There are dozens of reasons we love summer between cookouts, beach vacations, and all of the fresh fruits and veggies in season, but one little fruit is getting extra attention this month. Refusing to be overlooked, the small-but-mighty North American fruit is taking over July with National Blueberry Month! Keep reading to find out why these little fruits pack a huge punch:
Blueberries are a classic summer food. The blueberry season itself runs from May until October, but peaks in July just in time for summer salads, smoothies, and farmer’s markets! If the sweetness wasn’t enough to make you fall in love with one of America’s favorite superfoods, here’s a peek at the long list of benefits that make them more than deserving of their month of recognition:
They’re great for your bones
Can you guess how many vitamins the blueberry has that assist bone health? Most would stop at two or three. After all, they’re tiny! In fact, they contain seven: iron, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and vitamin K. While iron and zinc help to maintain the elasticity of bones and joints, vitamin K has been shown to prevent bone fractures over time.
They help with weight loss & digestion
Blueberries have a surprisingly high fiber content within the jewel blue skin. In fact, adding one cup of fresh blueberries can add up to 4.2 grams of fiber to your diet with only 80 calories! Getting enough fiber not only helps with regulating digestion and maintaining a healthy digestive tract, but it also helps you feel full and satisfied for longer which can help support a healthy weight and lifestyle.
They support your skin’s health
Your skin’s support system, collagen, relies on vitamin C to help prevent damage. This damage comes from many things we come in contact with every day. These including smoke, air pollution, and smoke (firsthand and secondhand), so they can be hard to get away from. Thankfully, the vitamin C found in blueberries can help assist collagen in smoothing out wrinkles and improving overall skin texture so that your skin looks as healthy as it feels!
They’re packed with antioxidants
Antioxidants are important. They help protect your cells against free radicals! In case you’ve never heard of them, they are molecules produced when your body breaks down food or is exposed to tobacco smoke or radiation. They can start a chain of harmful chemical reactions that hurt the cells in your body. Not to worry, blueberries are actually believed to be the highest antioxidant-containing food of all commonly eaten fruits!
Blueberry boosts your brain
As we age, our memory tends to decline and conditions such as Alzheimer’s and dementia become more common. In recent studies, however, blueberries have been found to boost cognitive function and reduce the likelihood of these diseases. We can thank the dense concentration of flavonoids, a group of plant chemicals that give fruits and vegetables their vibrant colors. This chemical has been shown to increase brain activity and blood flow to the brain which makes it a powerful weapon in the fight to treat Alzheimer’s.
This is just a handful of the amazing list of health benefits offered by this power-packed fruit. Check out your local farmer’s market, grocery store, or even your own garden to stock up while they’re ripe! Since washing the fruit actually softens it and makes it overripen more quickly, try opting for an organic option as their thin skin allows for chemicals and pesticides to seep into the fruit. Add them to your smoothies, oatmeals, and yogurts this month and enjoy a healthy, fresh July!