Benefits of Blueberries – By Jehan Rifaie, Nutrition Student

Since summer is here, we all want food that is refreshing. Fresh blueberries are just perfect for a summer treat. They are sweet, juicy, full of nutrients, and can be eaten in a variety of ways. Don’t let their small size fool you; blueberries are full of health benefits. Consuming fruits such as blueberries have been associated with a reduced risk of many health conditions.

In addition, blueberries are the perfect snack; they are low in fat, containing approximately 80 calories per cup. They are full of Vitamin C and fiber, as well as manganese. Vitamin C is essential for growth and development of tissues and promotes wound healing. Moreover, manganese helps the body with processing cholesterol and nutrients such as carbohydrates and protein. Blueberries are also a good source of fiber, which can reduce the risk of hear disease, adds bulk to your diet, and makes you feel full faster.

Many studies have shown that consuming plant foods such as blueberries can assist with:

* Decrease the risk of heart disease

* Decrease the risk of obesity

* Decrease the risk of diabetes

* Promote healthy complexion and hair

* Increase energy

* Lower body weight

* Maintain healthy bones

* Lower blood pressure

* Prevent cancer

* Improve mental health

* Healthy digestion

* Fighting wrinkles

Blueberries can be a great way to feel energized. A research study from the blueberries council has shown that 78% of women who include blueberries in their diet agree that they add a little boost to their day. You can fuel up by consuming a smoothie containing blueberries before or after a workout. You can also add them to yogurt, sandwiches and salads.

There are many ways blueberries can be consumed. You can add them as toppings on oatmeal, waffles, yogurt, or cereal. You can also whip up a quick and easy smoothie using frozen berries, low-fat milk and yogurt. Another way is to add them into a spinach salad with walnuts and feta cheese. You can also fold them into muffins and sweet breads. Don’t let their small size fool you, instead, enjoy a nutritious snack of blueberries since they are “the king of antioxidant foods”.

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