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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 an expert in health, fitness, weight loss, pregnancy, nutrition, beauty, lifestyle and relationship.

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              How to Keep Yourself Awake at Work Without Caffeine

              How to Keep Yourself Awake at Work Without Caffeine

              Keeping yourself awake at work can be a real challenge when you’re bored, exhausted or sleep-deprived.

              But before you reach for that can of Red Bull, bottle of Mountain Dew, or pot of coffee, try these healthy remedies to stimulate your 5 different senses and help you stay awake at work:

              Sight – Visual Stimulation

              The first thing you do when you wake up is opening your eyes, so your visual stimulation is very important to keeping your energy level high.

              1. Maximize your exposure to light.

              Your body’s internal rhythm is regulated by the amount of light you receive. The greater your exposure, the more alert you will feel.

              Open the shades and let in the sunlight. Step outside or look out the window. Turn on all the artificial lights in your office or around your work space.

              2. Exercise your eyes (or give them a break).

              Roll your eyes up and down, side to side and diagonally. Rotate them clockwise and then counterclockwise. Squeeze them shut and then open them wide. Do this several times.

              Reading and sitting in front of a computer screen for long periods can lead to eye fatigue.

              Take regular breaks with deliberate blinking and looking out into the distance.

              3. Take note of your environment.

              Learn to enjoy people-watching. Observe their activities, speech, body language and interactions with others. Notice the details of building, trees and other objects around you, including their color, shape and size.

              By doing this, you’re not only relaxing your eye muscles but also calming your mind.

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              Hearing – Auditory Stimulation

              What you hear or listen to have direct effect on your brain. This is why we feel so annoyed and sometimes angry when we hear construction noise when we’re working.

              4. Engage in conversation.

              Talk to a friend or colleague. Trade funny stories. Discuss your business venture, a creative idea, the latest political scandal, or any other topic that interests you.

              Practice mindful listening to what you and the other person are saying. Tune into the tone, volume and content of the conversation.

              Learn how to practice better listening from this guide:

              Why Listen to Reply Instead of Understand Is the Key to Failure

              5. Listen to upbeat music.

              Try hip hop, rock or jazz to keep you alert. Instrumental, non-distracting music works best.

              Sing, whistle, and hum along if you can. Plug in the earphones if you must.

              Smell – Olfactory Stimulation

              If you’re feeling sleepy and suddenly smell the coffee, you’ll probably feel more energetic. This is why smell is an influential stimulation.

              6. Work your nose.

              Aroma therapists recommend essential oils of peppermint (to boost energy), rosemary (to build awareness), eucalyptus (to increase oxygen), cedarwood  (to activate your mind), and cinnamon (to improve your reaction time).

              If you don’t have essential oils on hand, you can use lotions or burning candles that provide the same scents.

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              Citrus like lemons, limes, grapefruits and oranges are also natural olfactory stimulants. Get a whiff of these citrus scents to stay awake.

              Taste – Gustatory Stimulation

              If you want an energetic day at work, you can’t let your tongue feeling plain and flavorless.

              7. Have a good breakfast.

              Start off with the most important meal of the day.

              Think fresh, light and healthy: bran cereals, wholegrain breads, fruits, and yogurt.

              Nix the heavy stuff like sausages, greasy eggs or pancakes.

              Need some breakfasts inspirations? Check out these ideas:

              20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time

              8. Drink lots of water.

              Keep a glass or bottle of H2O near you and sip from it throughout the day. Dehydration can leave you feeling tired, sluggish and sleepy.

              So make sure you drink enough water throughout the day. Not sure how much to drink? This can help you:

              How Much Water Should You Drink Each Day (and How Much Is Too Much for You)

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              Think that you’ve been drinking too little water? Try these friendly reminders:

              3 Best Apps To Help You Drink Much More Water

              9. Eat energy-boosting snacks.

              Nuts and fruits (like bananas, apples and strawberries) are sure bets. Pairings with staying power include baby carrots with a low-fat cream cheese dip; celery sticks with peanut butter; red peppers with hummus; and plain yogurt with granola.

              Avoid carb-filled, sugary snacks that make you crash and leave you feeling tired.

              Here you can find some healthy snack ideas:

              25 Healthy Snack Recipes To Make Your Workday More Productive

              Touch – Tactile Stimulation

              Last but not least, your sense of touch will make you physically feel more energetic and less stressful.

              10. Splash cold water on your face.

              Do this in the morning, during bathroom breaks and in the afternoon. Being exposed to cold water pushes your body to adjust and regulate its internal temperature, which in turn keeps you alert.

              This works the same as you take a cold shower to increase mood and alertness. Take a look at this article to learn more about it:

              5 Surprising Benefits of Cold Showers

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              11. Use acupressure.

              Apply pressure to, massage, or tap on the stimulation points of your body. These include the top of your head, the back of your neck, the back of your hand (between the thumb and index finger), just below the knee and your earlobes.

              Watch this video to learn about the acupressure points you can try:

              12. Get moving.

              Move away from your chair and stand, walk, run or climb the stairs. Feel the earth under your feet. Stretch and twist. Do jumping jacks, lunges, push-ups and back bends.

              And if you need to move more discreetly, wiggle your feet, bounce your knee up and down, scrunch your toes, or cross your legs.

              You can also try some simple stretches and exercises at your desk:

              Unlike addictive caffeine fixes, these remedies activate your senses, engage your attention, amp up your energy and prevent morning grogginess and afternoon slumps without the side effects or health risks.

              Pick a few ways from this list of suggestions and practice them consistently. And when you do this consistently, you’ll soon see the positive results — a more energetic and productive you at work.

              Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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