Blueberries Pack Big Punch

It is amazing what great things this little berry packs for its small size. Now is the time to take full advantage of these little gems. Crops are coming in and prices are good.

Why are they so amazing? First of all, blueberries contain the highest antioxidant capacity of all the fresh fruits. Blueberries are very rich in anthocyanin which is linked to many health benefits by reducing free radicals. Reducing free radicals in the body helps delay aging and can lower the risk of developing certain cancers especially colon cancer.

The high fiber content of blueberries coupled with the antioxidant effect can help dissolve the “bad cholesterol” and actually help strengthen the heart muscle. The fiber content in blueberries can help reduce episodes of constipation.

Blueberries pack vitamin C, B complex, vitamin E, vitamin A, copper,  selenium, zinc and iron which helps to build the immune system and help prevent bladder infections.  Coupled with the anthocyanin blueberries may help prevent your brain cells from dying thus improving memory.  These anthocyanosides are also linked to slowing down visual loss. These compounds can help prevent or delay many of the age-related visual problems such as macular degeneration, cataracts, and myopia to name a few.

How can you enjoy these little fruits?

  • Make a fresh fruit salad using fruits of your choice, sprinkle a little sugar substitute and mix or add a dollop of whipped topping
  • Add fresh blueberries to your yogurt
  • Try adding them to your pancakes, waffles, muffins, oatmeal or cereal
  • Make a parfait layering yogurt, blueberries and low-fat granola
  • Toss some in your green salad
  • My daughter eats them straight from the container and I have trouble keeping them stocked
  • During peak season when blueberries are on sale I will portion them out in 1 cup amounts and freeze them for use later

Try this enjoying blueberries as a nice frozen snack on a hot afternoon or after dinner dessert.  I put a batch in the freezer then worked in the gardens for a couple of hours. The combination of the frozen blueberries with the lemon yogurt was very refreshing after being in the Texas heat.

Using a toothpick, dip fresh blueberries in lemon yogurt. Place on a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper. Freeze for a couple of hours. If you do not have lemon yogurt on hand use your favorite flavor.

Remember that ½ cup of these small super foods is one serving of carbohydrates.