Blueberries Galore! Spruce up with fresh Spring produce

Blueberries Galore! Spruce up with fresh Spring produce | Mr Vitamins
We know that eating a diet based on a variety of seasonally fresh food throughout the year is the cornerstone of preventative medicine.  Benefits of eating seasonally fresh food  increased longevity, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease,  reduced risk of developing cancer, improved immune function, improved energy levels and the list goes on.

What fruit is best in October?

Avocados Bananas Blueberries Grapefruit
Mangoes Melons Mulberries Oranges
Papaya Papaw Passionfruit Pineapples
Pomelo Strawberries Tangelos

What vegetables are best in October?

Asian greens Asparagus Beans Broad Beans
Beetroot Cucumber Chillies Garlic
Globe artichokes Lettuce Mushrooms Onions
Peas Potatoes Shallots Silverbeet
Spinach Watercress Zucchini

Food in Focus - Blueberries

Blueberries are surely one of our natural fresh superfoods.  They have the third highest ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) score making them an excellent source of antioxidants. The tiny but mighty naturally sweet blueberry is becoming as well-known for fighting off disease as the apple is in “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”.

What health benefits can be gained by eating blueberries?

Widely researched some of the functional health benefits of blueberries may include:
  • Protect cells against free radical damage and aging.
  • Anti-inflammatory effect.
  • Boost immunity.
  • Help to improve circulation.
  • Improve vision and protect against age-related macular degeneration.
  • Boost brain function – the polyphenols may help to improve neuronal signalling and improve learning capacity, reduce age-related declines in cognitive function and memory loss, and  limit brain damage after ischemic stroke.
  • Improve cardiovascular health – by decreasing total serum cholesterol and lowering high blood pressure by inhibiting angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) enzyme.
  • Improve colon health – can alter bacterial metabolism and can be used to eradicate Giardia. Can also improve outcomes of colitis by reducing inflammation and preventing bacterial migration.
  • Anti-cancer – inhibiting in vitro proliferation of intestinal, gastric, prostate, breast and colon cancer.
  • Promote urinary tract health  and help to prevent urinary tract infections.
  • Osteoporosis support – by helping to prevent bone loss.
  • Helps to reduce liver inflammation

What are the nutritional benefits of blueberries?

  • Excellent source of antioxidants including flavonoids such as anthocyanins which give the blueberry it’s distinctive blue colour.
  • Good source of vitamin C.
  • Good source of insoluble and soluble fibre (pectin).
  • Provides a good source of manganese, vitamin E and riboflavin.

What to look for when buying blueberries?

Blueberries should be
  • Firm
  • Have a lively, uniform deep blue hue covered with a whitish bloom
  • Avoid berries that are soft and watery.
  • If choosing blueberries that are frozen, shake the bag to ensure that the berries are not clumped together.

How to store and prepare blueberries?

  • Store in a covered container in the refrigerator, they should last approximately one week.
  • Check for any damaged blueberries and remove before storing.
  • Only wash blueberries just before eating – washing removes the whitish bloom which is protecting the skin from degradation. If organic, rinse them under cool water, if non-organic, spray or rinse with a commercial produce wash or diluted additive-free soap.
  • Blueberries can be frozen – wash, drain and remove and damaged berries, spread on a baking tray, place in a freezer until frozen and then put the berries in a storage bag place in the freezer. Frozen blueberries will last up to one year.

Tips for serving blueberries:

  • Add to your favourite smoothie recipe.
  • Put a handful on top your breakfast cereal or porridge.
  • Add to your favourite yoghurt.
  • Delicious as a filling for your favourite buckwheat pancakes.
  • Try our Blueberry Smoothie Recipe.

Bon Appetit from Naturopath Janne Ramsay!