The availability of blueberries during the summer months is one of the most gratifying unique delicacies of nature. The physical characteristics of blueberries are quite thought-provoking; they are the smallest of all fruit; however, they maintain the title of being one of nature’s most potent superfoods. When I think of Blueberries, I recall the old song many of you may or may not remember by Fats Domino “Blueberry Hill.”
Blueberries are native of North America and grow well here in Michigan, one of the top four states for producing what we call “highbush blueberries.” Blueberries receive their super-powers and spectacular flavors, aromas, and colors from the phytochemical “anthocyanin.” Anthocyanin is extremely nutritionally beneficial as it provides both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant protection throughout the body. Most of the antioxidant protection of Anthocyanin on the which is on the skin of the blueberry; therefore, it is imperative to consume the surfaces of the berry to get the full nutritional benefits. Antioxidants can fight free radicals or oxidation of the cells, which protects and maintains overall health. The thrill of eating blueberries is not just the sweet delectable taste but also receives a bonus of all of the nutritional benefits they provide to the body. Listed below are some of the health benefits of eating the small but very powerful blueberry:
- Cardiovascular Disease: Blueberry consumption lowers blood pressure. A study with 40 males given 1 cup of blueberries a day for a month, saw a reduction in their systolic blood pressure by an average of 5 millimeters of mercury. This effect is similar to common blood pressure drugs taken over the same period.
- Improve Memory: A study involving two groups of older adults given 2 ½ cups of blueberry juice to drink and the other given a beverage without blueberries. Each group drank the beverages each day for two months. Study results show significant improvements in the ability to learn and remember in the group consuming the blueberries. Researchers indicate supplementation with blueberries may offer an approach to diminish neurodegeneration.
- Prevents Cancer: Blueberries can slow the progression of cancer and tumor growth. Cancer is the result of a combination of oxidative stress and chronic level inflammation. Remember two nutritional benefits of blueberries in Anthocyanin the phytonutrient provides both antioxidants and anti-inflammatory to the body. As a result, blueberries lowers the risk of developing cancer.
- Anti-Aging: the aging process is the result of the destruction of DNA by way of oxidation. Blueberries are naturally high in the antioxidants, which can neutralize some to the free radicals that damage DNA. The result of consuming blueberries is the slowing down of the aging process.
Blueberries are excellent during August. I encourage you to try them and enjoy the Blueberry Thrill.