Want great skin, a sharper mind + vibrant health (and to get through cold & flu season unscathed)?
If you only commit to adding one healthy food to your diet, it’s a good idea that it’s the small but mighty blueberry.
Why? These little berries are SO packed with beautifying, immune boosting + brain enhancing benefits (just to name a few) that eating just a cup a day is a total game changer.
Plus, superfoods like blueberries can be like a gateway drug – once you start with one (and begin seeing & feeling results), you’re gonna want more.
Here are some of the amazing things that blueberries can do for:
- Your brain: This beautiful berry is one of the highest foods in antioxidants, which can give your brain a boost (increasing concentration / helping to heal damaged brain cells / improving motor skills & memory). Just a cup of blueberries a day can stimulate the growth of new brain cells.
- Your skin: Blueberries are packed with vitamin C, which can hydrate the skin and increase collagen production (preventing wrinkles & increasing elasticity). Vitamin C can also help strengthen the blood vessels below the surface of your skin, which can help repair or prevent broken capilaries & spider veins. The antioxidants in blueberries neutralize free radicals that can damage skin cells, and can help protect your skin from the sun. (All things that keep your skin looking youthful). Blueberries can also help normalize oil levels. They’re anti-inflammatory, and can help reduce redness, scars & acne.
- Your hair: Proanthocyanidins in blueberries have been found to stimulate hair growth.
- Your overall health: Blueberries can strengthen the immune system, help prevent urinary tract infections and a number of diseases. They can help reduce abdominal fat and cholesterol and regulate blood sugar. They’re great for gut health and can protect against intestinal inflammation, especially when paired with probiotics (See this article for details.) Bonus: Anything that’s great for the gut is also fantastic for the immune system, brain & skin.
1. Whenever possible, eat WILD blueberries:
- It’s said that wild (low bush) blueberries contain 48% more antioxidants than per serving than the larger, cultivated blueberries. (I think they taste better, too)
- I’ve been enjoying the wild blueberries by Wymans for the many years, (you can find them in a 5 pound bag at Costco which seems to last forever). I thought that since they were wild that they didn’t need pesticides, but I was disappointed to find out recently that Maine wild blueberries may be sprayed.
2. If you can’t get wild blueberries and are concerned about pesticides, go organic. (Number of Chemicals found on blueberries when grown conventionally: 52). Antioxidants are also found in higher quantities in organic blueberries than in conventional ones.
3. It’s best to eat your blueberries raw, since heat can damage some of their delicate antioxidants. Luckily the nutrients are preserved when frozen.
4. I enjoy blueberries in smoothies (one of my favorites is a cup of frozen blueberries + 1/2 a frozen banana + a handful of spinach + about 1-2 cups of almond milk). Blueberries and raw Kefir are also a great combination, since the berries are so beneficial when combined with probiotics.
Do you eat blueberries on a regular basis, and if so, do you have a recipe you can share? Leave a comment on my facebook page to spread the love!
Drawing from the Dirty Dozen series – © Liz Davison 2011
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