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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 August 10, 2020

              8 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life

              8 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life

              The importance of effective goal setting cannot be overstated on our personal journeys towards success. This is why there are countless articles out there on how to set your own SMART goals and even why it’s a skill commonly taught to a small degree in classrooms.

              Learning the importance of goal setting and the benefits of sticking to those goals can be the defining factor determining whether we truly embrace the importance of goal setting. The more willing we are to embrace this method, the more likely we become to reach our personal definitions of personal and professional success.

              Thus, today’s article is going to walk you through some of the benefits you’ll see from learning to set goals for yourself and answer the question, “why is goal setting important?”

              1. Goals Guide and Align Our Focus

              It’s hard to get to where you want to be in life if you don’t know what you’re aiming for. Some people believe avoiding goals means living a more care-free life. How many times have you heard the phrase “If I have no expectations, then I can’t be disappointed”?

              But is that really what our lives have come to? Living just to avoid disappointment? It doesn’t seem like an overly optimistic view in my opinion. And since you’re reading this article, I’m willing to bet that you agree with me.

              Without goals, we lack a degree of direction and focus. Sure you may be able to avoid disappointment, but just avoiding disappointment doesn’t mean you are necessarily happy.

              Without goals, we will pointlessly waste our time, energy, and efforts. Listen to anybody who is the top of their field and they’ll tell you something like this,

              “Yes talent is important, but often your success depends much more on what you decide to do with that talent.”

              And what you will do with your talent largely depends on your focus.

              Your goals give you direction. Your goals give you something to shoot for. This direction and target you create in your mind will help you to progress towards your main life goals rather than simply wander around aimlessly. These goals will help you align your actions and behaviors as you continue moving forward.

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              So, why is goal setting important? Because it gives you direction, alignment, and purpose!

              2. Goals Help You Avoid ‘Shiny Object Syndrome’

              Basically, shiny object syndrome is always being in pursuit of the next big thing, constantly switching your goals based on what you feel is most fun and interesting at the given moment, but never actually giving yourself time to accomplish any of those goals.

              You don’t get anywhere because you continually change the direction you are heading in. This is one of the consequences that may result if you decide to live a life without goals.

              Your goals can sometimes help you to create mental barriers, or blinders, that help you to remain focused on what you think is important and avoid the things that are second priority. When you outline goals for yourself, you are better able to avoid things that distract you from achieving and accomplishing those goals.

              Setting goals helps you to step around the other shiny objects because you’ve taken the time to make some mental notes that remind you what it is that you want from your life. Your goals act as subconscious deterrents to anything less than your main priorities. This is what helps you to reach your personal definition of success.

              So, why is goal setting important? Because not only do goals tell you what you want from life, but they also help you realize what you need to give up and avoid to achieve that.

              3. Goals Turn Our Largest Goals into Manageable Steps

              A lot of us have big hopes and dreams. It’s one of the things that make our lives exciting!

              But a lot of us never take the time to figure out how we can effectively get from point A to point B. So, sadly, we never fully achieve those goals. We look at our dreams and convince ourselves that only a select few people ever achieve them, so we write ourselves off as people not meant to reach that level of success. Looking at the end product of a goal can be intimidating, daunting, and discourage us from even pursuing them.

              Thankfully, goal setting helps us break large intimidating goals into smaller ones. These small steps and more achievable goals will help us to build momentum and will encourage us to keep working towards the next phase of our goal. The form the foundation from which we can begin building the life that we truly hope to have for ourselves, our families, and may even for our communities depending on how big your goals are!

              Whenever I get talking about this aspect of goal setting, I can’t help but think about the mountain climbing analogy, and that the easiest way to climb a mountain is simply step by step.

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              So, why is goal setting important? Goal setting gives you a list of manageable steps that you can take in order to take your life from where it is now to where you want it to go both effectively and efficiently.

              4. Goals Encourage You to Take Action

              This builds on the last benefit of goal setting. Not only does effective goal setting help you break down your larger goals into smaller, more manageable ones, but it also encourages you to actually begin taking action on those goals. After all, a plan is completely worthless if you aren’t willing to invest the effort required to execute it.

              Setting your goals and putting your plan in place motivates you to begin taking action towards achieving them. These goals give you something to plan and work towards. Essentially, they help propel you forward.

              What I like to do is write out and place my goals somewhere that I’ll regularly see them. This constantly serves as a reminder of my top priorities. It allows me to focus on taking small progressive actions towards achieving these goals daily.

              This ensures that I don’t fall into the trap of setting a goal, beginning to work towards it for a while, but then having my motivation fade resulting in me falling off track. This is exactly what many people see happen when it comes to their “New Year’s Resolutions.”

              If you want to learn about how to take action towards achieving your goal, here’s how: How To Take Action Towards Your Goals Right Now

              So, why is goal setting important? Because goal setting actually motivates you to stop thinking about your goals and actually get out there and achieve them!

              5. Goal Setting Helps You Continually Improve

              This is something that a lot of personal development and self-improvement writers talk about, continual improvement. For those of you who are not aware of the term, continual improvement is exactly what it sounds like — taking small steps towards improvement as frequently as you can to develop into the person you want to become.

              What’s the point in improving a little bit each day if you’re not improving in the areas that you want to improve in after all?

              The goals that you define for yourself will inevitably shape you into the person who you want to become. They’ll shape your character. Your goals can help you measure your progress as you strive for this type of development.

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              Essentially, having goals helps you determine where you started, where you are now, and how much further you need to go. In this manner, your goal setting can serve as milestones and benchmarks that help you determine how well you’re progressing towards your most important goals!

              So, why is goal setting important? Goal setting helps you make improvements each day that will slowly transition you into the person you want to become.

              6. Goal Setting Keeps You Accountable

              Not only does setting goals help you measure your progress, but it also is a means through which you can keep yourself accountable. Too many goals fail because they lack this crucial aspect of outlining accountability.

              For example, if I have the goal to do 50 push-ups, that’s great. Most people would support that goal. However, this goal lacks accountability. When do I want to accomplish this goal by and what steps do I take to get there? These are important questions that the original goal leaves unanswered.

              A much more descriptive and specific goal could be to do 50 push-ups within the next 3 months by starting at 5 push-ups, and then adding 5 each week. This goal outlines the deadline as well as the steps I’m going to take to achieve it. This plan will keep me accountable because if I fail to retain my progression schedule, I will know that I’m not going to achieve the goal on time.

              Additionally, it can serve as a marker helping to signify when something is impeding my progress that I may not have initially accounted for. This tells me that I need to re-evaluate what I’m doing and figure out what adjustments I can make to facilitate my success.

              So, why is goal setting important? Setting goals is key to keeping ourselves accountable and on-track towards accomplishing our goals according to the schedules and deadlines we set for ourselves.

              7. Goals Make You Feel Good

              Trust me, the progress you feel as you set and achieve goals can become super motivating and super addicting (in a good way)! The dopamine release you get from achieving your goals is like a little reward for our brains that continually motivates us to try and hit that next goal!

              Having some clearly defined goals will help you to feel better about yourself and your life in general, especially when you stick to those goals, actively work towards achieving them, and end up accomplishing and surpassing your initial expectations. I’m not the oldest book on the shelf myself, but I can attest that there are not many feelings quite like the one you experience when you truly get on a roll!

              Additionally, our goals give us an endpoint to shoot for. Rather than progress for progress’s sake, you can actually see where you’re heading! That’s so much more rewarding. Think about a long car trip as a kid. You ask “if you’re there yet?” ever 20 minutes. It seems like the drive drags on forever.

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              If you don’t know where you’re going, you risk the journey becoming tedious. It doesn’t tend to be much fun wandering around aimlessly. Goals make us feel good about where we’re directing ourselves.

              So, why is goal setting important? Because setting goals and accomplishing them plain and simply make us feel better about ourselves and our lives!

              8. Goals Help You Live Your Best Life

              I’ve talked a lot in this article about how goal setting helps us progress towards our top priorities and live the way we truly want to live. So I think it’s fit to end the article with this goal because, in the end, I feel it’s the most important one.

              Setting your goals and clearly defining what they mean to you will help you live a life that is tailored to your beliefs and values. Your life will become directed towards the things that you most want to achieve.

              Life is a tricky game and only in very rare circumstances are things handed to us on a silver platter. Often it takes a great degree of work, planning, and effortful execution of both.

              There is no point clinging on to things in your life if they don’t bring you happiness or help you accomplish something that, in some way, aligns with your goals.

              Simply put, setting goals helps us live a life that allows us to pursue the challenges and rewards that we truly want to achieve.

              So, why is goal setting important? Because our time is always limited, and setting clearly defined goals can help ensure that you make the most of your life and live to the fullest! Find out more here: How to Use SMART Goal to Become Highly Successful in Life

              Final Thoughts

              These are just a few of the benefits of goal setting that outline why it truly is so important. If you take a moment or two, I bet that you can even think of a few more benefits yourself that you could add to this list.

              If I could leave you with something, it would be this:

              Goal setting has the potential to take us to some amazing places in life because we all have talent and ambitions. To achieve your biggest dreams, you need to be willing to sit down and create a life design uniquely tailored to you that will help you achieve them!

              More Tips About Goals Setting

              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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