The Health Benefits of Blueberries

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Low in calories and fat but mighty in fiber and nutrients, blueberries deliver a burst of flavor in every bite. They also pack one of the highest antioxidant levels of any fruit. Not bad for a berry about the size of a pea.

Chronic inflammation lowers our ability to fight disease. Berries, such as blueberries, contain antioxidants, which promote a soothing anti-inflammatory effect in our bodies. The flavonoids within these tiny treats also help regulate our immune system for better overall health.

These lovely little morsels can be eaten fresh or blended into a scrumptious smoothie. While blueberry harvesting occurs mainly during spring and summer, they can be frozen and enjoyed all year long. Their antioxidants, known as anthocyanins, may be even more potent frozen. Freezing makes these nutrients, which produce their deep blue color, even easier for our cells to access.

Juicing blueberries improves glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity, lowering the risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Eating blueberries regularly also reduces the oxidative stress on our hearts and strengthens blood vessels to better control clotting and blood pressure. Antioxidants in blueberries slow our brain’s aging process.

Drop a handful of fresh or frozen berries into your next smoothie for a boost of flavor and good health. Mix them into whole wheat or gluten-free pancakes—or even savory sauces, such as mole, a Mexican-inspired fusion of chiles, spices, fruits, and seasonings. You can also make homemade blueberry jam by combining four cups of fresh blueberries, one cup of sugar, and one tablespoon of lemon juice. For an even healthier treat, forgo the sugar and thicken with ground chia seeds or xanthan gum. You’ll find dozens of delicious recipes online.

Mother nature created the perfect bite of pure health in each tiny berry. When it comes to blueberries, great things really do come in small packages.