Blueberries are a superfood. They are in season in June and July, so now is the perfect time to get them fresh. Blueberries have the highest ORAC values of any fruit in the world. What does ORAC mean? Well, the acronym stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, but that doesn’t really tell you what it means. Bottom line, ORAC is a rating system that scientists use to test antioxidant power. To understand the ORAC scale, think about a football team. For your team (Go Steelers!) to go to the playoffs, you need all the players to work well together and not just have one superstar player. That is what the ORAC rating tells you: the level of benefit you receive from all the antioxidants and phytochemicals combined.
Antioxidants are important because they neutralize the free radicals, which are linked to cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s and more. Wild blueberries also show the greatest anticancer activity of any other fruit. Blueberries contain compounds like anthocyanin that are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. As I learn more about inflammation in the body, I’ve discovered that it is a bad, bad thing. Inflammation can contribute to a whole host of diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, heart disease, arthritis and diabetes.
If that wasn’t enough, blueberries are a great brain food. They actually help the neurons in the brain communicate with one another more effectively. This can help with memory loss, balance and coordination. According to a study conducted at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign blueberries can block the growth of tumor cells.
Did you know that blueberries are actually one of only three fruits native to North America? The other two are cranberries and Concord grapes.
Blueberries are especially great for runners because they are full of antioxidants, low in calories and are full of nutrients. With only 84 calories a cup, but packed full of nutrients to build strong bones, improve cholesterol and can boost cardiovascular health.
I do want to share a great recipe with you that I have had for dessert on occasion and it is decadent and healthy.I have a Yonanas Banana Ice Cream Maker, which can take delicious frozen bananas and transform them into delicious tasting ice cream. You can mix the bananas with other fruit or ingredients. You can also use a Vitamix or blender to make this special treat if you don’t have a Yonanas. Try out this delicious banana blueberry “ice cream” for a healthy sweet treat.
2 frozen bananas
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 Tbsp. Honey
2 Tbsp. Unsweet Vanilla Almond Milk
1 can full fat coconut milk
Mix all of the ingredients in the blender. And you can eat right away or freeze it.
If you use a Yonanas, insert one frozen banana. Add the blueberries, then add the second frozen banana. Mix in one Tbsp. honey and two Tbsp. vanilla almond milk.
Do you like blueberries?