My Healthy Snack of the Week – Blueberries

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This week’s snack is blueberries.  Today is regarded as Blue Monday – the most depressing day of the year!  It’s a perfect storm of conditions – we’re all broke after Christmas, tiring of our New Year resolutions and are fed up with the consistently cold, grey weather.

So, here’s some happy facts about beautiful, juicy blueberries.

  1. Blueberries are low in calories and virtually fat free.  They consist of approximately 85% water, so a cup of blueberries is only 84 calories.
  2. They’re the most nutrient dense berries, containing fibre, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and manganese.
  3. They’re packed with antioxidant compounds such as flavonoids, a type of anthocyanin which gives them their blue colour.  These compounds help protect the body from damage from free radicals which can cause aging and cancer.
  4. These same antioxidants help protect the body from heart disease by reducing oxidation of ‘bad’ cholesterols in the blood.
  5. Blueberries can help lower blood pressure.
  6. The antioxidants in blueberries can help brain function and delay age-related decline.
  7. Blueberries do contain moderate amounts of sugar, but the anthocyanins in blueberries can have a positive effect on insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism.  This means a lower risk of Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

So, give yourself a happy boost this week and chase away the Monday blues with a handful of berries in your snack box.

Sources: http://www.medicaldaily.com,  http://www.nhs.uk,

http://www.authoritynutrition.com

 

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