Eat Your Blues
Blueberries are one of my favorite summertime treats, and in fact, July is/was National Blueberry Month in the US! I know I’m a little late with that revelation, but no worries, as they are available year-round, and indeed I enjoy them often, even in the wintertime!
Blueberries are considered one of the “superfoods,” providing many health benefits. They are very high in antioxidants (like anthocyanins and gallic acid—which provides neuroprotection), and are rich in vitamins C, B6 and K as well as folate, potassium, copper, manganese, calcium, iron and zinc. They are also high in fiber, and low in calories and sodium. These nutrients all add up to huge benefits for our bodies! Blueberries are great for the health of our brain (by healing damaged brain cells and neuron tissues), bones, skin, eyes, digestive tract and cardiovascular system (by helping to lower LDL cholesterol level and blood pressure).
The antioxidant polyphenols and resveratrol in blueberries also helps to slow the aging process by reducing DNA damage and bodily inflammation, and can even protect against cancer.
If you’re diabetic, it’s worth noting that blueberries are low-glycemic, meaning that they don’t spike blood sugar due to the fiber content. But as with all fruits, it’s best to eat them in moderation. Also, if you’re taking a blood thinner, the vitamin K in blueberries could interfere with your medication’s affects, so again, eat in moderation. (When in doubt, please consult your healthcare professional.)
By the way, wild blueberries have a higher concentration of the aforementioned nutrients. They can be found in the frozen section of some supermarkets. Also, you can obtain wild, organic powdered blueberries, which is great for smoothies or sprinkling on yogurt, salads, cereals, etc.
I have often thought about planting a blueberry bush or two so I can have my own crop! Autumn is the best time to plant, so maybe I will finally do it this year. I will keep you posted, but in the meantime, have a great rest of the summer!