The Skinny on Blueberries

Blueberry Infographic

I love blueberries – but aside from their taste aspect, recent research has started to reveal a number of health aspects associated with their consumption.  Looking around the internet, you’ll find a number of blog posts and web articles that list these benefits.  In classic internet fashion, these same articles generally fail to cite their sources.  To remedy that, here is my list (followed by sources below!):

Blueberry Benefits

  1. High in Antioxidants
  2. Low Glycemic Index (53) compared to other fruits
  3. Aid in reducing fat and lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease
  4. Enhanced memory
  5. Reduce Atheroslcerosis
  6. Inhibit Cancer Growth
  7. Promote Gut Health
  8. Reduced Diabetes Risk
  9. Urinary Tract Health
  10. Possible Vision Improvements

Blueberry Recipes

Need ideas?  Here is the recipe for a tasty blueberry-based salad!


Blueberry Breakfast Salad (courtesy of blueberrycouncil.org)

Blueberry Breakfast Salad

Ingredients

  • Mixed, torn salad greens: 2 pounds
  • Blueberry Vinaigrette: Recipe follows
  • Fresh blueberries: 4 cups
  • Fresh orange sections or canned mandarin oranges, drained: 4 cups
  • Granola : 2 cups

 

Instructions

  1. Toss salad greens with 1-½ cups of the Blueberry Vinaigrette
  2. Divide the dressed greens among eight large plates
  3. Arrange ½ cup orange sections and ½ cup blueberries on top of each salad
  4. Sprinkle each salad with ¼ cup granola
  5. Drizzle remaining dressing on top
  6. Serve immediately

Blueberry Vinaigrette Instructions

  1. In a food processor container, combine 1 cup olive oil, 1 cup frozen blueberries (thawed), 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 teaspoons minced shallot, ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon ground white pepper and ½ teaspoon paprika
  2. Process until mixture is smooth
  3. Chill at least 30 minutes to blend flavors

Sources

  1. The total antioxidant content of more than 3100 foods, beverages, spices, herbs and supplements used worldwide
  2. University of Sydney, Glycemic Index Database (Blueberries, Wild)
  3. Blueberries cut risk for cardiovascular problems and diabetes, U-M animal study finds
  4. Blueberry supplementation improves memory in older adults.
  5. Dietary blueberries attenuate atherosclerosis in apolipoprotein E-deficient mice by upregulating antioxidant enzyme expression.
  6. Effective separation of potent antiproliferation and antiadhesion components from wild blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Ait.) fruits.
  7. Six-week consumption of a wild blueberry powder drink increases bifidobacteria in the human gut.
  8. Bioactives in Blueberries Improve Insulin Sensitivity in Obese, Insulin-Resistant Men and Women
  9. Effective separation of potent antiproliferation and antiadhesion components from wild blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Ait.) fruits.
  10. Anthocyanosides of Vaccinium myrtillus (bilberry) for night vision–a systematic review of placebo-controlled trials.

Source of blueberry health benefits infographic:
http://www.blueberrycouncil.org/health-benefits-of-blueberries/blueberry-nutrition/

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