The holiday season seems to be packed with family gatherings and parties where delicious food is served by the tray full. This can be a hard time to manage when you’re trying to honor your health goals (and finish strong these last few weeks of …
Why You Should Eat More Blueberries
Did you know, bluberries are in season in the United States of America through April to late September?
Did you also know that July is National Blueberries Month? In light of July being National Blueberries month, I thought we should celebrate the cute little guys!
So let’s talk about why you should eat more blueberries.
First of all, you should know that the average adult should be eating 1.5-2 cups of fruit a day.
Additionally, you should be trying to eat the rainbow when it comes to eating fruit. This is so that you can make sure you’re getting a variety of nutrients.
When you take in to account their nutrient profile and current research, it’s easy to see why these berries should be included into your daily servings of fruit!
Their Nutrient Profile
Blueberries are rich in the free-radical fighting antioxidants called anthocyanins.
Anthocyanins give blueberries their deep blue color.
Health benefits associated with anthocyanins include regulation of the human body’s immune response and anti-inflammatory properties (Lila 306).
This means blueberries could help boost the immune system and reduce inflammation.
Vitamin C Content:
Blueberries are rich in the vitamin C which is an antioxidant.
In fact, just a 1/2 cup serving of blueberries provides you with over 10% over your daily vitamin C needs (based on a 2000 calorie diet).This makes them a good source of vitamin C.
Well, vitamin C helps boost the immune system and fight off free radical damage.
Vitamin C is also an important cofactor for the formation of collagen in the body (Sizer and Whitney 254). Collagen plays an important role in building your body’s connective tissues (think bones, teeth, skin).
So, having enough vitamin C plays a huge role in bone and skin health.
Additionally, vitamin C plays a role in protecting iron in the digestive tract from oxidizing, thus, keeping it in its bioavailable form absorption (Sizer and Whitney 254).
Blueberries and Cancer
In a study conducted on rats, researchers found that rats fed blueberries produced more tumor-suppressing proteins than the rats not fed blueberries (Wood 11). Researchers believe Tumor-suppressing proteins to assist in protecting the body against cancer (Wood 11).
Researchers go on to suggest that blueberries have anti-cancer effects because they increase the amount of tumor-suppressing proteins in the body. Specifically, it is thought that blueberries might help prevent breast cancer.
Blueberries and Bone Health
Osteoporosis is a degenerative bone disease that impacts many people today. It involves the weakening of your bone structures and can be extremely painful.
In a study conducted on rats (surprise!), they found that rats fed a diet enriched with blueberries has more bone mass than those who weren’t fed blueberry-enriched diets (Wood 11). T
he increase in bone mass of rats fed a diet enhanced with blueberries prove that they play a significant role in bone health and development.
Blueberries and Heart Heath
Blueberries lower the risk of the development of heart disease because they lower cholesterol levels and the reduce the amount unhealthy fat deposits formed in blood vessels.
∇ Cholesterol Levels
In a study conducted on hamster (who like us can develop high-cholesterol from a high-fat diet), researchers found that the hamsters fed a diet enriched with blueberries has lower cholesterol levels than the hamsters who didn’t (Wood 9).
Researchers, however, still haven’t identified what specific compounds in blueberries cause them to lower cholesterol.
Because cholesterol is a risk factor in the development of heart disease, the ability of blueberries to help lower high cholesterol makes them a heart-healthy choice.
Blueberries can help aid in the reduction of unhealthy fat deposits inside blood vessels (also known as Atherosclerosis).
Fatty deposits from Atherosclerosis can form lesions that increase the risk for cardiovascular disease (Wood 10). A study conducted on mice who were identified as predisposed to developing lesions in blood vessels found that a diet with blueberries helped reduce their risk of forming the lesions (Wood 10).
In fact, lesions sites in mice who were fed blueberries were 39-58% smaller than the mice, not fed blueberries (Wood 10).
Having fatty deposits in your blood vessels is another risk factor for the development of heart disease. Because blueberries help reduce fatty deposits in the blood vessels, it makes them a heart-healthy food as they are lowering the risk of developing heart disease.
∇ Decreased capillary permeability and fragility (Lila 306)
Blueberries are antioxidant-rich powerhouses that have been found to provide a variety of health benefits.
In this post on why you should eat more blueberries, several key points are made.
