Blueberries for better health

It’s the last week of August in Switzerland and the blueberries are sweet and juicy. Last week, I bought a bunch and stored some in my freezer. If you freeze blueberries when they’re fresh, you can enjoy them all winter long.

Blueberries are packed with nutrients. They’re low in calories and carbohydrate but high in fibre, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Manganese. While more research is necessary, there is general consensus that making blueberries a regular part of your diet is good for your health.

Blueberries, along with other berries and pomegranate, contain the highest antioxidant capacity of all fruit. They have a type of plant compound known as anthocyanins. Wild blueberries are thought to generate even more antioxidant activity than the larger blueberries grown agriculturally.

Anthocyanins not only give blueberries their pretty blue colour, they may also contribute to the body’s resistance to a whole range of disease. The high antioxidant content in blueberries can help neutralise some of the free radicals that cause cell damage.

Blueberries help prevent inflammation and give your immune system a boost. They also contain the compound resveratrol, making them a key food in the fight against cancer, heart disease and cognitive impairmentPeople with diabetes are encouraged to add blueberries to their diet.

Why not incorporate more plant foods like blueberries into your diet? There are many ways to enjoy blueberries. You can eat them whole or add them to salads or smoothies. They’re great in muffins, pancakes, breads or cakes or you can sprinkle them directly on your morning cereal or yoghurt.

Below is a simple blueberry smoothie recipe. This delicious and creamy smoothie will give you a boost to start your day. You can also have it after a workout to replace electrolytes. In this recipe, I’ve added an easy-to-make almond cream, but you can also use a store-bought kind. If you can’t find almond cream in stores, then almond milk will do. For best results, I recommend that you use frozen blueberries and a frozen banana.

Enjoy!

Blueberry smoothie

Makes 2 to 3 glasses.

  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 frozen banana, chopped in chunks
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple, chopped in chunks
  • ½ cup almond cream (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1 cup of water, or a little more according to preference

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend increasing gradually to high until creamy and serve. Keep leftovers in a glass container in fridge.

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Julie Zimmer

Julie has extensive experience in nursing practice and education in a wide range of fields from intensive/coronary care, to medical-surgical to community and public health. Julie has Bachelor Degrees in Psychology and Nursing, and a Master’s Degree in Community Health Nursing Education. She has taught in faculties of nursing and in various communities in Toronto, Canada and in Geneva, Switzerland, and is a consultant to the International Council of Nurses (ICN). Julie also has years of experience teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in addition to coordinating an English department in a Swiss private school.

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