Blueberries: Tiny, Tasty Bites of Amazing Nutrition

Blueberry smoothie

We’re not saying blueberries are the perfect food. But they’re right up there. In fact, they’ve been called one of nature’s greatest treasures.

These plump, juicy berries with the silvery sheen called a “bloom” look super appetizing. They’re delicious. And they have practically no fat, very little sodium, and only 80 calories per serving – which is a whole cup.1 Most important, they offer amazing nutritional benefits. Since July is National Blueberry Month, let’s celebrate these beautiful berries.

Packed with vitamins and minerals

Vitamin C – Just one serving of blueberries has almost 25 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin C. This vitamin helps form collagen and is necessary for growth and development of tissues. It promotes wound healing. It helps maintain healthy gums and capillaries, and boosts your immune system, too.

Manganese – Blueberries are a great source of manganese. And what does manganese do for you? It plays an important role in bone development. It helps convert proteins, carbohydrates, and fats into energy. And, it helps the body process cholesterol.1

Vitamin K – These berries also give your diet a big shot of vitamin K, which plays a key role in helping the blood to clot to prevent excessive bleeding.

Full of fiber

Fiber helps keep your body regular and your cholesterol in check. It may reduce the risk of heart disease. Fiber also adds bulk to your diet, which can help you feel full faster. Just a handful of blueberries goes a long way toward helping you meet your daily fiber requirement.1

Preventive potential

Researchers are seeing a lot of potential in blueberries to promote good health. Scientists are studying the role they may play in cardiovascular and brain health, the body’s insulin response, and cancer treatment and prevention.

According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, blueberries contain compounds called anthocyanosides, which many scientists believe are among the most potent antioxidants yet discovered.3 That’s important, because antioxidants may prevent or delay some types of cell damage.4

Serving ideas

For breakfast, toss a few blueberries into your cereal, yogurt, or smoothie. At lunchtime, add them to your fresh greens or chicken salad. Or just grab a handful.2 Blueberries make healthy office snacks. Fresh ones are plentiful right now, so this is a great time to add them to your diet. But frozen blueberries are a good substitute.

It’s hard to go wrong when it comes to eating blueberries. They add eye appeal, flavor, and lots of healthy nutrition.

Blueberry blast smoothie

Simple, healthful, and delicious. Everything you want in a smoothie, this is sure to become one of your favorite quick recipes!

Ingredients
½ cup nonfat or 1 percent low fat milk
½ cup nonfat plain yogurt
1 cup frozen blueberries (unsweetened)
1 teaspoon honey

Directions
Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
Yield: 1 serving, about 2 cups.5

Did you know?

Americans are eating more blueberries than ever. Per capita consumption of blueberries rose from 20.2 ounces in 2005 to 34.9 in 2010. This year, it’s expected to reach 50 ounces. Looks like we’re finally figuring out just how good these little berries can be!1

Sources:

1 http://www.blueberrycouncil.org/health-professionals/blueberry-nutrition/

2 http://www.blueberrycouncil.org/health-professionals/health-tips/

3 http://www.aicr.org/foods-that-fight-cancer/foodsthatfightcancer_berries.html

4 http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/antioxidants.html

5 http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/blueberry-blast-smoothie-recipe.html

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