I know it’s blueberry season when I walk into the Monterey Market in Berkeley and see this: very large containers filled with nothing but fresh, organic and healthy blueberries!
Blueberries are an important part of your diet if you are dealing with an auto-immune condition, inflammation or are in the process of achieving conception. Optimization of your nutrition is the very first thing you can do to insure a healthy pregnancy and baby. Blueberries are nature’s gift to us, for they are one of the foods with the highest levels of ANTIOXIDANTS.
Antioxidants are very important for the health of our bodies. Anti-oxidants are chemicals that block the activity of other chemicals known as free radicals. Blueberry’s anti-oxidant activity comes from it’s pro-anthocyanin pigment, which is rich in quercetin, myricetin and other compounds. The anti-oxidants protect your body again free radicals, which are highly reactive to toxins and have the potential to cause damage to cells, including damage that may lead to cancer and other inflammatory conditions.
A recent study by the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine utilized an acai berry rich antioxidant to support ovarian function. The study has found that high levels of the antioxidant significantly improved outcomes for women undergoing IVF. Of the 42 participants in the study, 78.1% achieved an ongoing clinical pregnancy rate. This was compared to the national average of 37.8% for a 37 year old.
Here are two easy ways to use blueberries. First, is a very easy and delicious recipe for Gluten Free blueberry muffins that will make everyone happy in the morning! They also freeze really well; so make some now for later in the year.
1 cup almond flour
1 cup coconut flour or cornmeal
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
In a large glass measuring bowl, mix:
2 eggs – room temperature
1 cup cow, rice or almond milk – room temperature
¼ cup honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. lemon zest
¼ cup organic unsalted butter, melted
Heaping ½ cup fresh blueberries (or more, if desired)
Make a well with the dry ingredients. FOLD the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Don’t over mix; you want there to be lumps in the batter. Place into muffin tins greased with butter or with paper muffin cups. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes, or until done.
Second, I have patients put ½ to 1 cup of fresh organic blueberries into their healthy shake to get a super dose of antioxidants and Vitamin C.
Into a blender put the following ingredients: