Blueberries are truly the berry of summer! In season from about May to about August (depending on the current climate), these nutrient-packed fruits are big hits at BBQs, baked into pies and muffins, and of course, popped into smoothies.
Yes, ripe blueberries taste delicious, but there are a few other reasons you should be eating these little bursts of sweetness whenever possible.
Blueberries contain Gallic Acid, an antioxidant that has been studied as a natural treatment for certain types of cancers (it purportedly kills cancer cells and avoids healthy cells). Gallic Acid also has anti-viral and anti-fungal properties, which means it’s an excellent way to keep your immune system healthy, and fight off any internal or external infections.
Proanthocyanidins And Anthocyanins
Proanthocyanidins are potent antioxidants that have been connected to prolonged, healthier brain function. When our brains are healthier, we end up living longer. Anthocyanins, another organic compound found in blueberries, have also been touted as helpful in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. So if you want to stay sharp and give your memory a boost, make sure you’re eating blueberries on the regular!
Low In Sugar, High In Fiber
If you eat around 50 blueberries (which is definitely more than a handful), you’ll be ingesting around two grams of fiber and only seven grams of sugar. In relation to other fruits like bananas (one banana has around 14 grams of sugar) or apples (a medium-sized apple has about 19 grams of sugar), blueberries are quite low in sugar, and have a good sugar / fiber ratio, which means your body will process the sugar in a healthier way.
Like most fruits, blueberries are a great way to keep your digestion on track, since most people don’t get enough fiber on a daily basis.
Tons Of Vitamins
Blueberries contain a lot of vitamins including vitamin C, vitamin B6 and vitamin K. Full of antioxidants, blueberries also contain iron, calcium, magnesium, copper and beta-carotene.
Helpful In Weight Loss
As mentioned above, blueberries have a good amount of fiber and a small amount of sugar per serving, which means they can alleviate cravings while also keeping you satisfied. Foods that rate low on the glycemic index (like blueberries) digest slower, delaying hunger and giving you sustained energy.
Smoothies With Blueberries
If you’re looking to get more of these nutrient-dense berries into your diet, try a few of these smoothies!
Avocado Blueberry Bliss
Native to the Amazon rainforest, Camu camu is practically glowing with vitamin C -- it has 60 times more vitamin C per serving than an orange! Blueberries are extremely high in antioxidants, as is swiss chard (also from Brooklyn Grange), and avocados are full of beneficial fats. If you’re looking for midday recharge, this smoothie will not only amp up your energy, but will make you feel stronger, thanks to those healthy avocado fats and almond protein.
High in fiber but low in sugar, blueberries contain vitamins C and K. Continuously ranked as a highly nutritious food, regular consumption of blueberries has also recently been shown to help fight against Alzheimer’s disease. Another super nutritious food, hemp seeds are considered a “perfect protein” because they contain 20 amino acids, including the 9 essential amino acids that our bodies don’t produce on their own. Double the protein with some heart-healthy cashews, and add some spinach for vitamins K and A, and you’ve got a balanced, hydrating snack for any time of day.
Pretty in Pink Pick-Me-Up
Blueberries are one of the healthiest berries you can eat. Not only do these low sugar berries have more antioxidants per serving than almost any other fruit, studies have found that they may help block the growth of tumor cells. Combining them with bananas and pea protein makes a powerhouse smoothie that will keep you full and full of energy for hours, and summer squash provides ample amounts of vitamin C, folate and B-6.
Coming in at only 20 calories, a small yellow squash has virtually no fat, but a lot of fiber and good, complex carbohydrates. It’s also quite a sweet vegetable, and blends seamlessly with the tartness of apple and and blueberries. Acai berry powder contains a good percentage of antioxidants and fiber per serving, and walnuts have a nice dose of vitamin E, which is great for glowing skin.
Figs are sweet and delicate. Their tender outer skin can be eaten along with their soft insides. Pairing figs with the light flavors of romaine and blueberries ensures that you’ll be able to taste all the subtleties. Not only do they tasty, figs contain Pectin, which is a fiber that may help reduce bad (LDL) cholesterol. We can dig that!
Blueberry Nectarine Refresher
Processed sugar is skin’s public enemy number one! It dulls, ages, and inflames the skin. Get a sweet fix the natural way, with fresh nectarines and blueberries. Blueberries are among the most powerful antioxidants, and nectarines are full of potassium, which helps with cell function in the body. Walnuts have more omega-3 fatty acids than any other nut! Paired with oats, this is a filling fruity treat.
Blueberry Orange Muffin
If the blueberry muffin is America's favorite muffin, does that mean this is America's favorite smoothie? Blueberries are one of the only food that are naturally blue in color, and they’ve been known to improve balance, coordination, and short term memory. Plus, they contain anthocyanin, which is great for eyesight. Maybe you won’t need Lasik after all.
Blueberry Plum Basil
Blueberries and plums make a lethal combination for free radicals floating around the body. They are both considered a powerful antioxidants and help prevent illness and chronic disease. On top of that, did we mention they taste great? Adding a bit of fresh, local basil really seals the deal and rounds this smoothie off as a lovely dream in a mason jar.
Blueberry Walnut Cobbler
One of the best ways to keep you body free from the pain of stress is to focus on fighting inflammation, and this smoothie is perfect for that! Full of fiber, potassium and inflammation fighting antioxidants, regular consumption of blueberries has recently been connected to a healthier brain. Full Omega-3 fatty acids (which also help reduce inflammation), copper and manganese, walnuts may help protect against certain types of cancer. Combine these two superfoods with vitamin C-infused oranges, heart healthy oats and anti-inflammatory cinnamon, and you’ve got a pie-in-a-glass that’s also great for your health.
Hello blueberry season! Full of iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin K and zinc, blueberries also contain a wealth of antioxidants. Relatively low in sugar and high in fiber, studies have linked regular consumption of blueberries to a reduced risk of cognitive decline as well as better short-term memory. Acai berries are also low in sugar, but extremely high in antioxidants, and have been studied as possibly helping to lower insulin levels. This blueberry pie-in-a-glass comes complete with a “crust” in the form of cashews (healthy fats and protein) and banana (potassium and fiber), and is topped off with a pear (satisfying fiber).
Pineapple Blueberry Squash
Squash is tropical? Sure! When you mix it with tangy pineapple and juicy orange, the delicious vegetable takes on a delightful summer flavor. Yellow squash is rich in iron and folates, and contains lutein and beta carotene. Colored purple by blueberries and acai berry, this drink is full of antioxidants and fiber. Acai berries grow on a palm tree in South America— what could be more of a vacation vibe?
Get a whole bunch of berries and nutrient-dense ingredients by joining GreenBlender today.