BLUEBERRY SMOOTHIES

 

1/2 bag of frozen blueberries
2 tablespoons blueberry preserves

7 or 8 ice cubes

1 1/2 cups of soy milk

1 banana

This is super easy. Just toss everything into a blender, switch to the highest setting, and let fly until you stop hearing ice cubes crunching and everything is fairly smooth. There are an infinite number of variations on this using different combination of fruit and jam. You might also consider adding protein powder, ground flax seed, or any other supplement that strikes your fancy. It?s best to wait until near the end, and just blend long enough to mix the protein powder of whatever in. You can also substitute apple juice for the soy milk to create a tangier concoction.

Facts:
Blueberries are flowering plants in the genus Vaccinium, sect. Cyanococcus. The species are native only to North America. They are shrubs varying in size from 10 cm tall to 4 m tall; the smaller species are known as “lowbush blueberries”, and the larger species as “highbush blueberries”. The leaves can be either deciduous or evergreen, ovate to lanceolate, and from 1-8 cm long and 0.5-3.5 cm broad. The flowers are bell-shaped, white, pale pink or red, sometimes tinged greenish.

Health Benefits of Blueberries:
Blueberries have a diverse range of micronutrients, with notably high levels of the essential dietary mineral iron, and antioxidant vitamins C and E (table). One serving provides a relatively low glycemic load.
Especially in wild species, blueberries contain anthocyanins, other antioxidant pigments and various phytochemicals possibly having a role in reducing risks of some diseases, including cancers.

Researchers have shown that blueberry anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, flavonols, and tannins inhibit mechanisms of cancer cell development in vitro. At a 2007 symposium on berry health benefits were reports showing consumption of blueberries (and similar fruits including cranberries) may alleviate the cognitive decline occurring in Alzheimer’s disease and other conditions of aging.

Recent scientific studies have produced evidence that blueberries may:

• Improve short term memory loss
• Ameliorate age-related declines in neural and cognitive function
• Protect against macular degeneration of the retina
• Promote urinary tract health
• Act as a potent anti-inflamatory agent and COX-2 inhibitor*
• Improve glucose metabolism through the activity of chologenic acid
• Reduce the risk of some cancers

 

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