Little Blue Dynamo, the Blueberry
July is National Blueberry month! According to the US Department of Agriculture, blueberries are grown in 35 states in the US and the United States produces 90% of all blueberries grown in the world. Native Americans believed blueberries were not only good to eat, but that these little blue berries were also good for your health. When brewed into a tea, blueberries had relaxing properties and as a juice, they were helpful for controlling a cough. Modern medicine agrees, promoting blueberries as being rich in antioxidants, thus helping to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
Our Blue Lagoon smoothie can be made without sugar or with Splenda, contributing to the already low calorie properties of the blueberry. Just 80 calories to a cup of fresh blueberries!
With just 80 calories per cup and virtually no fat, blueberries offer many noteworthy nutritional benefits. Here’s the skinny on blueberry nutrition:
Blueberries are packed with vitamin C.
In just one serving, you can get 14 mg of Vitamin C – almost 25 percent of your daily requirement. Vitamin C aids the formation of collagen and helps maintain healthy gums and capillaries. It also promotes iron absorption and a healthy immune system1,2.
Blueberries are dynamos of dietary fiber.
Research has shown that most of us don’t get enough fiber in our diets. Eating foods high in fiber will help keep you regular, your heart healthy and your cholesterol in check. A handful of blueberries can help you meet your daily fiber requirement1,2. What a tasty way to eliminate this worry from your day!
Blueberries are an excellent source of manganese.
Manganese plays an important role in bone development and in converting the proteins, carbohydrates and fats in food into to energy – a perfect job for blueberries3.
Blueberries contain substances that have antioxidant properties
Antioxidants work to neutralize free radicals — unstable molecules linked to the development of cancer, cardiovascular disease and other age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s. Substances in blueberries called polyphenols, specifically the anthocyanins that give the fruit its blue hue, are the major contributors to antioxidant activity4.
- National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. Release 23 U.S. Department of Agriculture-ARS 2006.
- Medline Plus Medical Dictionary Online. U.S. National Library of Medicine. NIH.
- Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium and Zinc. (2001) National Academy of Sciences. Institute of Medicine. Food and Nutrition Board. Chapter 10 Manganese.
- Prior, R.L. et al J Agric Food Chem. 1998.