By Kim Kilday, EveryAge Chief Marketing Officer (July 22, 2022)
July marks the time when luscious blueberries emerge from wild and domestic bushes. These small fruits pack a huge benefit in antioxidants. As a food group, blueberries show up in smoothies, parfaits, and even homemade doggie treats. Some people add berries of any variety to ice cream and frozen yogurt for an extra punch of flavor.
Blueberries are native to America and were “discovered” when the first settlers arrived from England. It was not until 1916 that blueberries became a farm-to-table item. Here is a factoid: one cup of wild blackberries has 13,427 total antioxidants – vitamins A & C, plus flavonoids (a type of antioxidant) like quercetin and anthocyanidin – and is 10 times the USDA’s recommendation. So get picking, purchasing or freezing blueberries for a delightful summer.
Why eat blueberries:
1. Getting older can be painful – how can everything ache without a reason? Blueberries are my rescue super fruit because of their known anti-inflammatory properties and anti-aging properties.
2. Getting older impacts my running – I used to run an extra day to starve off an extra pound. Then menopause arrived. My physician tells me that at this age it is more about what I am eating than the physical activity. Blueberries are high in nutrients and low in calories, so this helps me to replace the junk with a flavorful food.
3. Getting older is leading to possible chronic conditions – I hate taking pills. I have made a deal with my physician about blood pressure; I work to keep blood pressure low, and my physician will not prescribe me hypertension medicine. Blueberries are known to lower blood pressure which also helps to lower heart disease.
4. Getting older makes me forgetful – the antioxidant anthocyanidin found in blueberries and strawberries shows positive results in mental aging and reducing the risk of dementia.
5. Natural treatment for UTI’s – nursing homes receive referrals for patients who suffered a UTI but went to the hospital due to unusual behavior. Through testing, the infection is discovered. In our younger years, we drank cranberry juice to help a UTI. Blueberries have similar active substances as cranberries – and taste sweeter without wildly impacting insulin levels.
Cooking with blueberries:
Try some of these mouth-watering recipes with blueberries! Credit for these wonderful recipes is linked to the original cooks, so please rate the recipes as you visit other sites.
1. Cast iron skillet blueberry cobbler. Blueberries do well in a cobbler, and this recipe from Virginia Willis, a chef in Georgia, just jumps from the page and is a tribute to trips with her grandparents.
2. A pleasing salsa with a kick of blueberries. My family adores salsa and guac on the weekends. This blueberry-and-red onion salsa delights tastebuds while getting the benefits of blueberries.
3. Lemon and blueberries – a perfect match! Another favorite of my family are lemon bars made by mom. Not a summer holiday passes without a batch. On Delish.com, here is another version of lemon bars with blueberries.