I’m a lucky girl – I grew up close to a small town (Oxford) which has the distinction of being the “Blueberry Capital of the World”. I have wonderful memories of raking wild blueberries – ever alert for bears coming out of the woods to get free samples
of being a little girl sitting on my back steps eating a bowl of blueberries with cream thinking all was right with the world
of smelling a blueberry pie fresh baked right-out-of-the-oven and KNOWING all was right with the world…
Who could have guessed they were so healthy????? Here are some interesting facts.
Tufts University compared 40 different types of fruits and vegetables for antioxidant value. Blueberries topped the list!
Just one-half cup of blueberries offer as much antioxidant value as FIVE
servings of Peas, Carrots, Apples, Squash, or Broccoli.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Institute on Aging completed a preliminary study where four groups of elderly rats were tested on normal aging issues of short-term memory, balance, and coordination. The different groups were given blueberry, strawberry, spinach extracts, and nothing. The rats who ate the blueberries clearly outperformed the others in balance and coordination! Berries, blueberries and strawberries, seemed to protect them from stress in the brain. Antioxidants are important for aging well.
The most powerful antioxidants are phytochemicals. Anthocyanins are the phytochemical that give Blueberries their distinctive rich color. Anthocyanins (purples & blues) are powerful antioxidants.
- May slow down and reverse some effects of aging.
- May help protect against cancer.
- Contain Ellagic acid which can inhibit the growth of tumors (as studied in laboratory mice.)
- Are a good source of Vitamin C and fiber.
- Help prevent urinary tract infections (they stop bacteria from attaching to the bladder, like cranberries.)
- May protect against brain damage from strokes.
- Are key to healthy vision. Studies are showing that blueberries can reduce eyestrain and improve night vision.
- Are native to North America and were eaten as a food and used as medicine.
Just one-half cup of blueberries offer as much antioxidant value as FIVE servings of Peas, Carrots, Apples, Squash, or Broccoli. Wild Blueberries contain even more of the antioxidant properties. Antioxidants protect the cells in our bodies. Studies have shown that they play a key role in living a longer and healthier life. Antioxidants protect our bodies from free radicals that can damage DNA and therefore cause our cells to reproduce improperly which can lead to any number of diseases including coronary heart disease, cancer, premature aging, inflammatory diseases, Parkinson's, periodontal disease, and cataracts. Antioxidants boost our immunity, make our muscles stronger, and keep our bones and skin healthy. Antioxidants are found in fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin C, Selenium, and Beta Carotene.
The cells in our body fight against free radicals introduced into our body from any number of sources from what we eat to what we breathe (avoid pollution and smokers) and how we live our lives. Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules; they are atoms (or groups of atoms) with unpaired electrons. The oxygen molecules want to oxidize. This oxidation process can be carcinogenic. Left to their own devices, these free radicals can cause premature aging, cancer, cataracts, a weak immune system, and heart disease. Antioxidants neutralize these free radicals. Antioxidants pair with the free radical changing them from harmful to non-harmful or actually repairing the cell damage. The free radical theory explains that antioxidants are critical to our health.
Antioxidants cannot be created in our bodies; they come from our diet. They are natural substances that occur; we get from eating fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants can be found in colorful fruits and vegetables because that is what makes them those colors. These valuable antioxidants are concentrated in the most brightly colored fruits and vegetables including Spinach, Blueberries, Garlic, Brussel Sprouts, Carrots, Red Bell Peppers and Tomatoes. Dark chocolate and green tea have antioxidants too.
Antioxidants help protect our bodies from stress-related illness and the effects stress and aging have on our bodies. The power of Antioxidants can slow the aging process, combat cancer, and prevent heart disease and strokes.
Source: http://www.deliciousorganics.com/recipe ... erries.htm
I have a few recipes I’ll add…feel free to do so as well!