Blueberries: A Cup A Day will Keep the Doctor Away

By Tianna Robinson

These tiny treats are chockful with antioxidants and they’re tasty, too! It’s the perfect time of year to incorporate blueberries into your everyday diet.

Registered dietitian Susan Davis recommends we eat wild blueberries all year round- especially us Zoomers! “When were younger, our immune systems helped us fend off disease and oxidation and inflammation.

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As we get older, they are less efficient.” Davis adds, “It’s really important that we get the antioxidants that we need and the anti-inflammatory compounds from food like blueberries because they have a unique assortment of compounds in them that help protect us.”

Davis says that blueberries help relax blood vessels which leads to reducing high blood pressure, “If people have high blood pressure it will get better, if they have diabetes, it will get better. If they don’t, they might push it off for five to ten years.” Blueberries are also good for heart health as well as brain health. “Researchers are very excited \ because it is demonstrating that food can do things that they thought only drugs could do.”

Don’t worry; there is no need to buy fresh! Frozen blueberries have the same if not higher nutritional value as fresh. “When you buy a fresh fruit or vegetable, it might have been picked a week ago or two weeks ago and then it is in the grocery store for a week. Once those fruits are in the refrigerator, they are exposed to air and the light and they lose some of their nutritional value. Frozen fruits and vegetables are frozen at the point of harvest. They are frozen almost within hours being picked and are kept below freezing temperatures and that preserves all of the nutritional value.” Buying frozen blueberries is better for you nutritionally and economically. They last much longer- so no waste!

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When making this magical fruit a part of your everyday diet, don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Davis recommends using wild blueberries in a fruit sauce with chicken or pork chops- a great way to get in an extra serving of fruit!

CLICK HERE to see a slideshow of recommended wild blueberry recipes from the Wild Blueberry Association of North America (WBANA).