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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 May 21, 2020

              The Top Fad Diets That Are Actually Worth the Hype

              The Top Fad Diets That Are Actually Worth the Hype

              You have probably seen enough fad diets to last a lifetime. Many have become popular overnight and left just as quickly.

              Some fad diets, though, have actually passed the test of time and are making some headway in the nutritional world.

              Outlined below are four fad diets that are actually beneficial for your health and wellness. Read on to find out why you should consider adopting one (or more) of these healthy eating styles today.

              An important concept you should keep in mind is to disregard the term “diet” as it is typically used. The word diet implies the idea of restriction and removal. Instead, think of the word diet in this context as a healthy eating lifestyle.

              Let’s take a look at some of these healthy eating lifestyles that have been categorized, by no fault of their own, as fad diets.

              1. The Paleo Diet

              The paleo diet, or ancestral eating, is simply eating the way your paleolithic ancestors would have up to 10,000 years ago, or when the agriculture age began.

              The advantage now is you don’t have to do this in a loin cloth, unless you want to… The focus of this diet is proteins, vegetables, some fruits, nuts and seeds and some healthy fats.

              In the paleo diet, there aren’t any grains, starchy carbohydrates, sugars, or dairy.

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              How Your Health Can Change With Paleo

              The paleo diet is a good way to keep your blood sugar under control. It can also have a positive effect on type 2 diabetes, and can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.

              With this healthy eating lifestyle, people have also achieved good weight loss results and boast improved energy levels. [1]

              It’s not just what’s in the paleo diet that’s important, it’s what’s NOT in it. There aren’t any processed and manufactured foods, junk foods, artificial ingredients or chemical additives.

              Paleo is a way of eating that gets you more in tune with your body and, therefore, can provide a lot of benefits.

              2. Whole30

              The Whole30 diet is relatively new and owes its popularity to social media and the #Whole30 Instagram hashtag that allowed people to share and broadcast their success with the diet.

              With Whole30 you are taking 30 days and focusing on nutritious whole foods such as meats, nuts and seeds, seafood, eggs, vegetables, and fruits.

              During the month you are eliminating:

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              • sugar
              • alcohol
              • legumes
              • grains
              • dairy
              • soy

              Whole30 is similar to paleo, but it goes a bit further eliminating sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup.

              At the end of the 30 days, you strategically reintroduce those eliminated foods back into your diet to discover any possibility of health consequences from them or even potential food allergies.

              Finding Out How Food Impacts You

              Most people eat the same things so often and may not realize that certain foods are causing health consequences, as they’ve become accustomed to feeling lethargic and run down.

              With Whole30 you get the chance to see how these foods may have a negative impact on your body. You’ll also reset your taste buds, which may have become desensitized from processed and artificial “foods” and excess salt.

              This diet will help you regain your love of food… in a healthy way!

              3. The Mediterranean Diet

              The Mediterranean diet has been at the top of the list as a very effective diet for some time now.

              For people in countries like Italy or Greece, this has simply been a normal way of life–along with higher activity levels, sunlight exposure, proximity to water, and lower stress.

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              With the Mediterranean diet, the focus is on heart-healthy foods. It looks like this:

              • Fruits & vegetables
              • Whole grains
              • Legumes & nuts
              • Replacing butter with olive oil
              • Using herbs and spices instead of salt
              • Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
              • Moderate amounts of red wine

              Help Your Heart & Overall Health With A Mediterranean Diet

              Information from the Mayo Clinic shows that this diet reduces heart disease and lowers your “bad” LDL cholesterol. Studies involving 1.5 million people demonstrated that the Mediterranean diet was associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular mortality, along with overall mortality. [2]

              With all these benefits, this is definitely a “fad diet” that’s worth the hype.

              4. The Alkaline Diet

              The alkaline diet is about changing the foods you eat so that you put your body into an alkaline state and out of an acidic state. When your body is too far on the acidic side it can result in a condition called acidosis. This can lead to issues in your body such as upset stomach, breathing difficulties, headaches, weakness and, fatigue. In extreme cases, it can result in shock, coma, or death.

              The goal is to get your body in a more alkaline state, which results in overall better health. The focus is on including alkaline boosting foods such as fruits, nuts, vegetables, and legumes. You’re also wanting to reduce acidic foods such as low quality beef and poultry, dairy, eggs, grains, and alcohol.

              Pros & Cons With The Alkaline Diet

              The benefits that come from this way of eating is that reduction in inferior quality foods, processed items and alcohol. You may feel improved energy levels, mental clarity and even better joint health.

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              People also report weight loss but again this may come from the reduction in calories from junk and processed foods but this is not a bad thing at all.

              One con with this diet is that the pH value of the food you eat might not have an impact on blood pH, as your body is able to balance this pretty well on a day-to-day basis.

              Follow These Fads for Better Health and Wellness

              There can be a danger in categorizing things as a fad diet because fads come and go. People are always looking for the next big thing or a quick fix.

              The four examples above buck that status quo. These diets, though mainstream, actually can give you benefits and aren’t going to go away anytime soon because they work.

              What makes these diets special is that they boast real whole foods and the eliminate processed and manufactured junk.

              The Big Takeaway:

              Whatever way you choose to eat, the focus needs to be on whole unprocessed foods. Look for the cleanest, local and most natural things you can find for the benefit of your overall health and wellness. Your body and mind will thank you.

              Featured photo credit: Dan Gold via unsplash.com

              Reference

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