Carla Hay-Perdue, DNP, APRN, FNP, ANP-BC, NC-BC
Community Education Coordinator/ Family Nurse Practitioner at Palo Pinto General Hospital
August 8, 2022
Blueberries are an excellent fruit chocked full of health benefits. Their sweet and tart flavor and nearly seedless nature make blueberries a popular fruit. Blueberries contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that provide essential health benefits. They are rich in fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and manganese. An entire cup contains only 84 calories. Blueberries are one of the best natural sources of antioxidants. Antioxidants help protect your body from damage by free radicals.
So, what is a free radical? Everything, including the cells in our body, is made up of atoms. These atoms contain protons and neutrons surrounded by moving electrons attached to the atoms in pairs. When atoms have the required numbers of electrons, they are stable. However, there is a problem when an atom has an uneven number of electrons. The molecules missing an electron become free radicals that try to steal electrons from healthy cells. The more free radicals are circulating in the body, the greater the likelihood of damage to healthy cells. The production of free radicals is a normal process of metabolism. Therefore, small amounts of free radicals have benefits. Unfortunately, we tend to form an overabundance of free radicals from things like a diet high in processed meats (like bacon, sausage or lunch meat), and exposure to environmental toxins, such as tobacco and air pollution. Too many free radicals are called oxidative stress. Antioxidants neutralize the free radicals by giving them some of their own electrons. Blueberries are loaded with antioxidants. Eating them can help in the fight against chronic diseases such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer, and arthritis. So, have them as a snack! Add them to smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, and salads.
Try this muffin recipe from EatingWell
Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins
2 ½ cups old-fashioned Rolled oats.
1 ½ cups low fat milk
1 large egg lightly beaten
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons of extra virgin canola
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup of fresh or frozen blueberries
Combine oats and milk in a large bowl. Cover and let soak in the refrigerator until much of the liquid is absorbed, at least 8 hours and up to 12 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 12-cup nonstick muffin tin with cooking spray.
Stir egg, maple syrup, oil, vanilla, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt into the soaked oats until well combined. Divide the mixture among the muffin cups (about ¼ cup each. Top with 1 tablespoon of blueberries.
Bake the oatmeal cakes until they spring back when touched, 25 to 30 minutes. Let the pan cool for about 10 minutes. Loosen and remove with a paring knife. Serve warm.
2 oatmeal cakes
264 calories; protein 7.4g; carbohydrates 40.8g; dietary fiber 4g; sugars 16.6g; fat 8.6g; saturated fat 1.4g; cholesterol 34mg; vitamin A 175.8 IU; vitamin c 1.8mg; folate 24.4mcg; calcium 149.7mg; iron 1.9mg; magnesium 103.1mg; potassium 277.3mg; sodium 219.3mg; thiamin 0.2mg; added sugar 12g.