The BC Blueberry Council salutes the Dietitians of Canada as they suggest that we all Unlock the Potential of Food — the official slogan for Nutrition Month this year.
This professional association, which comprises some 6,000 members, is highlighting how food not only nourishes but also fuels active lives, helps to heal and plays a role in preventing chronic diseases.
The readily available blueberry – whether fresh or frozen – has often been referred to as one of the top superfoods because of the high content of polyphenols (the same type of compounds that provide the health benefits found in red wine and dark chocolate). In blueberries, the polyphenol that has most excited scientists is the same one that gives the blueberry its distinctive and wholly unique blue colour, a pigment called anthocyanin.
More recently, research has revealed additional anti-inflammatory benefits of the polyphenols that appear to greatly increase the disease-fighting power of the blueberry. Both the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions of polyphenols have been linked to a wide range of health benefits and improved treatment outcomes in a large number of age-related illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Blueberries are also full of essential vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, A and E, as well as potassium, calcium and magnesium.
“In addition,” says Anju Gill, executive director of the BC Blueberry Council, “they are wonderfully sweet, calorie smart (a 250 ml/1 cup serving of blueberries contains only 80 calories) and easy to add to a variety of recipes – from your favourite salad to your breakfast cereal.”
The BC Blueberry Council offers a rich assortment of smart recipes on its website, www.bcblueberry.com. With over 80 years of growing experience, the BC Blueberry Council represents over 600 highbush blueberry growers.
This month’s featured recipe is a blueberry coconut chia pudding parfait. The recipe can be found here.