A whole lot of health benefits in one tiny package

I don’t buy into every new “superfood” that gets hyped in the health media. But there is one superfood in particular that does get my stamp of approval–blueberries. They’re not the newest or the most exotic…but they do pack a whole lot of health benefits into a tiny package.

Dozens of studies have examined the nutritional chemistry in blueberries, and researchers say they’re the No. 1 source of antioxidants called polyphenols. And science shows that blueberries are more effective than any other fruit in fighting free radicals.

For example, studies have found that the anthocyanins in blueberries may help prevent high blood pressure by opening up blood vessels for easier blood flow.  And preliminary studies point to their potential to help protect against age-related decline in memory and motor skills.

And last year a study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that blueberries may improve insulin sensitivity. This study involved 32 obese participants.  None were diabetic, but all of them were insulin-resistant (in other words, they all had the very condition I told you about above–prediabetes).

For six weeks, half of the group drank blueberry smoothies twice a day, while the other half drank smoothies with similar nutritional statistics but no blueberries. They got smoothies twice a day.

Researchers found that the blueberry group had greater improvement in insulin sensitivity.

As far as I’m concerned, this makes adding blueberries into your diet a no-brainer. They make a delicious dessert topped with a big, decadent dollop of fresh whipped cream (the REAL stuff–not the plastic stuff that comes in tubs or spray cans). But try adding them to dishes you wouldn’t normally think of, too–salads, pan-seared salmon, even omelets (sounds odd, I know–but throw in a spoonful of ricotta cheese and a sprinkling of blueberries and you’ve got yourself a breakfast that beats any plate of pancakes–hands down)!