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Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Red, White, and Blueberry



Happy National Blueberry Month! I am sure you already had July on your calendar as blueberry month, right? I actually just found out this fun piece of trivia myself!

I celebrated National Blueberry Month this morning by making blueberry pancakes for my parents and husband. Mmmmmm…….they were yummy!

Fun facts:
1. Blueberries are one of the few native fruits to America
2. The colonists in Plymouth in 1620 learned from the Native Americans how to dry and store blueberries for the winter
3. North America produces 90% of the blueberries in the world
4. Even though North America is largest producer, other countries are growing more blueberries, especially Japan
5. The harvest runs from April through October with the peak in July
6. 50% of blueberries harvested are sold fresh and the others are dried, frozen, juiced, or canned
7. The US ships more than 100 metric tons of blueberries to Iceland and 500 metric tons to Japan each year

Health benefits:
Blueberries are among the highest antioxidant foods available
Blueberries contain Vitamins C and E (antioxidants)
Blueberries contain anthocyanins, phenolics, carotenoids, and ellagic acid (phytochemicals)
Antioxidants and phytochemicals have been shown to help prevent heart disease, cancer, aging, and many other potential preventive roles.

Nutrition:
Very low in fat and sodium
1 cup of fresh blueberries contains
84 calories
21 carbs
1 gram protein
0 fat
3.6 grams fiber
Good source of manganese, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, and copper
Contains smaller amounts of many other vitamins and minerals

Uses:
Blueberries are sweet and tasty and can be used in so many ways!
Pancakes, muffins, smoothies, pie, in oatmeal, coffee cake, salads, cheesecake, sauces, and even blueberry catsup! Click here for links to a vast number of blueberry recipes. Also check out http://www.justberryrecipes.com/ for more recipes.

I always have a bag of frozen blueberries in my freezer so I can just pull them out and throw them into a smoothie or my oatmeal. I love dried blueberries to put on top of my cereal, too.

Photos courtesy of gari.baldi and atul666
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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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