Blueberries are one of the super foods we hear a lot about, and with
good reason. These delicious, deep blue summer berries
are well-known for their
antioxidants, containing the highest amount of any other berries.
However, blueberries have some other specific health benefits
that are worth talking
about. The list of health benefits from eating blueberries
is stacking up, and there
aren't many parts of your body that couldn't benefit from a little extra
If you're looking for a low-calorie, high-fiber fruit with lots to offer your
health, blueberries may be just what you need.
One cup of blueberries has less
than 100 calories, and offers one-quarter of your daily
requirement for Vitamin C.
Loaded with vitamins and minerals, blueberries can boast
about nutrients that
are significant in keeping your brain healthy.
Specifically, scientists claim
that blueberries maintain and restore a healthy nervous system,
prevent the death of brain cells that lead to health concerns like
Alzheimer's disease, and
keep your memory sharp for a long time.
That's a lot of brain power.
Better vision is another benefit associated with
consumption of blueberries,
due to the fact that they contain compounds called
flavonoids, which can slow down visual loss, as well as help prevent macular
degeneration, myopia, and cataracts.
Blueberries also have some heavy
molecules which can help prevent urinary tract infections by washing away
Another important antioxidant is anthocyanins, known to benefit the
prevention of heart disease and good cardiovascular health.
Blueberries have been found to contain even more anthocyanins
than red wine, long thought to be
one of the better sources of this defender against free radicals. Even
hemorrhoids, varicose veins, and peptic ulcers can benefit from the antioxidants
found in these super berries.
A couple interesting cautions regarding blueberries are coming to light.
Apparently, the protein in milk depletes the antioxidant power
of the acids contained in blueberries.
One study suggests eating blueberries either one hour
before or two hours after drinking milk. So, blueberries on your morning cereal
may not be, nutritiously speaking, the wise thing to do.
Instead, choose blueberries as a high-energy late morning snack
or to top off a green salad.
Another interesting aspect of blueberries is that they contain oxalates,
which can become concentrated and crystallize,
creating some concern for those
with a tendency for gallstones or kidney stones. As with other life
choices, do all things in moderation and pay attention to
allergies and other health concerns before indulging.
But, for the vast majority, blueberries offer
a wealth of nutrients that will benefit our health and well-being.
With so many health benefits, the question is not whether
to eat blueberries, but how to eat them. First, you need to pick good specimens.
that are firm and uniform in color, not dull-looking or watery.
In fact, water will cause the berries to spoil more quickly, so they should
be kept in dry containers in the refrigerator. For this reason, you'll also want
to dry blueberries thoroughly after you wash them.
If you can't buy fresh, buy frozen. Blueberries freeze nicely and can
be purchased whole or smashed. When you want to eat them, just thaw and
enjoy. If frozen blueberries are used in cooking,
you can thaw them or
throw them into the recipe frozen and just adjust your cooking time
slightly. You'll find blueberry recipes in every section of a cookbook.
From breakfast to breads, salads to sauces, and desserts to drinks, blueberries can
be enjoyed from morning to night.
Blueberry Oat Scones
1 1/2 cups oat bran
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease or spray baking
sheet with non-stick oil.
In a large bowl, combine the bran, flour, sugar,
baking powder, and cream of tartar, then cut in the butter with pastry cutter or
In separate bowl, put the eggs, yogurt, and vanilla
extract and whisk together until well combined.
Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients, then
carefully fold in the fresh blueberries.
On a clean surface dusted with flour, put the mixture
and carefully push and knead dough until you get a circle, about 9 to 10 inches,
then set on prepared baking sheet.
With sharp knife, cut dough into wedges.
Bake in preheated oven at 400 degrees for 20 to 22
minutes or until golden brown.
Remove and cool on rack, then divide at previously cut
marks into wedges.