For those of you who are unaware, July is blueberry month! Yes, it may seem a bit odd to have a month dedicated to a fruit, however, this is a great opportunity to discuss and explain the vast health benefits which blueberries provide our bodies with. Though they are one of the smallest fruits, blueberries are packed with nutrients which benefit everything from our immune system to our heart health.
Blueberries are incredibly rich in phytochemicals; a phytochemical is a naturally-occurring plant compound. Two examples found in blueberries are ellagic acid and anthocyanidins. One of the main benefits of phytochemicals is their antioxidant properties, which help to bolster the immune system and protect our bodies from all sorts of diseases and infections. Anthocyanidins are also phytonutrients which after consumption, travel through our bloodstream reinforcing our blood vessels and collagen. As a result of supporting our blood vessels, the anthocyanidins in blueberries have been linked to a alleviating or preventing cardiovascular diseases.
A Nutrient-Dense Fruit
Though they may only be small, the mighty blueberry is packed with nutrients. One serving of blueberries (148g) contains 4 grams of fiber, 24% of your recommended daily intake (RDI) of Vitamin C, 36% of your RDI of Vitamin K, 25% of your RDI of Magnesium as well as small amounts of various other nutrients. Furthermore, blueberries have a low Glycaemic Load, and therefore won’t raise your blood sugar levels as much as fruits like bananas and grapes.
Blueberries and Diabetes
Though blueberries contain a moderate amount of sugar (around 1g of sugar for every 10g of blueberries), the bioactive compounds in blueberries outweigh the negative of the sugar when it comes to blood sugar levels. Research has found that the anthocyanins in blueberries have a positive impact on insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism. This is greatly beneficial for people who suffer with diabetes as their insulin resistance can be reduced by the health benefits of blueberries. Furthermore, eating blueberries can act as a preventative measure against developing Type-2 Diabetes and metabolic syndrome, which are currently two of the world’s most common health conditions.
Introduce Blueberries to Your Food Plan
The good thing about fruits like blueberries is that they can be consumed in various ways and throughout the day. I would always recommend starting your day with a smoothie or juice, so why not include 50g of blueberries into your daily smoothie or juice? As well as being full of nutrients, blueberries have a great taste and colour, which will make your smoothie or juice much tastier and, ultimately, more appealing!
Alternatively, try my delicious Blueberry and Walnut Pancakes recipe. This take on the breakfast-favourite is a healthy way to enjoy your breakfast and start the day right! For something slightly more adventurous, this Fruit Salad Fattoush makes for a great light lunch. Blueberries also make for a great snack, however, always remember to eat some form of protein when you are eating fruit, as this allows the sugar to be absorbed and released slowly, which helps to avoid sugar peaks and troughs. For example, a bowl of almonds and blueberries makes for a great snack!
If you would like any additional nutritional advice, then book yourself in for a free 30 minute discovery call today!