Blueberries and its Potential Health Benefits

Looking for a delicious fruit that is a good source of dietary fiber, Vitamin C, and manganese? How about branching out of the typical consumption of apples and bananas, and try one of the most talked about super-fruit; Blueberries.
blueberry


Blueberries contain antioxidants and nutrients such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, phytochemicals, flavonoids, and anthocyanins that are known to reduce your risks of heart disease and cancer. Researchers claim that the pigments of blueberries are rich in antioxidants, protecting the body from free radicals. Studies have also shown a strong link between the consumption of blueberries with potential health benefits including:

-The promotion of a healthy urinary tract, while reducing the risk of infections

-The prevention of certain types of cancer due to its richness in antioxidants, inhibiting the growth of cell damage

-Decrease in vision loss due to the blueberry extract Anthocyanosides, while containing Lutein (a carotenoid) responsible for healthy vision

-Prevention of heart disease as it lowers your cholesterol and the total blood lipid levels

-Contains certain compounds that enhance neuron signals to prevent short term memory loss that accompanies the aging process, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia

How much should a person consume to benefit from these potential health benefits? There is not a fixed amount of how much a person should eat, however the key is to make sure we meet our daily recommendations of fruit intake while maintaining variety and moderation.


The great thing about blueberries is that they are easily accessible and quick to prepare. All it needs is a little rinsing before eating and is a healthy, alternative snack or dessert compared to other non-healthy foods. It is versatile and can be utilized in numerous recipes, such as dressing, jam, a part of a pancake mixture, smoothies, and in homemade muffins. With its peak season arising in July, I have included two recipes I found on-line that incorporates blueberries as the main ingredient that everyone can enjoy!


1. “Super Antioxidant Blueberry Smoothie”



Ingredients:

-1/2 cup blueberries
-1/4 cup pomegranate juice
-¼ cup plain low-fat or fat-free yogurt
-1 tablespoon honey
-½ cup ice

blueberry smoothie




Mix all the ingredients in the blender and serve.



SOURCE: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/foodwine/2003773553_smoothie04.html









2.
“Blueberry Dream Pie”
blueberry pie

Ingredients:
-1 cup unsweetened coconut
-1 cup graham cracker crumbs
-1 cup roasted, unsalted almonds, finely chopped
-1 tablespoon melted butter
-4 cups blueberries
-2 cups vanilla yogurt (non-fat works fine)

Toast coconut for 6-8 minutes in a 350-degree oven and set aside. Mixed graham cracker crumbs, almonds, and melted butter in a pie dish as you place it evenly on the bottom and sides. Place 1 cup of blueberries over the bottom and set aside. Place 2 cups of blueberries with yogurt and puree to a thick paste in a blender. Add 2 tablespoons of honey or however much you prefer. Spoon the filling into the dish with the rest of the blueberries, while spreading the toasted coconut over it. Serving size is 6-8.

SOURCE: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/food/277978_fresh19.html











SOURCES:


1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blueberry

2. http://www.blueberry.org/health.htm

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