Medicinal Food

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” ~ Hippocrates

Blueberries are one of nature’s “super foods” that become more plentiful (and affordable) as summer approaches. These beautiful, plump blue gems are filled with antioxidants, probiotics, fibers and vitamins ~ they are a powerhouse of nutritious, disease-fighting nutrients.

Dr. Amy Howell, a nutrition researcher at Rutgers University, calls blueberries a “ melting pot of bioactive compounds that work together to bring about different health benefits.” They are low in calories, high in fiber, high in Vitamins C and K. They protect cells from free-radical damage (which is associated with cancer, atherosclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease) and have anti-inflammatory properties. They are linked to bone health, improved diabetes management, healthy digestion, and fighting wrinkles. (http://bit.ly/14PkeTH)

A study published in The Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics connected the consumption of blueberries with a decrease in blood pressure. Levels of nitrous oxide are higher, which result in relaxing and widening of blood vessels. (http://bit.ly/2pSfcjH)

“The blueberry by itself is a cut above almost any fruit because it has such a complex biochemical profile, and so many interacting phytochemical that hit human therapeutic targets,” states Mary Ann Lila, director of Plants for Human Health Institute at NC State University. (http://nyti.ms/2pQ32c4) There is no difference in the nutritional value of the farm-raised blueberry and its cousin the wild blueberry, nor between frozen and fresh.

Unfortunately, blueberries are also on the “dirty dozen” list of commercial fruits and vegetables containing high levels of pesticides when grown conventionally. (http://to.pbs.org/QDLI8b) It’s best to buy them organic, because it’s very difficult to remove the pesticides from their porous, thin skin. Consider it an investment in your health ~ they are still cheaper than medicine!

Use frozen or fresh blueberries in smoothies and baking or eat them in their raw state. Changes in temperature may affect the nutrients slightly, but not enough to be concerned about.

To your good health!

Coach Gayle

Certified Health/Weight Loss Coach
Certified Fitness Trainer
WHS Wellness Center

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