Blueberries are typically enjoyed in jams, jellies, baked goods or cheesecakes, but they are great for eating out of hand or juicing also. Being dark in color and naturally very sweet means they can hide flavours of some healthy vegetables, making them great candidates for smoothies or juicing.
Due to their low vitamin C content compared to other fruits, blueberries were not given due attention for the longest time. Later discoveries showed that blueberries are a super-food like none other, due to their phytonutrients and antioxidant content. While a delicate fruit, blueberries can be frozen when in season for greater convenience, without causing any damage to their nutritional content.
Frozen Blueberry Charm
- 1 Cup Skim Milk
- 1 Cup Yogurt
- 1 Cup Blueberries
- 1 Cup Ice-cubes
- 1 teaspoon sweetener of choice
Place all ingredients in a blender and mix for ten to twenty seconds depending on how smooth you like your drink.
One cup of blueberries contains only 84 calories, no fat, cholesterol or sodium. It also supplies one gram of protein and two grams of dietary fibre making them a very healthy food. Consuming blueberries is a good way to enhance your vitamin intake. They provide vitamins A, C, E and K. They are also a source of essential minerals like manganese, and small amounts of iron, potassium and copper. The deep purple of blueberries is due to the phytonutrient anthocyanin, which is also now associated with many health benefits in humans.
Health Benefits of Blueberries
When compared to forty other fruits and vegetables blueberries ranked at the top in terms of antioxidant activity. Antioxidants strengthen the immune system by neutralizing the free radicals in the body. Most of this antioxidant power is due to the anthocyanins in blueberries.
The compound pterostilbene in blueberries is accredited with reducing the accumulation of “bad” cholesterol. The compound holds the potential to be developed into a cholesterol lowering nutraceutical. It will be especially useful for individuals who do not respond well to conventional drugs.
Researchers at the Rutgers University in New Jersey have discovered a compound in blueberries that inhibits bacteria from sticking to urinary tract cells and cuts down on urinary tract infections. Consumption of blueberries is also found to be beneficial in slowing down age-related loss of mental capacity and improved eyesight.