Blueberries are deliciously sweet and slightly sour berries that are purplish in colour.
They are fast becoming one of the most popular fruits to eat and are gaining a bit of a superfood status for health and weight loss– they’re packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and are thought to provide a wealth of health benefits when you include them into your healthy eating plan.
Blueberries actually have the highest antioxidant level of all fresh fruit, meaning that eating them regularly could boost your immune system, help to prevent infection and ward off disease.
A healthy and strong immune system will ultimately mean that you become much healthier. Blueberries also contain nutrients that neutralize free radicals, which are known to cause disease and to have a damaging effect on the body.
These little berries are also useful in aiding urinary tract health. Much like cranberries, blueberries can flush out toxins and bacteria that may build up in your urinary tract and cause an infection – thus keeping you healthy. They are also high in dietary fibre which aids digestion. A healthy digestive system will not only keep you feeling healthy, fit and strong, but it could also aid weight loss.
Recent research has also suggested that eating blueberries could help to reduce stomach fat. In an experiment, blueberries were mixed into both low fat and high fat rat food, and some rats were given the blueberry enriched food whilst others just had their regular food. After 90 days, the rats that had been fed the blueberry enriched food had less fat in their abdomen, lower cholesterol, lower triglycerides and improved blood sugar levels – and the effects were even more pronounced in the rats that were fed a low fat blueberry enriched diet.
Blueberries are also low in fat and calories – and because they’re high in dietary fibre and protein, eating them could help to fill you up for very little calories, this helping you to lose weight. Below are two low calorie, low fat, speedy recipes using blueberries.
Blueberry & banana smoothie
- 1/4 a banana
- 1/4 cup of frozen blueberries
- 200ml of low fat milk
- 5 ice cubes
- 2 x tbsp of the Vanilla Healthy Mummy Smoothie
Put all the ingredients in the blender and blend for 2 minutes – watch our video below to see how easy it is to make. This smoothie is approximately 350 calories
This delicious compote is perfect for serving with yoghurt or over cereal.
- 400g blueberries
- 100g raspberries
- 50ml of honey
- 1 vanilla pod OR 1 cinnamon stick OR 2 sprigs of mint OR 2 sprigs of lemon balm
- Tip all of the fruits into a large pan along with the honey and 2-3 tbsp. water. Add the flavouring of your choice. If using a vanilla pod, halve it before adding to the berries. If using a cinnamon stick, snap in half before adding to the berries. If using mint or lemon balm, you can either thinly slice them and add them to the berries or keep them whole so you can remove them later.
- Bring everything to the boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 3-5 minutes until syrupy but not mushy. Serve warm or cold according to taste.
Compote will keep in the fridge for a couple of days, or you could freeze it for up to 3 months. Recipe serves 4, calories per serving: 83, fat per serving: 0g.
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