By: Morgan Robbins, RD, LD at LMC
July is National Blueberry Month – which means blueberry season is quickly approaching. Blueberries are generally ready to be picked late July to mid August. Don’t let their small size fool you; blueberries are packed with a nutritional punch that can benefit everyone’s diet.
Phytonutrients in blueberries are called polyphenols which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The anti-inflammatory properties of polyphenols help reduce the inflammatory process associated with chronic diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Along with being delicious, blueberries have tons of health benefits too:
• 80 calories per cup- great for snacking
• Low in fat
• Almost four grams of fiber
• 25% of your daily Vitamin C- supports the immune system
• Great source of manganese- important for bone development and converting food into energy
This summer, try adding blueberries to your salads, oatmeal, pancakes, desserts, yogurts, smoothies and cereals. Try this blueberry smoothie recipe to beat the heat, a healthy treat that everyone is sure to enjoy!
1 fresh or frozen banana, peeled and cut into pieces
6 oz plain, non-fat yogurt
¾ cup skim milk or milk alternative
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
½ cup ice cubs (optional)
Blend until smooth! This smoothie provides approximately 200 calories, 4.5 grams fat (0gm saturated fat), 10 gm protein, 36 gm carbohydrates and 10 gm protein.