Summer berry sweetness
Native American Indians dubbed blueberries “star berries,” because the five points of blueberry blossoms make a star shape. The first Americans held the blue orb in high reverence, believing the “Great Sprit” created berries to feed their hungry children during famine. Learning from indigenous Indians, American homesteaders added blueberries into their diets when other food sources were scarce. They were wise. Eating fresh, in season summer berries is a brilliant way to maintain health and prevent disease.
Native to America, Blueberries are among the highest antioxidant value fruits. Just a half cup of fresh blueberries deliver the antioxidant energy of five servings of peas, carrots, apples, squash or broccoli. Eating antioxidant plant food can prevent cancer, Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment, immune system failure, urinary tract infections, cataracts, macular degeneration and protects the brain from stroke damage.
Fresh blue, red or black berries carry vitamin C, A and E that work in symbiosis as powerful antioxidants which help limit free, radical, mediated injury to the temple. Berries also carry a small amount of B-complex group niacin, pyridoxine, folates, and pantothenic acid. Anthocyanins in blueberries are good for eyesight. Fabulous, fibrous berries also hold potassium, manganese, copper, iron and zinc. Potassium helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used as an antioxidant enzyme. Copper is required for the production of red blood cells and iron for red blood cell formation. The round, marble-size miracles have a low glycemic load. Research suggest berries help lower blood sugar levels and control blood-glucose levels in type-II diabetes.
The Annals of Neurology reports women who eat about two servings of strawberries or one serving of blueberries a week experience less mental decline over time than peers who went without these nutrition powerhouses.
Everyone loves blueberry pancakes, but since cooking the berries into muffins, pies, sugary sauces or “Poop” Tarts, diminish their sun-soaked, super-nutrition into nothingness, make your own sweet and delicious berry syrup by warming up chopped berries in maple syrup. (Not Aunt Jemima’s!) Warm, not scalding hot. Then pour the elixir over your pancakes, but because you care about your health, pass on the whipped cream.
July is national Blueberry month. Show your temple some sweet love by eating all varieties of seasonal berries. To benefit from the vitamins and antioxidants within red, blue and blackberries, eat them fresh and raw as a pop-in-your-mouth treat, on your granola / cereal, or blended smoothie: nature’s convenience food.