Based off of the above discussion, blueberries can help reduce the risk of heart disease development and cancer.
They also play a role in reducing inflammation, boosting the immune system, bone health, and iron absorption.
With the key benefits in mind, It’s easy to see why some might call this berry a super fruit!
Now that we know a little bit more about what blueberries offer our bodies, let’s honor them this National Blueberries Month! Check out my Blueberry Mousse, Blueberry Chia Pudding, Berry Cashew Dessert Bar, or my Berry Watermelon Honey Mint Fruit Salad recipes to celebrate!
Wood, Marcia. “Blueberries and Your Health: Scientists Study Nutrition Secrets of Popular Fruit.” Agricultural Research, vol. 59, no. 5, May 2011, pp. 9-13. EBSCOhost, cscc.ohionet.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=cookie,ip,uid&db=a9h&AN=60990274&site=ehost-live.
Do you struggle with finding safe places to eat when traveling to new areas? Are you constantly hunting for safe snacks at the gas station or airport on those long trips? Endure the struggles no more because I am going to share with you my top tips on traveling gluten-free.
This post is going to be a lot different from my other posts. It’s going to be somewhat informal and it’s going to be a very personal and very real post. Learn about the lessons I learned, the diet philosophies I adopted, the symptoms I endure, the frustrations I have, and why I ultimately don’t hate having celiac disease.
I’m not following a fad diet – Celiac disease 101
Hi, my name is Tayler Silfverduk and some of you may or may not know that I have celiac disease. This diagnosis means I’m not following a fad diet by eating gluten-free. No, I am following a medically prescribed diet that helps ensure that I stay healthy.
This is true for anyone else with celiac disease. Someone following a gluten-free diet due to a diagnosis of Celiac disease is not following the diet because it’s a fad diet. Going gluten-free will not be a temporary change for them. This isn’t one of those diets where they follow it strictly for a few months and then fall off the wagon and can return to normal eating. No, a gluten-free diet is a medically prescribed diet for those diagnosed with celiac disease. They have to follow this diet for the rest of their lives. It’s serious and deserves support.
What is Celiac Disease:
Reminder, it’s not a fad diet! Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease diagnosed after someone undergoes a series of serious tests. It’s when someone’s body literally attacks itself after consuming gluten. Hence, celiac disease is deemed an autoimmune disease.
What happens to the body when someone with Celiac eats gluten?
Like mentioned above, when someone eats gluten, the body attacks itself. While no, someone with celiac disease won’t fall over dead immediately after consuming gluten, their bodies can endure irreparable damage that can lead to the development of serious conditions and possibly death.
Damage is done to the lining of the small intestine when someone with celiac disease eats gluten. The lining of the small intestine is lined with finger-like projections called villi. Villi help increase the surface area of the small intestine and thus, promote nutrient absorption. When someone with celiac disease eats gluten, the body launches an immune response that attacks the villi of the small intestine. Remember, the Villi aid in absorption so when they are damaged it can cause malabsorption of nutrients in the small intestine and thus, it can lead to nutrient deficiency.
Outward symptoms of eating gluten with Celiac Disease:
While everyone with celiac disease experiences damage to their small intestinal villi when eating gluten, the outward symptoms are not all the same. This isn’t a pretty disease guys, some of this can get gross. Some people have no symptoms and some people have more symptoms than they care to mention but here is a list of some common ones:
- Pain in the abdomen (stomach)
- Canker sores
How to prevent permanent damage and symptoms?
People with Celiac disease must eat a gluten-free diet to minimize/eliminate symptoms and prevent permanent damage to their small intestine. There is no way around eating gluten-free with celiac disease. Eating gluten-free foods is important and so is making sure foods aren’t cross-contaminated. Cross-contamination can be something as minuscule as you eating a sandwich and not washing your hands before preparing a salad for someone with celiac disease. This means at group gatherings, don’t use the same serving utensils for the wheat pasta and the gluten-free pasta.
Someone diagnosed with celiac disease is not following a gluten-free diet temporarily. Doctors medically prescribe a gluten-free diet for people with celiac disease. People with Celiac must follow this medically prescribed diet for the rest of their lives to prevent serious complications.
To reiterate in applications related to me. I’m not following a fad diet, I am following a life-long medically prescribed diet in order to prevent irreparable damage to my body.