Blueberry jams, blueberry pies, blueberry tarts…sounds heavenly, doesn’t it? Blueberries are an absolute favorite in my house. And why not? Its flavor, taste, and color make it the perfect snack time companion.
Blueberries belong to the berry family, which includes other members, such as bilberry, cranberry, mountain laurel and azalea. Tiny in size, these are round purple berries, which taste good. The flesh of the fruit is semi transparent and the seeds are encased in it. The flesh of the fruit is surrounded with blue-purple skin. The size of the fruit varies from a pea to a marble. The fruit usually grows in clusters. There is a waxy white to gray covering on the skin of the fruit, which acts as a protective coating to the fruit. The season in which this fruit is at its best starts from May and stays till October. There are many health benefits of this fruit. Packed with amazing nutritional values, these fruits are low in calories. The taste also varies from tangy to mildly sweet.
Benefits Of Blueberry
These wonderful berries are unique in terms of their health benefits. Yes, blueberries not just taste good but are also good for health. Here are some of the benefits that you can expect from the yummy berries:
Skin Benefits Of Blueberry:
Blueberries are good sources of Vitamin A, Vitamin B complex and Vitamin C. Blueberries are also rich in fibers. These fruits are low in calories, cholesterol and saturated fats. Filled with antioxidants, they can be eaten raw. Blueberries help to improve many skin conditions, such as splotchy skin, broken capillaries and acne.
1. Heals Damaged Skin:
The presence of free radicals in the skin can cause severe skin damage. The phytochemicals and antioxidants found in the fruit help to neutralize these free radicals, which in turn make the skin look softer and younger. As the fruit is low in fat and calories and rich in phytonutrients, it helps to prevent aging.
2. Heals Broken Capillaries:
The skin may look splotchy due to weakened vessel walls. When it occurs, the presence of tiny lines, which are white in color, becomes visible on the skin. The broken capillaries under the skin may take a long time to heal. The unsightly broken capillaries may even take a few months or years to disappear. It looks like spider veins under the skin. Blueberries are helpful in strengthening these blood vessels.
3. For Healthier Skin:
The fibers present in blueberries ensure the proper digestion of the food, which is much required for the removal of toxins and wastes from the body. So, the presence of fibers in the fruit indirectly helps to keep the skin look fresh and healthy. Fibers found in the fruit not only play a vital role in regulating the digestive system, but also absorb some amount of cholesterol and fat one gets from the food. And, the body is left with lesser amount of fat and cholesterol to affect the health of the skin.
4. Acts As An Acne Guard:
A blueberry pack can be used to fight acne related problems. The preparation is simple. It involves mixing of mashed blueberries with little amount of turmeric powder. Then add 2-3 drops of lime juice. Wash the face before applying this pack. When the pack is applied to the affected area, it is to be left for about 20 minutes. Then, rinse off the pack with lukewarm water. The regular use of this pack helps to control the oil level and contributes in pimple and acne reduction.
5. Blueberry Mask For Toning:
Add 2 cups each of blueberries and honey. Add the same amount of yogurt to it and mix it well. Then, add about 1 tsp of oatmeal to this mixture. Wash and clean the face, and then apply the mixture on the skin. Rinse it off with cold water after leaving it for approximately 20 minutes. This is helpful in toning the skin.
6. Blueberry Scrub:
To prepare this scrub, blueberries are to be mashed little coarsely. Add the almonds (grounded) to the mashed berries. Mix them to make a paste. Then add 1 tbsp of yogurt to the paste. Mix the whole paste well for obtaining proper consistency. Use this paste on a daily basis to scrub the face. This scrub helps to exfoliate the skin and helps the skin to absorb the antioxidants properly.
7. Blueberry Anti-aging Mask:
Anti-aging mask can be made with blueberries to get a tighter skin. To prepare anti aging mask, a quarter cup of mashed blueberries is required. Add 1 tsp of lime juice in the mashed berries. Add 1 tbsp of grounded oatmeal into the paste and mix it well. Apply the paste on the face. Rinse it off with lukewarm water after leaving it for about 15 minutes. Use this mask twice a week on the skin to get a youthful and younger looking skin. The regular use of this mask will definitely bring a noticeable change in the facial skin.
Including blueberries in the diet also helps in keeping the skin healthy. It keeps the skin firm and gives it a younger and clearer appearance.
Hair Benefits Of Blueberry:
8. Vitamin B complex is good for increasing hair growth. It helps in hair growth by improving oxygenation and circulation of blood in the body, particularly the scalp.
9. It also helps in reducing the stress and cholesterol levels. Stress and cholesterol affects the growth of the hair negatively.
10. Blueberries help to stimulate the growth of hair with anthocyanidins. The chemical assists in accelerating the growth by interacting with the hair follicles. Many shampoos also include blueberries to assist hair growth.
11. Beauty practitioners also endorse blueberries for the thick and healthy locks. It is also been proved as a food that helps to slow down the process of hair aging.
Selection And Storage:
Always go with the firm and uniform colored blueberries. If the berries are packed in a container, always check for free movement by shaking it. If the berries inside the container fail to move or the movement is not free, then it indicates that the berries inside the containers are damaged. Always make sure that the berries are moisture free, since the presence of moisture causes them to decay. Do not select the berries with dull color and texture. The bag of frozen berries should be checked for the free movement of the berries. Ensure that the berries in the bag are not stuck together. Always wash the berries just before eating. It is advised not to wash them before eating as it will promote degradation. Do not keep berries out in the room at room temperature as it may damage or spoil the berries. Blueberries should be kept in a covered container and stored in the refrigerator so that they can last long for 3 days or more. The fresh ripe berries can be frozen, if the supply is abundant. This will not damage any of their nutrients. The flavor and texture of the berries may change slightly. It is important to wash the berries and remove the damaged ones before freezing the ripe berries. The berries should be spread out in a flat pan, placed in the freezer until they are frozen. Put all the berries in a bag of plastic, and then store them in the freezer to ensure the uniform texture. Blueberries should be kept covered and unwashed in a container with a clear wrap. Keep them refrigerated. The berries should be placed in a container and the spacing should be one inch for the expansion, when keeping it in the freezer for cooking in the future. Blueberries, which are to be served in uncooked and thawed state in the future should be sealed and kept frozen after preserving them in sugar syrup.
Tips For Usage:
Blueberries can be used with many recipes. It can be used as a dessert when paired with any other savory dish. It can be topped up on squash, cheese and even pizza. The tart flavor of the berries will bring a good punch to the whole dessert. They can be popped on the green salad or can be tried in stuffing. The berries get good with pancakes. Blueberries can be cooked in muffins and pies. It is good to start your morning with fresh blueberries in the breakfast.
Blueberries not only taste good, but also carry useful nutrients in them. Including blueberries in the daily diet can be beneficial in terms of health. So, enjoy the blueberries with the richness of taste and nutritional value.
Do you enjoy blueberries? Do you have a special recipe that includes blueberry? Do share with us in the comments section below.