Green Power SmoothieJun 17, 2022
My Favorite Fruit or Vegetable of the week - Blueberries
This article is part of my weekly email, Five for Friday.
If you would like to be on the mailing list, please sign up on my homepage.
Although there are not quite in season in the northeast as of this writing, there are in season in the south and in California.
What to Look for When Buying Blueberries?
Blueberries are a combination of tart and sweet.
However, cultivated varieties (the big ones) are now bred for increasing sweetness and large, plump fruits.
There are 2 types of blueberries:
Highbush blueberries: The most common cultivated variety in the US.
Lowbush or “wild” blueberries: Typically smaller and richer in some antioxidants.
Wild varieties, in my opinion, taste way better than cultivated and tend to have a more concentrated blueberry flavor, while cultivated blueberries seem to be juicier.
Look for firm, dry, plump blueberries with smooth skin and no shriveled or moldy bits.
Avoid greenish or red blueberries — those are usually underripe.
Some blueberries may have a vague white chalky coating (called “bloom”) that is naturally occurring and helps to protect the berries.
Unfortunately, domestic blueberries rank fairly high on the Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, a list EWG created to single out produce with the highest loads of pesticide residues. (Here’s a list of pesticides commonly found on blueberries.)
There are some differences between “wild” production and cultivated blueberries, although wild blueberries are not necessarily pesticide-free. One of the largest wild blueberry producers, Wyman’s, was threatened with a lawsuit for aerial pesticide spraying as a violation of the federal Clean Water Act (they voluntarily ceased spraying, but still continue to use minimal ground spraying as part of integrated pest management practices).
Store blueberries in the center rack of your refrigerator, which is the low-humidity and low-moisture region. Keep them in the container they came in, which should be a breathable container.
Blueberries freeze well in an airtight container or bag. Freeze blueberries for up to six to twelve months or consume them within 4-5 days.
Cooking with Blueberries
The best way to enjoy blueberries is raw, but they make great toppings on salads or fruit salads and are delicious in pancakes, smoothies, waffles, muffins, cakes, loaves of bread, pies, ice cream, yogurt, or oats.
Blueberries are Superfoods
Antioxidants protect your body from free radicals,
Blueberries are believed to have one of the highest antioxidant levels of all common fruits and vegetables.
The main antioxidant compounds in blueberries belong to a family of polyphenols antioxidants called flavonoids.
One group of flavonoids in particular — anthocyanins — is thought to be responsible for much of these berries’ beneficial health effects.
Blueberries have been shown to directly increase antioxidant levels in your body
Blueberries Reduce DNA Damage, Which May Help Protect Against Aging and Cancer.
Because blueberries are high in antioxidants, they can neutralize some of the free radicals that damage your DNA.
In one study, 168 people drank 34 ounces (1 liter) of a mixed blueberry and apple juice daily.
After four weeks, oxidative DNA damage due to free radicals was reduced by 20%
The antioxidants in blueberries have been shown to reduce a predominant risk factor for heart disease by preventing oxidative damage to “bad” LDL cholesterol.
Regular blueberry intake is tied to lower blood pressure in numerous studies.
The antioxidants in blueberries seem to benefit your brain by aiding brain function and delaying mental decline.
Several studies demonstrate that blueberries have anti-diabetes effects, improving insulin sensitivity and lowering blood sugar levels.
Like cranberries, blueberries contain substances that can prevent certain bacteria from binding to the wall of your bladder, which may help prevent UTIs.
One serving (about 1/2 cup) of blueberries delivers:
11 g carbohydrate
2 g fiber
1 g protein
7 g sugars
4 mg calcium
57 mg potassium
7 mg vitamin C
Green Power Smoothie
Sources: https://foodprint.org/real-food/blueberries/ Healthline
Book Your FREE “Holistic Wellness Call"
Would you like to learn more about how I help people over 40 lose weight through a holistic plant-based lifestyle? Maybe you have tried all the diets and workouts and are still not happy with your results? You could be missing a few key “ingredients”. Book a free call so we can discuss the best steps for you to take.
The Tastiest Way to Eat Your Veggies
Make Dinner Like a World-Class Chef
(Without Spending Years in the Kitchen)
We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.