Feature Articles: Food, Fitness and Cooking and Produce
Eat blueberries for good health
Tammy Roberts, MS, RD, LD, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist in Barton County, University of Missouri Extension
It’s time to pick fresh blueberries! If you were thinking you’d just do without blueberries this year, you might want to think again. Blueberries pack a healthful punch that you really shouldn’t miss out on. And, they taste great!
Researchers at the USDA Human Nutrition Center found that blueberries rank number one in antioxidant power when compared to 40 other fresh fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants are helpful in neutralizing by-products of metabolism called free radicals. Free radicals can play a role in the development of cancer and in other age-related diseases.
According to the USDA Nutrient Database, one cup of fresh blueberries has only 83 calories. That same cup of blueberries provides 21 grams of carbohydrate, 1 gram of protein and 3.5 grams of fiber. Blueberries also provide vitamins A and C, potassium and iron.
Fresh blueberries can be fragile so they need to be handled with care. Store them in the refrigerator and wash them gently just before eating or preparing. If you need to store them longer than a few days, they can be canned or frozen.
There are many ways to use blueberries. They can be included in pancakes or muffin batter, used as a pancake or waffle topping, added to fruit salads, cereal or yogurt. Of course they taste fabulous on their own.
If you are looking for something new to do with your fresh blueberries, try this recipe that is listed in University or Missouri Extension’s Harvest to Health publication:
Blueberry Rice Salad
2 cups cooked rice
2 cups blueberries
½ cup shredded coconut
½ cup chopped pecans
¼ cup honey
½ cup nonfat dry milk powder
1/2 cup canola oil, chilled
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Combine first four ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Measure honey, dry milk powder and lemon juice into a blender container and blend. Slowly add canola oil while blending on high. Fold oil mixture into rice mixture and refrigerate. Sprinkle with wheat germ just before serving.
Last update: Tuesday, May 05, 2009