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Blueberries: One of Nature’s Best Foods

Native to North America, blueberries have been part of the human diet for more than 13,000 years, long before being formally recognized for their healthy and anti-cancer effects Blueberries are among the best foods you can eat, and I recommend eating them everyday. I have created easy healthy recipes, diet recipes, smoothie recipes – using blueberries, soy milk, ground flax seed, and other natural foods — that give my patients a variety of ways to enjoy this wonderful fruit.

Since blueberries contain flavonoids and other specific phytochemicals that help protect against vascular instability, I instruct my diabetes and heart disease patients to eat fresh blueberries every day and to eat frozen blueberries in the wintertime.

In general, my food recommendations are based on the nutrient per calorie ratio in a particular food. More precisely, I am concerned with a food’s micro nutrient per macro nutrient ratio. There are three macro nutrients — fat, carbohydrate and protein. All foods contain some mix of all three. Macro nutrients are the source of all calories.

One cup of blueberries contain 80 calories and a whole pint gives you about 225 calories. Like all other foods, the calories in blueberries come from its macro nutrients — 56 grams of carbohydrate, 1.5 grams of fat and 2.7 grams of protein. But it is blueberries’ micro nutrient content that packs the most impressive wallop. Blueberries are packed with tannins, anthocyanins that have been linked to prevention — and even reversal — of age related mental decline and anti-cancer effects.

Blueberries are the only food so far that has been shown not just to prevent, but actually to reverse abnormal physical and mental decline, including coordination and balance, in aged animals.

The flavonoids in blueberries — catechin, epicatechin, myricetin, quercetin, ankaempferol — are a mouthful of strangely spelled words, but more importantly, they are extremely valuable for superior health. And remember, phytochemicals are not optional nutrients; they are essential for normal function of your immune system.

For a powerful health booster, try this easy recipe for Dr. Fuhrman’s Patriotic Salad. The synergistic punch of blueberries, strawberries, and leafy greens activates phytochemical repair mechanisms that arm our cells against damage from toxins and aging.

The blueberry flax smoothie recipe is another easy recipe using fresh or frozen blueberries, soy milk, and ground flax seeds. Patients tell me that they prefer this to ice cream.

Dr. Fuhrman’s Blueberry/Flax Smoothie
 
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
3/4 cup soy milk
1 TBSP flax seeds
3 medjool dates or 6 deglet noor dates

Blend until smooth in blender or Vita mix. A healthy, easy recipe that makes a great after-school snack for the kids.


Dr. Fuhrman’s Patriotic Salad

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
6-12 lettuce leaves
1 banana
1/2 cup soy milk

Blend banana and soy milk to make topping. Arrange berries and lettuce leaves in a bowl. Pour topping over fruit and serve.
 

 

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