To Your Health

To Your Health by Pam Schaefer Cure The End of Summer Blues With Blueberries

Packed with health-promoting phytochemicals, blueberries have the power to keep you healthy. Blueberries are rich in the antioxidant anthocyanin, which gives them their dark blue color.

According to a study conducted at Tufts University, blueberries beat out 39 other commercially available fruits and vegetables including kale, strawberries, garlic, spinach and broccoli in antioxidant power. That means that a half-cup serving of blueberries may have more of the antioxidant power you need to fight cancer, beat the battle of aging and prevent heart disease.

Let's examine some of blueberries' potential health benefits:

Anti-aging � Researchers believe that the antioxidant that gives blueberries their deep blue color can reduce "oxidative stress", a factor leading to aging. Prevention magazine calls them the "youth berries." The antioxidant in blueberries also helps maintain elasticity of skin.

Heart Health � Blueberries contain high levels of resveratol, the same types of compounds found in red wine. Resveratol may help to lower the risk of heart disease.

Cancer Protection � Researchers at the University of Illinois looked at the flavonoid anthocyanin and found that it inhibits an enzyme involved in promoting cancer.

Urinary Tract Health � Blueberries contain a compound called tannin. The same compound is also found in cranberries and has been found to keep the harmful bacteria responsible for urinary tract infections from attaching to the wall of the urinary tract.

This allows bacteria to pass through the body without causing an infection.

Beyond all of these health benefits, blueberries just taste good! If you add one fruit to your diet this year, make it blueberries. Fresh blueberries are available year-round but are least expensive June through September. They are one of the easiest fruits to prepare and preserve.

There is no picking, pitting, coring or cutting involved. When selecting blueberries, look for berries that are deep blue in color. For optimal freshness, store in the refrigerator and do not wash until needed. When freezing blueberries, be sure they are unwashed and completely dry. Store in an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag.

Blueberry Salad

All you need:

1 large package raspberry Jell-O

2 c. boiling water

1 can (20 oz.) crushed Del Monte pineapple, drained

1 can blueberry pie filling.

2 tbsp. mayonnaise

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 tub (8oz.) Cool Whip whipped topping, thawed

All you do:

1. Mix Jell-O with boiling water.

2. Add undrained pineapple and blueberry pie filling. Chill.

3. For topping, mix mayonnaise, cream cheese and whipped topping.

4. Spread topping over set gelatin mixture and chill.

5. Store salad covered in the refrigerator.

Hy-Vee registered dieticians are available to the public to answer questions about smart eating. For more information, recipe ideas, or to contact your local dieticians visit www.hy-vee.com and click on health or call toll-free 866-865-4878.

This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

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