It’s National Blueberry Month… who knew??

by Deena on July 8, 2011

So who knew it was national blueberry month?  Who knew there was even such a thing?  Certainly not me… but luckily I had already been doing research on how great blueberries are for you (not just to eat but actually good for you).  I generally have about 5 articles in draft mode – mainly because I seriously have a very short attention span.  I research a topic for awhile then stumble onto something else then remember ah crap I didn’t finish that first article (ok those other 4 articles).   And I tend to write mostly at night.. sometimes after a glass of wine (or two).  So the next time I read them I think oh veeh’ I really can’t publish that without some edits….

And if you’re really paying attention now you’ll  notice that we are no longer discussing blueberries and their health benefits.  Ok so back to the topic at hand it’s National Blueberry Month… who knew :)

Why should you be eating blueberries?  First off they are in season right now.  Secondly they taste great.  And finally because they are jam-packed full of good nutrition:

Antioxidants

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), blueberries are near the top when it comes to antioxidant activity per serving.  Antioxidants work to neutralize free radicals — unstable molecules linked to the development of cancer, cardiovascular disease and other age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s. Substances in blueberries called polyphenols, specifically the anthocyanins that give the fruit its blue hue, are the major contributors to antioxidant antioxidant activity.

Vitamin C

In just one serving of blueberries you can get almost 25 percent of your daily requirement of Vitamin C.  The benefits of vitamin C may include protection against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, eye disease, and even wrinkles.  According to my son’s oncologist Vitamin C also helps with the absorption of iron.  She recommends consuming vitamin C foods and food rich in iron together.

Fiber

Research has shown that most of us don’t get enough fiber in our diets. A handful of blueberries can help you meet your daily fiber requirement. Eating foods high in fiber will help keep you regular, your heart healthy and your cholesterol in check.  And since were talking about regularity did you know there are compounds in blueberries that also help to prevent urinary tract infections?

 

Blueberries are a pretty versatile food in that you can toss them into just about anything  (pancake batter, salads, smoothies, etc…)  for a touch of sweetness.  I’ve been eating mine recently on top of my morning bowl of oatmeal.

And I know a neighbor of mine just spent 2 days turning her vast amount of blueberries into 84 jars of blueberry jam.  YES 84 jars!  I think she’s a little crazy but hoping she still likes me enough to send a jar my way ;)   Multiply this photo by 84 to envision what her blueberry jam stash looks like….

 

Here is my quick and easy blueberry smoothie recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 frozen banana, thawed for 10 to 15 minutes
  • 1/2 cup vanilla soy milk
  • 1 cup vanilla fat-free yogurt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons flax seed meal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 2/3 cup frozen blueberries

Directions

  1. Cut banana into small pieces and place into the bowl of a blender. Add the soy milk, yogurt, flax seed meal, and honey. Blend on lowest speed until smooth, about 5 seconds. Gradually add the blueberries while continuing to blend on low. Once the blueberries have been incorporated, increase speed, and blend to desired consistency.

Now just one note of caution – domestic blueberries are currently ranked number 10 on the dirty dozen list for pesticides.  So please try to purchase  organic blueberries when possible.

What are your favorite blueberry recipes?  Send us an email with your recipe (include a photo if you can)… and we’ll share with the rest of our ERTH readers.

 

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