Blueberries takes the prize! Blueberries are found to be beneficial in fighting development of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes, heart disease, and even arthritis. Nutrients found in blueberries help the brain communicate, improve memory, decrease inflammation, lower blood cholesterol, and protect against oxidative stress. Blueberries have been proven to be the fruit with the highest antioxidant power, more technically, the highest Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC). Compounds in blueberries are even more powerful at lowering cholesterol than the famed Resveratrol, found in grapes and red wine. The University of Illinois found that flavonoids in wild blueberries block cancer-promoting enzymes. Of all of the fruits tested in the study, wild blueberries had the highest anticancer activity! And finally, they just taste pretty darn good.
Blueberries are a great additive to many dishes. Try mixing into oatmeal, yogurt, with other berries, or even in ice cream to increase volume and decrease calorie concentration. Go for fresh or frozen, but canned in their own juices or water can be used well. Just be careful not to stain your clothes with those dark blue juices. Try a few tablespoons of dried blueberries on a salad or with mixed nuts to add a touch of sweetness.
Whatever you do, make sure to have blueberries on hand and consume often to protect against a multitude of diseases and improve the longevity of life overall.
Tracey Hull, RD and Zoi Health Coach
Information added from The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth by Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S.