You’re going to love the new research on blueberries. Did you know that the prevalence of high blood pressure in women after menopause exceeds that of men? New information presented at the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE) suggests that weight gain with age, a decrease in estrogen and an increase in body inflammation all play a part in pushing up blood pressure. Foods rich in naturally-occurring substances called polyphenols such as blueberries and other berries can help bring blood pressure down.
You’ll also like research that points to blueberries for brain benefits particularly in helping to prevent cognitive decline and maybe Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Here’s the deal. Researchers believe that a substance called amyloid peptide builds up in the brain and causes a type of plaque to form. This plaque causes changes to the brain such as the death of brain cells. Typically one of the first symptoms of AD is memory loss, potentially tied to this brain cell loss. Blueberries are a rich source of polyphenols that help rid the brain of free radicals that are tied to this plaque formation and may help provide a natural protection against Alzheimer’s Disease.
The good news for you is that small tweaks to your diet can make a big difference. It’s easy to add fresh or frozen blueberries and other berries to your diet. When you shop for fresh blueberries, make sure they’re firm, dry, and plump…not soft or shriveled. The deep purple-blue color tells you they’re ripe. Keep blueberries in the fridge and wash before you eat them. They will keep about 10 days. Eat them as a snack, on cereal or add to a muffin batter. You’ll love the homemade aroma in your kitchen when you bake these Blueberry-Coconut-Macadamia Muffins from my Breakin’ Bread Together Pinterest board.
Frozen blueberries work beautifully too. Picked and frozen in season, stock up during sales. You’ll find many choices in frozen fruit. After hearing the new research and wandering the exhibit floor, I was excited to see that companies such as Wyman’s have a new twist and add kale to their frozen berries and cherries which is great for green smoothie lovers. Try this Blueberry Smoothie recipe from my Pinterest board, The Best Smoothies.
Bonus: Blueberries have only 80 calories per cup with 4 grams of fiber. Plus, they’re a good source of vitamins C and K and the mineral manganese.
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