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Blueberries have few calories, but are high in antioxidants

Blueberries get much of their antioxidant power from

Blueberries get much of their antioxidant power from the pigment that gives them their blue color. Photo Credit: KRT / Jean Pieri

Often labeled a superfood, blueberries are bursting with vitamins and minerals — many of which are classified as antioxidants.

Much of the power of blueberries lies in their colors. The deep-blue hue comes from anthocyanin, an antioxidant that could help protect the body from heart disease and cancer, as well as reduce inflammation and increase immune function. Research also suggests the compounds found in blueberries may delay the effects of vascular dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

“A half-cup serving of blueberries contains 25 percent of the recommended daily value for vitamin C and 3 grams of dietary fiber — and only 30 calories,” says Allie Wergin, a Mayo Clinic Health System registered dietitian nutritionist. “In addition, blueberries are a juicy fruit, which means they contain mostly water. Juicy fruits are great for weight loss or weight maintenance, because they fill you up quickly with their high water content and minimal calories.

“During these summer months, be sure to take advantage of blueberries when they are plentiful and on sale by purchasing in large quantities and freezing them,” says Wergin. “Just wash and dry the berries, lay them on a pan, and freeze until they’re solid. Package frozen blueberries in freezer-safe storage bags, so they are ready for the winter months.”

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