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Amazing Benefits Of Blueberries (+5 Refreshing Recipes)

Amazing Benefits Of Blueberries (+5 Refreshing Recipes)

The healthy campaign that has swept across the world in recent years have put more emphasis on the benefits of blueberries and propelled it to the forefront. The rise in its popularity is well deserved given that it contains the highest antioxidant capacity of all fruits, leafy greens, spices, and seasonings.

Origin of Blueberries

Unlike strawberries that originate from France, the blueberry fruit originates from North America. They are used mainly as a source of food and energy. However, Native Americans have utilized blueberries for their medicinal value and have also found that blueberries are a great source of dye for clothes as well.

According to statistics, the US and Canada produce roughly 200 million pounds of blueberries annually, with Maine largely recognized as the blueberry production capital of North America. It has been said that the yearly harvest of blueberries in this region alone is sufficient to cover a four lane highway from New York all the way to Chicago in a single coat.

Given that every July is the peak of the blueberries harvest season, it is only right that the month of July is inducted as the blueberry month. Other interesting facts worth knowing include:

  • Minnesota declares blueberry muffin as its official state muffin
  • New Jersey adopts blueberries as its official state fruit
  • Nova Scotia in Canada claims blueberry as its official state berry

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Origin of Blueberries

    Benefits of Blueberries

    Other than using blueberries for its medicinal value and unique color dyeabilities, this fruit is also packed with a comprehensive list of vitamins and minerals. While it has been proven that blueberries contain the highest total antioxidant capacity, consumers should also be aware of why antioxidants are beneficial towards the body.

    • Reduce Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases

    Cardiovascular disease is the major cause of death among men and women in the United States. The fiber, potassium and other vitamin content in blueberries make it the best candidate for to decrease the risk of these diseases. A study published by Harvard University also found that a healthy consumption of blueberries helps to reduce the risk of a heart attack in women by up to 32%. This is due to the high content value of anthocyanins found in blueberries.

    • Prevent Growth of Cancer Cells

    Antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin A and other phytonutrients found in blueberries are effective in waging a war against the free radicals in the body. These nutrients help to prevent tumor development and growth of cancer cells. In addition, the folate content in blueberries has the ability to repair DNA, which is beneficial towards eliminating cancer cells as well.

    • Fight Urinary Tract Infections

    Bacteria that enter the urinary tract causes an infection that usually do not present any symptoms. The antioxidants in blueberries prevent these bacteria from binding the bladder tissue and repairs the damage done to the urinary tract.

    Studies have shown that blueberries are able to reduce the effects of any cognitive damage that are usually brought on by the natural aging process. Participants relying on blueberries have constantly fared better on memory tests than other participants who are put on placebo treatment.

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    • Anti-Aging Properties

    Perhaps the most enticing benefit of blueberries, the high antioxidant value in blueberries helps to maintain the production level of collagen as it decreases with age. It is also effective in preventing and repairing the damage caused by environmental factors and helps to smooth wrinkles, leading to improved skin texture and structure.

    Recipes

    Now that the benefits of blueberries have been established, the next step is to incorporate it into dietary plans to absorb fully its nutrients and vitamins. It should be noted that blueberries possess a unique characteristic; it does not lose any of its nutritional value after freezing. This means that blueberries can be frozen and stored for future use without losing any of its benefits. This opens the door for blueberries to be used in any recipes at any time of the year. Listed below are 5 common recipes for blueberries.

    Gluten Free Blueberry Pancakes

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      Thoroughly mix flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, sugar and ground flaxseeds together. In another bowl, whisk milk, vanilla and egg together. Combined both the mixture together and add to blueberries. Transfer the final mixture onto the skillet in equal sizes. Cook each side for about 3 minutes over medium fire. To complete the dish, serve with syrup based on individual preferences.

      Blueberry Cheesecake

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        First, ground almonds, sugar and butter together. Bake the mixture in an oven heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes and let it cool. Next, mix cream cheese, sugar, and mascarpone. Then add in vanilla extract and eggs, blend with an electric mixer on low speed. Bake for 90 minutes in the oven heated to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and transferred it to the a refrigerator. Allow it to cool for 6 hours or more. Finally, put blueberries in heated water and constantly stir until they soften. Top off the cheesecake with blueberries.

        Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins

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          Blend flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, lemon zest, vanilla, butter, and eggs. Combine both mixtures until fully blended. Next, add in blueberries and distribute them evenly. Divide the final batter among muffin cups and bake for 10 minutes. The oven should be heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

          Blueberry Beet Juice with Kale and Lemon

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            Cut beet into quarters and peel the skin of ginger and lemon. Mix all ingredients together with the blueberries and add into the juicer. This easy to make fruit juice is best served after a sumptuous meal.

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            Blueberry Oatmeal with Cinnamon and Walnuts

            Blueberry Oatmeal with Cinnamon and Walnuts

              Spread oats onto a baking sheet and bake until it turns golden brown in an oven heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the toasted oats into a pan of water and milk and allow it to boil. Reduce heat and stir occasionally until the mixture turns soft and creamy. Separate into serving cups and mix with blueberries, honey, walnuts, and cinnamon.

              Conclusion

              Being knowledgeable about the benefits of blueberries is insufficient, it is necessary to possess the required expertise to incorporate it into any dietary plan. Based on the suggested recipes above, anyone can easy cook up a healthy dish centered around blueberries. With options such as smoothies, pancakes or muffins, everyone will definitely be spoilt for choice.

              Featured photo credit: Iryna Melnyk via shutterstock.com

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              Evlin Symon

              Evlin Symon is a health and wellness expert specialized in fitness, weight loss, pregnancy, nutrition and beauty.

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              Last Updated on November 11, 2019

              How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

              How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

              Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

              To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

              Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

              1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

              Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

              Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

              To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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              2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

              Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

              If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

              Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

              3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

              Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

              Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

              4. Feed Your Brain

              Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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              This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

              Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

              Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

              5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

              According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

              Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

              Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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              6. Write it Down

              If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

              It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

              You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

              7. Listen to Music

              Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

              8. Visual Concepts

              In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

              Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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              Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

              9. Teach Someone Else

              Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

              Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

              10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

              Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

              So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

              Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

              More About Boosting Memory

              Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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