When I think about July in Iowa, blueberries always come to mind. If you’ve never been to a berry patch to pick your own, add it to your bucket list! It is fun being able to taste test the freshly plucked berries right from the source. This is an activity sure to be enjoyed at any age – benefits of eating a healthy snack, enjoying the sunshine, soaking up vitamin D, and spending time with family or friends to share memories or to create a tradition you can continue each year.
Blueberries contain one of the highest antioxidant values among all fruits and vegetables. Consuming foods high in antioxidants help to boost the body’s immune system. Research proves that antioxidants in blueberries are beneficial for brain health. Evidence also supports that consuming blueberries can improve memory and postpone other cognitive problems, especially associated with aging.
It’s best to enjoy blueberries raw (fresh) for optimal health and nutritional benefits. Smoothies are a unique way to enjoy blueberries and still reap the benefits. Plus, on a hot day, a cold smoothie really hits the spot. Not to mention, it’s a healthier option than an ice cream shake!
Healthy smoothies, with no added sugars, preserve the fiber from the fruits or vegetables which has significant health benefits, too. Fiber aids in digestion and helps you feel more satisfied.
On your next trip to the grocery store, be sure to get some blueberries, along with the following ingredients to enjoy your own blueberry smoothie. Your body will thank you!
½ cup blueberries
1 cup strawberries
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
6 oz. plain or vanilla greek yogurt (look for yogurt low in sugar and with few ingredients)
*Add ground flaxseed, chia seed or oatmeal to any smoothie for more fiber
Blend all ingredients.
Other quick and easy ways to incorporate more blueberries into your diet:
– Sprinkle blueberries on top of cold cereal
– Yogurt parfaits (yogurt, granola, sliced almonds and fresh blueberries)
– Berry salad (fresh cut strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries)
Contributed By: Andrea Doster (Wellness Assistant)