The Super Food Goodness of Blueberries

Blueberries are more than a scrumptious, piquant addition to a fruit plate.

Moses Taylor Hospital in Pennsylvania reports, "One serving of blueberries contains a cup full of goodness."

Here's why they are good for you:

– One cup of blueberries has 15% of your daily vitamin C requirement.
– One cup contains 14% of required daily dietary fiber.
– Blueberries have no cholesterol or fat.
– They are low in calories.

Blueberries are the nutrition supply houses of the fruit world. Not only are they low in calories, but they also happen to taste angelic and inspired. They also make a healthy snack either straight from the container, or you can mix them up with yogurt or ice cream for a quick dessert. If you want a great breakfast, mix some blueberries with some low fat cottage cheese and you will kick your morning off with a low calorie bang.

When compared to other fresh fruits and vegetables, researchers at the USDA Human Nutrition Center rank blueberries number one for antioxidant activity. Anthocyanins, the pigments that give the berries their blue-red color, are believed to be responsible for this health benefit. These anthocyanins act as antioxidants and slow down the aging of the brain. They have been shown to boost memory and brain function as we age, as well as protect the eyes from cataracts and glaucoma. There are also numerous studies relating anthocyanins to the slowing of tumors in cancer studies. They have been shown to enhance the effects of vitamin C, improve the strength of capillaries and stabilize collagen (the ground substance of all body tissues), and they improve blood circulation as well as protect the heart.

So how does all of this make blueberries a super food? Well, nutritionally blueberries are in their own class. Like other berries, they are all excellent sources of vitamin C. Just 75 grams supplies 10mg of vitamin C, which is 25% of your average daily requirement and dietary fiber (both insoluble and soluble fiber like pectin) which adds to their super food status .

They also offer beta-carotene, which converts into vitamin A once in the body, as well as lesser amounts of a number of essential minerals like manganese, potassium, magnesium, foliate (which helps prevent birth defects in infants) and niacin (which releases energy from food.)

The best part of all is that blueberries offer all of this for very few calories so it is a weight loss bonus! All the nutrition you need and not much pain on the scale. Those 75 grams we were talking about only contain 39 calories. This makes for a guilty free treat any time of the day. Add a squeeze of orange juice and serve with plain or berry yogurt or low-fat ice cream and you have the ideal light dessert, low in calories and light on fat.

In a recent study, scientist used rats to study the effects of blueberries on stomach fat. The rats were fed a blueberry powder. The rats that received the blueberry-enriched powder, measured as 2 percent of their diet, had lower body weight, lower total fat mass and reduced liver mass, than those who ate a high fat diet.

There is no doubt about it. Blueberries are super foods that can jump-start a top-notch diet plan. If you can not find them in season, buy them frozen. All pro's, and no con's for these yummy, bite sized snacks.

Article by: Mike Bunata

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