Friday, August 20, 2010

Blueberries- A Wise Choice

Photo by kaycatt,
Bright and early this morning I had my wisdom teeth removed. The oral surgeon's assistants, all very chipper and friendly, expressed how lucky I am not to have any third molars on my bottom jaw. Apparently they are more difficult to remove and require a longer recovery time. I could recall from the stories I'd heard from friends who had already had theirs out to "beware of the dreaded dry socket." Dry socket occurs when sucking, sneezing or spitting causes the blood clot to dislodge from the empty space in the gum where the tooth was removed. It is said to be very painful since it exposes nerves and bone and can allow food particles to get lodged in there.

            Now that I have officially turned your stomach, let's discuss food! My diet is limited to liquids and pureed solids for the next 24 hours. I'm a bit slow mentally from pain medication so I won't be very "adventurous" with my creations in the kitchen for a couple of days. It's also a little difficult to know if the thoughts I am typing onto this screen are very coherent so please bear with me! I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to share a smoothie recipe containing of the most important foods one could add to their diet: blueberries. For years now I have made it a point to consume blueberries on a regular basis after I read all about the benefits of these tiny nutrition powerhouses. No doubt you have heard or read about antioxidants and what they can do to protect your cells from free radical damage. Blueberries are potent antioxidants!

           In one of my absolute favorite books: "SuperFoods HealthStyle" by Stephen Pratt M.D, "A recent study found that blueberries deliver 38% more free-radical fighting anthocyanins than red wine." Anthocyanin is what makes blueberries blue! It is a pigment that inhibits abnormal call growth and even enhances the effects of vitamin C in the body. Blueberries are also heart healthy because they contain pterostilbene, which has been shown to lower cholesterol naturally. Along with fiber and folic acid they also contain caretenoids. Caretenoids support immune function, decrease risk for age related macular degeneration and work as a natural sunscreen by "increasing the UV capacity of skin." You could call them "brainberries" because they enhance cognitive ability and are important in the prevention of Alzheimer's disease.

          Still not convinced? You sure are hard to please! :-P Blueberries, like cranberries, are good for the urinary tract...helping to prevent infection. "Blueberries contain more powerful disease-fighting antioxidants than any other single fruit," according to Dr. Pratt. However, it is important to have variety in the foods we eat in order for them to work harmoniously in keeping our bodies in superb working order. Some other nutritious choices with a similar profile of benefits include: raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, cherries, currants, and purple grapes.

Here is the recipe for my Blueberry Boost. Ingredients and amounts can be altered to suit your taste.

1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup low fat plain yogurt (I use plain because there is no added sugar)
1 whole banana, fresh or frozen
1/4 to 1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk

          Blend all ingredients until smooth and enjoy. There is enough here to fill you up or share with a friend. I recommend freezing the banana because it makes the smoothie nice and thick and keeps it cold. Remove the peel from the banana first, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Try this same recipe using orange juice instead of soy milk, or exchange the blueberries for the frozen fruit of your choice. I have found bags of mixed berries, peaches, mango, and pineapple at the grocery store. Use your imagination! When I make the smoothie with frozen peaches I add about 2 teaspoons of locally produced honey to make it a bit sweeter.

I wont be drinking the smoothie through a straw of course...just eating it with a spoon...wouldn't want to end up with the dreaded dry socket! Now... I'm off to make some mashed potatoes!


  1. Stomper had heard that 95% soy beans are gmo, so he uses coconut milk in his smoothies. I worry about using something so high in fat tho :-/

  2. The carton of Silk organic, unsweetened soymilk that I use has a Non-GMO label on it. :-) I saw the statistics and yes, only a very small percentage of the soybean crop are non-GMO. Sad! Crop diversity is so important, and I hope they don't wipe out all non-GMO varieties of soybean!