Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Blueberries - This Months SuperFood

We sing the blues but shouldn't we eat the blues, too? Most of us encounter blueberries very minimally: folded into muffins or sprinkled into fruit salads. However, science has been extremely invested in this pebble-sized super food as of late, conducting countless studies on this small wonder. Let's put it this way: if the blueberry were a Broadway play, a star-studded lineup of nutrients would be on the Playbill.

Little Friends with Big Benefits

Blueberries have a low glycemic index. A ½ cup serving of blueberries is just 40 calories, containing nutrients like potassium and iron as well and vitamin C. Blueberries also provide dietary fiber, in fact, two grams in ½ cup serving. This equals the amount of fiber in a slice of whole wheat bread.

They may be small but they pack a powerful punch. Health Magazine listed blueberries as the top source of antioxidant activity in their Guide to 50 Super Foods a while ago.

According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, their high level of antioxidants helps the body to slow the process of aging and protect cells against damage.

Blueberries are particularly rich in the antioxidants known as anthocyannins, which are also present in blackberries, radishes, red cabbage, grapes and apples. Blueberries are lovers of the brain. In fact, some neuroscientists call it the brain berry.

The Bluer the Berry

Foods that are blue or purple in hue are often overlooked in our diets. These colors deeply promote urinary tract health, memory function and encourage healthy aging with their vast array of phytochemicals such as phenolics and the aforementioned anthocyannins.

Next time you pass by them in the supermarket, you should swipe a carton or two. Give your body a chance to sing the blues.