Blueberry: The Super Berry!

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You hear about “amazing” foods that help with various ailments and the blueberry is one of those. Recently a team member of ours told us about his experience with this mighty berry.

He had been experiencing extreme discomfort with his shoulder over the course of a couple of years. He had gone to therapists and orthpedic surgeons and had been diagnosed as having a tear in one of the tendons in his right shoulder. After a test that determined the severity of his injury, he found out that the tear wasn’t large enough to undergo surgery. It was however discomforting enough to hinder his normal day to day activities. The pain was worse in the morning when he got out of bed, and since he was right handed, using the mouse as he worked on the computer seemed to aggravate the condition.

He found out that his mother-in-law had experienced debilitating pain in her knees a year prior and had gone on a regiment of blueberries. She would grab a handful of fresh or frozen blueberries, add water and make a smoothie. After drinking this every morning for a few months, she noticed that her knees were less painful. After a year, she had no pain at all in her knees and she was able to go up and down the stairs in her home comfortably.

Using her as an example, our team member started making blueberry smoothies every morning. He was amazed to find that after just one week, his shoulder pain became just a minor discomfort. After some research he found that blackberries are more effective than asprin in relieving inflamation and that blueberries are ideal for people with arthritis because they’re loaded with pain-relieving and healing power.

As with cherries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries, they’re rich in anthocyanins, a group of antioxidant flavonoids with exceptional anti-inflammatory properties. Scientists at Michigan State University found that just 20 tart cherries contain 25mg of anthocyanins, enough to block the enzymes that make arthritic joints hurt while reducing inflammation the same way that NSAID (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug ) drugs do.

From a health standpoint, blueberries combine more disease fighting antioxidants than almost any other fruit or vegetable. One serving of blueberries provide as much antioxidants as five servings of carrots, apples, broccoli or squash. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, blueberries have 40 percent more antioxidant capacity than strawberries. In fact, 2/3 cup of blueberries gives you the same antioxidants as 1,733 IU of vitamin E and more protection than 1,200 milligrams of vitamin C. Blueberries have a role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, senility and degenerative eye diseases like macular degeneration and cataracts.

So with this in mind, what can blueberries do for wrinkles? Since blueberries are high in vitamin C, they can help strengthen collagen formation, thereby reducing the signs of aging. Blueberries can give your skin extra protection against the skin damaging free radicals that result from sun exposure and emotional stress. A half cup everyday can help prevent the cell structure damage that can lead to loss of firmness, fine lines and wrinkles. Blueberries help maintain healthy skin and reduce fine aging lines.

So how do you go about choosing these wonder berries? Blueberries ripen in the summer (around July) though they may be found year-round in most neighborhood grocery stores. The best blueberries are plump looking, and are a deep bluish grey in color. Avoid blueberries that are mushy and lift the bag/container up and look at the berries on the bottom and make sure they aren’t moldy. Store blueberries in the fridge for optimum freshness. You can also use frozen blueberries though of course they may not have that “fresh” texture. In terms of health however, if berries are frozen right after they’ve been picked, they are often more nutritious than berries that have been transported over a long distance. Fruit begins to lose some of its nutritious quality after picking and if left without freezing, will lose about 50% of its vitamin C content within a few days.

So it goes without saying that the humble blueberry is an amazing food. Make sure you go down to your local grocer and stock up on some today. You can make blueberry pancakes, muffins, shakes, syrups, jellies, jams, drinks… the list is endless. Add a SilcSkin anti-wrinkle pad to your “wrinkle-free” campaign and you have a winning combination to get rid of those pesky wrinkles. Eat fresh, live well, live long!