This little berry is a powerhouse of nutrition and healing. Something so simple, yet so powerful. You don't have to go to the Amazonian Rain Forest to get it either. It's right at the farmer's market and in season right now.
We are always looking to try something new and exciting in the middle of summer. Just like the middle of winter, we feel a little trapped by the heat. The kids have spent the last week getting to know some old books and new shows on TV. Instead of baking, we've decided to try visiting the farmer's market to see what's in season and do a little experimenting on our own.
What we noticed is that there are A LOT of blueberries out there. In fact, my kids have eaten so many, I'm waiting for one of them to turn into an UmpaLumpa! They are so sweet, tasty and juicy right now. Go get yourself a pint or four!
Blueberries are powerful for a number of reasons, the main one being antioxidants. Vitamin 'P' as it's called refers to flavonoids. These are compounds that reside in plants naturally and give the plant and its fruit, medicinal properties. These compounds are what protect the plant and its fruit naturally. It's no wonder why it can protect us as well. All we have to do is eat it! The more colorful the food, the more flavonoids present. Within the flavonoid group is a category called polyphenols. Polyphenols protect the brain by preventing oxidative stress. This fruit is also part of a group of flavonoids call proanthocyanidins. "This group has the ability to protect both the watery and fatty parts of the brain against damage from some environmental toxins." Michelle Schoffro Cook, ND
This berry has greater concentration and antioxidant properties than just vitamins C and E alone. Blueberries are also anti-inflammatory. Inappropriate amounts of inflammation in the body contribute to pain and degeneration. Following an anti-inflammatory diet which includes blueberries can remedy pain in as little as 3 days.
Inflammation, cognitive ability and aging skin are directly related to an overabundance of free radicals in the system. Free radicals can be any toxin, environmental, emotional, or nutritional. The more antioxidants we ingest, the better chance our body has of protecting and regenerating itself from free-radical damage.
Quick Blueberry Smoothie1 bag frozen mango 1 bag frozen blueberries 1 tbsp. agave nectar 1/2 cup apple juice
Blend all in a blender and serve immediately or, freeze and use as a sorbet.
Uses for Blueberries: Toss them on salads Make blueberry pancakes Make Smoothies or Sorbets Put them on top of oatmeal or my personal favorite - by the handful!
Health Benefits: They are a natural diuretic - helping summer water weight disappear. (I ate a ton while pregnant in the summer - works wonders!) Help restore and improve cognitive function. Slows vision loss. Helps lower cholesterol Helps with digestive issues
Hope you are enjoying the summer and staying cool!