July is National Blueberry Month! (Yummy!)
Blueberries may be small in size, but they sure do pack a powerful nutritional punch. Celebrate these sweet, delicious treats by reading up on the benefits they provide and how to enjoy them:
1. Antioxidants: With their rich, dark blue color and pungent taste, blueberries are brimming with beneficial antioxidants that may help protect healthy cells from the damaging effects of free radicals.
2. Lutein & Zeaxanthin: Two specific antioxidants found in blueberries, lutein and zeaxanthin, may be especially important due to their potential protective benefits for eye health.
3. Vitamin C: In addition to other antioxidants, blueberries are also a good source of vital nutrient vitamin C.
4. Vitamin K: Although spinach takes the cake when it comes to vitamin K content, a cup of blueberries provides roughly 35% of the daily recommended value.
5. Fiber: Blueberries also contain filling fiber that can help you stay satisfied for longer – that’s why they make a great addition to your morning oatmeal or lunchtime salad.
How to enjoy: You can pop ’em one by one, or you can bake your blueberries into pancakes, waffles, muffins or pies, toss them into a smoothie or sprinkle on a fresh summer salad. Use blueberry juice concentrate as a topping for ice cream, breakfast foods or to make your own juice. If you prefer dried fruit, mix dried blueberries with healthy nuts to enjoy a homemade trail mix.
If you’ve got a bounty of fresh blueberries, don’t be afraid to freeze them – doing so will not affect the antioxidant content.