Fill Up on Blue Berries
Indulge your sweet tooth with blueberries, in terms of U.S. fruit consumption, blueberries rank only second to strawberries in popularity of berries. Blueberries are not only popular, but also repeatedly ranked in the U.S. diet as having one of the highest antioxidant capacities among all fruits, vegetables, spices and seasonings. Antioxidants are essential to optimizing health by helping to combat the free radicals that can damage cellular structures as well as DNA. We recommend enjoying raw blueberries — rather than relying upon blueberries incorporated into baked desserts — because, like other fruits, raw blueberries provide you with the best flavor and the greatest nutritional benefits.
If you keep up to date with health and fitness news, then you’ll be well aware that blueberries are constantly billed as one of the healthiest foods on the planet. A single cup serving adds a minimal 84 calories to your daily intake but also contains plenty of fiber, manganese, vitamin C and vitamin K. However, the real beauty of blueberries lies in the anthocyanins they contain. The anthocyanins are a group of powerful, health boosting nutrients with a long list of health benefits and blueberries are one of the richest food sources. By eating blueberries, you can take advantage of these health boosting properties of anthocyanins which include:
– Fighting cancer
– Keeping your blood healthy
– Preventing diabetes
– Reducing inflammation within your body
– Supporting a healthy heart
Foods To Substitute For Blueberries
Blueberries are naturally very sweet but actually contain very little sugar, with an entire cup of these powerful fruits packing less than 100 calories. This makes them the perfect substitute for candy and other sweet treats which often contain hundreds of calories per serving and very few nutrients. By swapping any of the sweet snacks below for blueberries, you’ll get to enjoy all the health benefits listed above and also reduce your daily caloric intake:
Serving Suggestions For Blueberries
Blueberries taste fantastic on their own and make a perfect sweet treat in their natural form. However, if you want to get a little creative and add some variety to the way you eat blueberries, check out the serving suggestions below:
1) Blueberries & Oatmeal: Prepare your oatmeal as normal and then top with blueberries to give it a sweet, juicy twist.
2) Blueberry Blast Smoothie: Place a cup of frozen blueberries and a cup of frozen raspberries into a blender and blend until the berries are combined and frothy for a tangy, blueberry infused smoothie.
3) Blueberries & Greek Yogurt: Place a portion of Greek yogurt in a bowl and top with blueberries for a snack that’s naturally creamy and sweet.
Blueberries are phytonutrient superstars. These fruits contain significant amounts of anthocyanadins, antioxidant compounds that give blue, purple and red colors to fruits and vegetables. Included in blueberry anthocyanins are malvidins, delphinidins, pelargonidins, cyanidins, and peonidins. In addition to their anthocyanins, blueberrries also contain hydroxycinnamic acids (including caffeic, ferulic, and coumaric acid), hydroxybenzoic acids (including gallic and procatechuic acid), and flavonols (including kaempferol, quercetin and myricetin). Blueberries also contain the unique, phenol-like antioxidants pterostilbene and resveratrol.
Blueberries are a very good source of free radical-scavenging vitamin C and manganese, as well as heart-healthy fiber. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=”#healthy”]Blueberries are also a good source of the antioxidant vitamin E[/inlinetweet].