July celebrates one of the highest antioxidant rich fruits, the delicious and humble blueberry. The blue color comes from a pigment called anthocyanin which helpings to fight free radical damage, reduce aging, and preserve our health.
Blueberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, helpful for collagen formation, wound healing, and protein metabolism. Blueberries also contain potassium, vitamin K, and B6 which help support optimal health in the body.
Exciting research on blueberries and cognitive function is underway. One study following older adults for 12 weeks found those who consumed blueberries daily experience improvements in memory and cognitive function. Scientists speculate the multitude of different antioxidants in blueberries help protect nerve cells from oxidative damage.
Blueberries are also a good source of dietary fiber which may help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Fiber helps to control appetite which is beneficial for people managing their weight.
One 3/4 cup serving of blueberries has 60 calories, 16g carbohydrates, 2.7g fiber, and 0g fat. Use blueberries instead of sugar to sweeten oatmeal, yogurt, or cereal. Try them in a smoothie with nonfat plain Greek yogurt or toss them into a spring mix salad with orange segments and balsamic vinaigrette.