A Super Natural Miracle
Blueberries ~ Super Fruits
Blueberries are one of the few fruits native to North America.
Natives used these super berries for medicinal purposes.
The berry was used as a fabric dye and was combined with meat for a nutritious jerky.
They may be small, but they pack a healthy punch!
The Miracle Berry
Want to stop aging, live longer, and keep your mind sharp?
Make 'em a habit!
If you add just one super food to your diet this year, make it these super berries.
Calorie for calorie, these luscious little gems have recently emerged as one of the most ferocious super foods in the super-market at halting the forces that age us.
Even the scientists who did the studies are excited.
Every second of your life, your cells are bombarded by dangerous particles called free radicals.
In a split second, they can alter your DNA in ways that can cause cancer.
Or change LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) so it sticks to artery walls.
Or damage collagen and make skin wrinkle prone.
Over time, changes such as these accelerate your aging.
Fortunately, you can fight back.
The trick is to load your diet with antioxidants.
Antioxidants are the natural "zappers" of free radicals.
You get antioxidants by eating lots of fruits and vegetables.
And that's where this incredible berry comes in.
This little gem has emerged as nature's number one source of antioxidants among fresh fruits and vegetables.
In tests at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston, these little babies beat out 39 other common fruits and vegetables in antioxidant power, even such heavyweights as kale, strawberries, spinach, and broccoli.
Much of that power comes literally "out of the blue".
Actually. the power comes from anthocyanins, the pigments that give them their deep blue hue.
And these super fruits are bursting with them.
Sweet, tangy and intensely blue, they're rich in phytonutrients, antioxidants such as anthocyanin, as well as anti-inflammatories.
These natural substances, found in fruits and vegetables, are believed to protect against disease and promote healthy aging and with their powerful natural antioxidant qualities, blueberries are at the top of the antioxidant “A-list”!
All are nutritional powerhouses, but wild, if you can get them (and they're increasingly available frozen in your supermarket), are the ones to go after.
A 2004 USDA study ranked the wild ones as the number one anti-oxidant fruit, with 48% more antioxidants than the cultivated (farmed) berry.
With just a 1/2 c., you can almost double the amount of antioxidants most North Americans get, in a single day.
If you want to slow down the free radical aging process, these are amongst the leaders of the pack.
We always have them in the freezer.
I like to add them to oatmeal or greek yogurt!
However, we urge you not to choose only fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants.
Tomatoes, for example, are fairly low in antioxidants, but are a rich source of lycopene, which has been linked to lower rates of prostate cancer and heart disease.
The best advice?
Eat them in addition to the fruits and vegetables you already eat, not to replace them.
Miracle Food for Your Brain?
The most intriguing news about this:
There's a possibility they can actually reverse the loss of short-term memory that happens as we age.
As rats age, they forget how to find their way through mazes that they previously had learned to navigate.
But, when the diets of some older rats were supplemented with an extract for two months, they actually improved their navigational skills in the same mazes.
The rats' balance, coordination, and running speed also improved.
Though these results are still very preliminary, they are "very exciting!"
The next step is to identify the compounds responsible for this effect and eventually test them in humans.
Urinary Tract Relief
Just like their cousin the cranberry, they contain compounds that can prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs).
Called condensed tannins, they can keep the bacteria responsible for UTIs from attaching to the wall of your bladder.
Berry Good for the Eyes?
In Japan, blueberries are known as "the vision fruit", reputed to help relieve eyestrain and sales there have quadrupled in the last two years.
That's due in part to research in Europe indicating that European blueberries (bilberries) can improve night vision and help eyes adjust to bright lights.
Sweet, Quick, Versatile
Blueberries are really the, "no work" fruit, as they require no pitting, peeling, coring, or cutting.
And they are outrageously healthy.
Best of all, their taste is a treat.
So, just go blue!
You can make this easy-to-prepare recipe with these super berries or any one of your favorite super fruits.
A very simple, yet low fat, low calorie treat.
I was surprised at how well the ingredients complement one another.
Makes: 4-6 servings
1 package (3-4 oz.) instant lemon pudding
1-1/2 c. milk
1 c. heavy (whipping) cream
12 (about 1 c.) ginger-snap cookies, coarsely crushed
1 pint (2 to 2-1/2 c.) fresh blueberries
Prepare the lemon pudding according to package directions, using the milk
In a medium-sized bowl, with an electric mixer at medium-high speed, beat cream until soft peaks form
Fold whipped cream into prepared lemon pudding
In 4 or 6 individual serving glasses or a 1-quart bowl, spoon a layer of the pudding mixture
Sprinkle lightly with cookies and a layer of blueberries
Repeat layers one more time, ending with the pudding
Refrigerate, covered, for about 30 minutes
Garnish with mint sprigs and blueberries, if desired
37.5 g. carbohydrate,
18 g. total fat,
10.8 g. saturated fat
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