Out of all the berries to choose from, blueberries always seem to rank as one of the most popular varieties. Not only are they delicious, but they also have one of the highest antioxidant capacities among all fruits. Antioxidants are essential to your health since they help fight the damage done by inflammation.
Enjoying 1-2 cups of blueberries a day allow you to get the most health benefits from the fruit. Blueberries baked into desserts are great, but the nutritional benefits and best flavor are in the raw berries.
The small, blue fruit does wonders for your body in many other ways (hence why blueberries are categorized as a Superfood.) Blueberries have been proved to preserve vision since it is high in compounds called anthocyandosides, which have been found in clinical studies to slow down visual loss.
Blueberries also have a high fiber content, which the combined with antioxidants help dissolve the ‘bad cholesterol.’ This helps makes the blueberry an ideal dietary supplement to cure many heart diseases.
The benefits don’t stop there. Fiber in blueberries keeps away constipation and the vitamins, sodium, copper, fructose and acids improve digestion. These benefits, however, don’t come in one single berry, you need to eat 1-2 cups daily to get the most out of your berry. Grab a handful, twice a day and there you have the perfect nutritious amount!
If you don’t love the blueberries raw all the time, here’s a great recipe that incorporates more than one super food, giving you a hearty and healthy snack!s.
Blueberry Oatmeal Muffin with Walnuts
Yield: 5 cups batter; 6 Jumbo (4 oz.) or 12 Regular (2.5 oz.) Muffins
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ½ cup plain non-fat yogurt
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 large egg
- 1 tspn pure vanilla extract
- 2 Tablespoons pure Maple Syrup
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- ½ cup unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- 1 Tbspn baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup dried fruit such as blueberries or cherries
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- 1½ cups fresh or frozen blueberries
- Preheat oven to 400º.
- Place muffin liners/papers in pan. Set aside.
- Mix applesauce, yogurt, egg, vanilla and maple syrup together in large bowl until smooth. Mix whole-wheat flour, all purpose flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, dried fruit, walnuts and cinnamon together.
- Add blueberries so that they are coated with dry ingredients. This will keep the blueberries evenly distributed through the batter.
- Add dry mixture to wet ingredients and mix gently, just until dry ingredients are moistened.
- Divide batter among 6 jumbo muffin cups. Bake for 25 minutes or until tops are dry and golden. Turn onto wire rack. Cool and enjoy!
By Carly Goldstein