Blueberries are Blissful for Better Bodies
Nature has a way of telling us the most nutrient filled things to eat. Pick the brightest or darkest vegetables and fruits, and you’re sure to be eating plenty of vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients. Today’s bold example is the tasty, juicy blueberry.
Sure, they’re great in muffins, but they’re also great in smoothies, salads, or on their own. Blueberries are remarkably high in anthocyanins, which means they are able to impart a host of studied health benefits. Plants with high levels of anthocyanins have been used by native and traditional cultures for improving conditions of the liver, cardiovascular system, and eyesight.
Blueberries, and the phytonutrients they contain, are potent anti-inflammatories, helping us to cope with injuries and toxins in our daily lives. They also help to decrease the risk of lifestyle related diseases, such as cancer and diabetes.
Recent evidence is showing that consumption of blueberries can decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia in older patients. Experts suggest eating a handful of blueberries a few times a week beginning in middle age to see the most benefit.
Since this little berry has high amounts of vitamin C and K, as well as calcium, magnesium, and zinc, it can help maintain bone strength in both men and women. It’s also high in fiber while being one of the lower-sugar fruits, so it can help manage insulin levels without giving blood sugar spikes and crashes. It’s also great for improving digestion.
Potassium is something that we don’t get enough of, and eating blueberries will help you meet your daily needs for this essential mineral. The potassium content is one of the ways blueberries are so protective for the heart, and the fiber it contains helps to lower the overall level of cholesterol in the blood.
Fresh, local blueberries are always best, and get organic if it’s available since pesticides aren’t doing our bodies any favors. If fresh isn’t in season, frozen is the next best choice, since frozen berries are picked at the height of ripeness. Jellies, jams, and pie fillings are all delicious, but they usually have very high sugar contents, so shy away from these options.