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.
- Blueberries are low in calories and virtually fat free. They consist of approximately 85% water, so a cup of blueberries is only 84 calories.
- They’re the most nutrient dense berries, containing fibre, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and manganese.
- 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.
- These same antioxidants help protect the body from heart disease by reducing oxidation of ‘bad’ cholesterols in the blood.
- Blueberries can help lower blood pressure.
- The antioxidants in blueberries can help brain function and delay age-related decline.
- 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.