Driving through the countryside of beautiful Western Oregon this weekend, there were tons of "you pick" blueberry farms. I could see hundreds of those dark blue morsels hanging from the branches. They're ripe and ready to be eaten, and not only are they delicious but also nutritious! I recommend adding blueberries to your diet.
Packed with nutritional power, blueberries contain anthocyanins, which are the pigments that make them blue. These anthocyanins are potent antioxidants - a half cup of blueberries provides the antioxidant power of five servings of peas, carrots, apples, squash or broccoli.
Blueberries are also a good source of fiber with a 1/2 cup serving providing two grams. They're also a healthy low-glycemic-index carbohydrate, as well as a good source of vitamin C.
Blueberries may show promise in addressing the effects of aging: animal studies have shown improved motor skills and a reversal of age-related short-term memory loss. In addition, blueberries may have health benefits ranging from defending against urinary tract infections to protecting the brain from stroke damage and reducing heart disease risks.
According to the Environmental Working Group, domestic blueberries are ranked #14 out of 50 other fruits and vegetables, whch makes them fairly high in pesticides. If fresh, organic blueberries aren't in your food budget, substitute frozen or dried blueberries instead. All three forms provide health-protective benefits.
In Health and Happiness,
Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods