Blueberries, Blueberries, Everywhere!
Ok, It is time to get back to my roots with this newsletter! For years I have been writing these weekly newsletters to share (health related) information that I come across during the week, that I think will be of interest to the readers. This week we will talk about one of my favorite super foods. Blueberries! Who doesn’t love blueberries? If you are one of the few out there who doesn’t like the taste of them, you might just change your mind after you read this post.
Blueberries are a staple in my house. If we run out of blueberries in my house, there is an unexplained urgency to go grocery shopping within the next 24 hours. It is almost like when the local news shows predict an inch of snow and mysteriously everyone runs out of toilet paper and needs to buy a month’s supply at the grocery store…
I recently read an article from Men’s Health regarding the health benefits of these super foods. Before reading that article, I knew that they were good for us (and that they taste great) but I was not totally aware of the health benefits that they packed in those tiny blue packages. They are such a versatile food and they can be added to just about anything to make it better.
A recent study, performed on lab rats, showed improved triglycerides and cholesterol numbers after the subjects were given a diet that included blueberry enriched powder. The diet was not high in the powder – in fact it constituted about 2% of their daily intake. To give you an idea of what that means to you and I, if you typically consume 2000 calories, it would be about ¾ of a cup of blueberries per day. Researchers at Harvard Medical School also found, in a separate study, that women who consumed one and half cups of blueberries per week were at a significantly reduced risk of having a heart attack. They found that these women were 34% less likely to have a heart attack. Think about that for a second. If you can eat ¼ cup of blueberries per day, you can reduce your risk of a heart attack by 34%.
- Help Fight The Battle Of The Bulge
The study that was performed at University of Michigan also showed some additional benefits. It showed that blueberries can help to reduce belly fat. Those same rats that were given the blueberry enriched powder also had improved fasting glucose levels and insulin sensitivity! Also remember that these little superfoods are very high in fiber and low in sugar. What does that mean to you? They are a little tougher to digest and will tend to give you that “full” feeling for a longer period of time! That will limit your need to snack. So not only are they good for you, but they help in so many other ways too.
- Actually Make You Smarter
Many of the nutrients in the blueberry can prevent, and actually heal, some neurological disorders by limiting degeneration of neurons. Blueberries have also been shown to keep your memory sharp, and can contribute to improved capacity to learn and improve motor skills as we age.
- Keep Your Blood Pressure Down
A study from Journal of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics demonstrated that regular consumption of blueberries is linked to a decrease in blood pressure, and lower arterial stiffness. They speculate that this may be due to the increase in nitric oxide production.
As you can see from these studies, blueberries should be a staple in our diet. They can be used to make foods, that are not very healthy, a little healthier. Think about pancakes or muffins… They are not the best foods for you, but you can help to make them a little healthier by adding blueberries. (It is all about justification, am I right?)
If you are not sure how you can make blueberries a part of your diet, then you need to click this link! This is a list of 56 (relatively) HEALTHY blueberry recipes from greatest.com.