9 oz. (over two pounds)
+ 14.9 oz.
Over 40 oz. (estimate)
+ 5.1 oz.
Eating Fruit in a Healthy Way
One of my early teachers came back from a vacation to Hawaii and straight to the hospital. She had, in fact, been hospitalized near the end of her island vacation. The diagnosis she received was "pineapple poisoning." She'd eaten massive quantities of fresh pineapple daily for nearly two weeks and the acid and/or excessive vitamin C therein caused chaos with her almost-carcass: she could have died, she was told.
So, let's not overdo fruit, even though 7 servings of fruits and/or vegetables is the US standard of dietary health and I lean toward agreeing with that advice. Check with your healthcare person if you have questions or are diabetic.
Speaking of overdoing foods --
Watching Alton Brown's Good Eats in back-to-back episodes of lobster and crawfish history and recipes reminds me of a crustacean catastrophe of my own. The first time I experienced a salad bar, in-shell shrimp were served. I enjoyed them, but ate many, many shrimp. An allergic reaction to the 1000s of shells and their impurities I must have contacted created a strange rash.
One gorging incident was enough to teach me some moderation; but gosh, I'd never eaten in-shell shrimp before, they were delicious! -- and had few calories. If I had eaten blueberries with them, I might not have come down with that itchy garden of gritty hives.
Blueberries offer the body vitamins A and C, iron, potassium, and magnesium. They are a vital source of antioxidants that prevent or delay degenerative diseases of aging.
These conditions include cancer, CVD - cardiovascular disease, and cataracts (cloudy lenses in the eyes). Antioxidants fight free-radical agents in smog, cigarette smoke, vehicle exhaust, and other polluting elements.
Food Can Create Health
Nutraceutical is a modern term that combines the words nutritional and pharmaceutical. The term often related to food extracts and supplemented or enriched foods, but it also refers to specific foods that act as medicines. That is the definition that I like the most.
Effective nutrition and a balanced diet can prevent and ameliorate many health conditions that would otherwise cost large amounts of money and prove even crippling or deadly. Combined with exercise, rest, and recreation, then nutrition and diet can work even more effectively for reaching good health and a fulfilling life.
As America considers nationalized healthcare and the reduction in healthcare services that this might entail, particularly to the older segments of our population, the old and the oldest-old (over 80 years), the importance of proper nutrition as protection against healthcare woes become more important. Americans are living longer, particular to the age of 100+ years and nutrition fo rthe later years must begin early in life. Old TV commercials that illustrated Ukrainians in a particular valley, living longer than anyone else on the planet and in a healthy state because of their long-term yogurt intake, is a reminder of that.
The blueberry is a nutraceutical with health-giving properties that can be incorporated into the diet of many people. Native Americans introduced European settlers to the blueberry and this fruit became a welcome variation in the diet as well as a good-tasting addition to main dishes, salads,desserts, and jellies and jams over time.
Three major varieties of blueberries grow in the USA: highbush, rabbiteye, and southern highbush. Highbush generally grows in the north, while rabbiteye and southern highbush succeed in the South.
This dish comes from a Native American recipe and blackberries can easily be substituted for the blueberries. Any of the berries provide health benefits.
- 2 Quarts of ripe blueberries, washed
- 2 Cups sugar - less if you like more tartness
- 1.5 Cups spring water
- 2 Cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 Tbsp melted shortening or oil
- In a large, heavy pot, put the berries, sugar and 1/2 cup water over medium heat to bring to the boil.
- In a mixing bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Add in oil or shortening and a cup water. Stir just until mixed pretty well, but don't over mix or the dough will become tough. It needs to be rolled out, so if it is too wet, add some more flour. Humidity in the air will make a difference.
- On a clean floured board or counter top, roll dough to a rectangle of 1/8" thickness.
- Cut strips of dough about 1 1/2 inches long and 1/2 inch wide. These are the dumplings.
- When the berries reach a full rolling boil, drop dumplings in across the surface of the berries. The berries will thicken and the dumplings will change shapes.
- Boil for 5 minutes and then cover tightly, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Turn the heat off, but let the pot stand on the burner for another 5 minutes.
- Serve as a dessert in a bowl with low-fat whipped cream or ice cream. Some Native Americans still serve the dumplings with heavy cream.
Double Berry Cooler
Double Berry Cooler
This dish can be served as a side dish or as a dessert. It combines two kinds of berries and two varieties of non-fat yogurt.
Yogurt comes in so many sizes today, that you can measure it from a giant container or purchase a 4-oz cup just for a recipe. I have noticed sizes of 2, 4, 6, and 8 oz. individual cups, and larger 16 & 32 oz sizes to keep on hand.
Serves 2 bowls:
- 1.5 Cups blueberries
- 1 Cup blackberries
- ½ Cup buttermilk
- ½ Cup (4 oz.) plain non-fat yogurt
- ½ Cup (4 oz.) non-fat vanilla yogurt
- Save a few blueberries for garnishing two servings. In a blender, puree the rest of the blueberries and pour them through a strainer; discard skins to the compost heap.
- Add the buttermilk and plain yogurt to strained blueberries and mix; refrigerate until very cold.
- Pour blackberries into a clean strainer over a bowl and push through with a spoon to obtain the juice; discard seeds and skin.
- Into the blackberries stir vanilla yogurt; refrigerate until chilled.
- After both berry elements are cold, divide the blueberry between two bowls and add half of the blackberry on top. You might want to place the two berry mixtures side by side by pushing the blueberry mixture to one side.
- With a dinner knife, swirl the berry mixtures into each other to create a pattern if you wish.
- Garnish with berries and serve.
© 2009 Patty Inglish MS