Proper nutrition is inevitable for overall human health. We all know that fruits are a major contributor to augmenting our well-being besides providing recovery from many mild to severe illnesses and other transitional health anomalies. Fruits come as a great aid in reducing the risk of diseases and eventually leading to overall physical and mental well-being. All sorts of colorful berries have been acknowledged and have been man’s best friend in keeping the body healthy. Blueberry, one such fruit packed with essential vitamins and minerals is a delicious, vibrant little berry from the family Ericaceae.
Blueberry is the common name for the flowering plants from the genus Vaccinium. Deliciously sweet, a tad bit sour, and packed with an acidic punch, this fruit carries a long list of proven health benefits besides being primarily laden with antioxidants which are the magic nutrient in this purple-blue fruit. These berries confer numerous benefits like delaying anti-aging, fighting diabetes, promoting bone health, enhancing vision, and strengthening heart muscles. Thus, it is not surprising that people consider this blue-colored tiny fruit as a wonder food on the planet.
Blueberries are North American perennial flowering plants. The medical properties of this fruit were recognized by Native Americans, who initially identified it as a flavoring factor in their baking as well as in cooking. The color of this fruit ranges from blue to purple and the deep blue ones that we know today were initially cultivated back in the 1900s. In the olden days, people did not know the ways to harvest them hence they were eaten wild. Not many know that we have been eating them for about 10,000 years! Around the world, they are grown in Chile, Argentina, Colombia, and British Columbia. In India, blueberries are grown extensively in Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, and parts of Himachal Pradesh.
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Blueberry Nutritional Facts
A 100-gram serving of a blueberry contains:
Protein: 2 grams
Sugar: 7 grams
Fat: Less than 1 gram
Carbohydrates: 10 grams
Fiber: 2 grams
Wellness Incentives Of Blueberries
Reduces Risk Of Heart Ailments
Heart diseases are the result of LDL cholesterol, a bad form of cholesterol that can build up in the arteries and clog them. One cup of blueberries daily may reduce the risk of coronary artery disease.
Fights Free Radicals
Blueberries are bestowed with 24 different anthocyanins which render their vibrant color and make them the king of all berries. It also removes the free radicals from the blood and enhances the smooth blood flow in the arteries.
Keeps Metabolism Strong
Blueberries are a nutrition-rich fruit that ensures the smooth functioning of bodily processes. Manganese and potassium in the blueberry fruit benefit the body by strengthening the metabolism. If you have a low potassium and magnesium level in the body, blueberries can help prevent the deficiency. Potassium and other nutrients help in preventing diabetes, while manganese helps the body improve liver functions and cure non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
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Slows Down Ageing Signs
Eating blueberries has an anti-aging effect on the body which is due to the presence of pterostilbene and anthocyanin. It helps in collagen production and maintains the firmness and elasticity of the skin. It keeps the skin younger looking while repairing damaged cells faster.
Combats Cancer Cells
Antioxidants and phytochemicals in blueberries help remove free radicals which in the long run cause severe damage and result in cancerous situations. A regular intake of blueberries helps to fight cancerous cells. Laden with Vitamin C blueberries may reduce the risk of colon cancer and lung cancer and stomach cancer.
Improves Cognitive Abilities
Flavones and anthocyanins the most potent antioxidants in blueberries decrease the risk of cognitive disorders. The anthocyanins in blueberries strengthen the connection between neurons thus improving memory and brain function.
Help Fight Depression
These berries work wonders not only for the body but also for the mind and help combat depression. Blueberry is well-known to act as a mood booster. Blueberries are rich in flavonoids and are responsible for maintaining the smooth functioning of neural pathways and making a positive effect on cognitive abilities.
Aids Bones Health
Blueberry fruit is imbued with a wealth of nutrients like manganese, iron, calcium, phosphorus, and zinc. Iron and zinc hold a significant role in maintaining the strength and elasticity of bones and joints. While the richness of calcium helps increase bone density, and reduces the chances of osteoporosis, mainly in women.
Protects From Urinary Tract Infections
Blueberry has proven beneficial to kill the bacteria on the urinary tract lining, especially the bacteria like E Coli, one of the main instigators of urinary tract infection.
Possible Side Effects Of Blueberry
Any fruit if taken in excess can be bad for the stomach and health. Blueberry is a very safe fruit unless consumed in very high amounts. Sometimes it can cause Vitamin K toxicity though it is very rare. One should stop eating blueberries at least two weeks before surgery because blueberries affect blood sugar levels and can imbalance the sugar level during the surgery or may cause a delay in healing surgical wounds. It can also cause salicylate intolerance or sensitivity in form of an allergy to salicylic acid which is present in the fruit. This may cause itching, trouble breathing, and skin rashes.
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Who can deny the exotic experience of biting a blueberry and enjoying a burst of juice and a blue tinge on the tongue? Occasionally do snack on a bowl of fresh blueberries and say goodbye to the wrinkles and lines or if you are feeling low or munch a handful to elevate your mood and keep you hale and hearty. For now, try this sumptuous halwa made with this lovely-looking berry that will take away your blues as you relish this recipe which is pure heaven.
Blue Berry Halwa
1 cup semolina
4 cups milk (non-dairy is a better option)
2 tbsp clarified butter
1 sliced banana
2 cups blueberries
Sugar to taste
Dry roast semolina until it turns aromatic and changes its color to golden brown
Make a lank spot in middle and add some clarified butter to it
Add the plain milk and cook until it solidifies
Keep stirring until it thickens
Add the diced banana and when the mixture thickens add blueberries and sugar
Cook halwa on a very low flame
To avoid it getting stuck to the pan, keep adding little ghee
Antioxidants from the blueberry fruit benefit the skin, health, and eyes. The sweet delicacy helps prevent age-related macular degeneration. Banana provides an extra dose of potassium that maintain fluid balance and boost energy levels.
Source by www.netmeds.com