Blueberry muffins, blueberry pancakes, blueberry pie… need I go on? Not only do blueberries make the perfect tasty snack, it turns out they’re great for you!
Blueberries are sweet and low in calories, but high in nutrients! They are a good source of dietary fiber, and they contain Vitamin C, Vitamin K and manganese. Manganese helps control the body’s blood sugar and maintains healthy skin.
Blueberries also have one of the highest antioxidant capacities among all fruits and vegetables. The antioxidants in blueberries can protect your body from DNA damage from free radicals, which may help protect against early aging, and diseases such as cancer.
Adding blueberries to your diet can also protect the cholesterol in your blood. The antioxidants in blueberries work to prevent oxidative damage, which can help protect you from heart disease. They have also been proven to help lower blood pressure, so they’re great for those with hypertension.
If you’ve been a little extra forgetful lately, blueberries to the rescue! A six-year study of over 16,000 elderly participants found that blueberries were linked to delays in cognitive aging by up to 2.5 years! If your memory needs a little boost, or you just want to keep your brain healthy and sharp, it’s another reason to munch on some delicious blueberries.
Studies have also shown that blueberries have anti-diabetic effects. A study concluded that a blueberry smoothie can cause major improvements in insulin sensitivity, which can lower the risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
If you exercise regularly, you know the feeling of muscle soreness and fatigue. You’d never guess it, but blueberries can help! In a study done on female athletes, blueberries accelerated muscle recovery after strenuous exercise. They can help reduce molecular damage to minimize muscle soreness.
Good things really do come in small packages!
Here’s the best part — Blueberries don’t need a big space to grow, so you can start growing your own fresh blueberries right at home! What better way to make sure you’re getting your blueberry fill than to always have a fresh supply handy! They grow great in containers, so if you don’t have a garden in your backyard, no need to worry.
Here’s how to get started:
- First, you’ll want to choose the right variety of blueberries for your climate. You can grow blueberries just about anywhere, but it’s important to get the right variety for your climate, if you want them to flourish! Check out this climate guide.
- All blueberries thrive in acidic soil. To check your soil, you can do a simple pH test. For the best results, your soil should be between 4 and 5 on the pH scale.
- Fill your container two-thirds full of acidic soil mix to maintain the pH.
- Center your blueberry bush in the container and fill in with soil to the crown.
- Be sure to place the container in a sunny location, and don’t forget to water!
- Your blueberries should ripen in 2-5 weeks. Enjoy!