Legend has it that Juan Ponce de Leon searched his whole life for the fountain of youth, but perhaps the answer was right under his feet – in the garden! Diets rich in plant-based foods offer nutrients that fight free radical damage and diseases, hydrate us, and keep us looking and feeling younger from the inside out!
One unassuming little fruit that packs a big nutritional punch is the blueberry – literally bursting with anti-aging and other health benefits.
A class of phytonutrients that neutralize free radicals and protect cellular structures and DNA, anthocyanins give blueberries so much more than just their deep rich color. By sweeping up and repairing free radical damage, anthocyanins can prevent the physical signs of aging that comes with cellular oxidation and protect us from many different diseases.
Studies show that blueberries offer many other potential health benefits ranging from cancer prevention, improved brain and cognitive function, better blood sugar management, improved eye health, and reduced cardiovascular risk. Blueberries have also been linked to improvements in eye health, mood, and digestion. A recent study conducted at The University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center found that blueberries reduced belly fat, lowered triglyerides and cholesterol, and were shown to improve insulin sensitivity and fasting glucose.
Rich in fiber, minerals, and the vitamins A, C, E & K; fresh blueberries are lower on the glycemic index than many fruits, and also offer a good dose of fiber – both helpful in managing blood sugar. One cup of blueberries has about 80 calories, 4 grams of fiber, and about 25% of the RDA of vitamin C. When given the choice between wild or cultivated berries, choose the wild – despite being smaller than the cultivated kind, they contain more anthocyanins, and a deeper more intense taste.
Available May through October, blueberries are at their peak in the mid-Summer, so it is not surprising that July is National Blueberry Month! Studies show that freezing blueberries does not damage the phytonutrients, so stock up on your blueberries and freeze them for your smoothies.
One way to boost your intake of plant-based foods easily is with smoothies – here is a delicious and simple recipe:
Sara’s Fountain of Youth Smoothie
Put the liquid into the blender, add in the chia seeds and protein powder and let soak for about 3 minutes. Then put everything else into the blender – blend to combine. Add in ice as desired to thicken, blend. Pour and enjoy! This recipe is Sara’s breakfast most days of the week and part of her Perfect Metabolism program.
Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.
©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.
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Excellent article a class buddy from NHI
I’m in Lucadia tomorrow’s über we can meet up after my 10:30 appointment
© copyright 2017 Sara Vance