American Heart Month: How Wild Blueberries May Improve Heart Health
With heart disease-causing 1 in 4 US deaths each year, it’s considered the leading cause of mortality for both men and women across our country. With this overwhelming statistic in mind, it’s incredibly important to take care of your cardiovascular health, and what better time to renew the vow to your heart than in February (a.k.a. American Heart Month)! There are many preventative measures you can take to care for your ticker, but one of the easiest ways is to incorporate heart-healthy Wild Blueberries into your diet. From morning smoothies to snacks and entrees, we have an incredible library of recipes to help you make Wild Blueberries a part of your daily routine. But before we share some kitchen inspiration, let’s cover the facts by reviewing three ways Wild Blueberries may improve heart health.
Up the “Anti”: Wild Blueberries are Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory
It’s proven that the wide range of natural antioxidants found in fruits and veggies help protect our bodies against life-threatening diseases, including heart disease. Wild Blueberries are chock full of nutrients, including anthocyanins, a flavonoid with potent antioxidant capacity. (If you want to learn more about anthocyanins, check out this blog post!) Antioxidants help prevent the body from oxidative stress, which is associated with cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other health issues. Additionally, the anthocyanins found in Wild Blueberries are proven to have anti-inflammatory capacities – with inflammation found in a variety of chronic diseases and conditions, including heart disease, eating plenty of fruits and veggies is one of the hallmarks of an anti-inflammatory diet. With Wild Blueberries naturally low in fat and high in fiber, just a healthy scoop a day helps to arm your body with a nutrient-dense punch against heart disease.
Wildly Delicious Without Added Sugars
Wild Blueberries are a glycemic friendly food with no added sugars and delicious taste to boot. With a low glycemic index (GI) score of 53 on the 100-point scale, Wild Blueberries weigh in alongside other low GI foods such as non-starchy vegetables, fruits, beans, and most dairy products. Overall, Wild Blueberries make a good, glycemic friendly choice for your weekly menu and will ensure you’re choosing what’s best for your family’s hearts in every bite without sacrificing the taste factor.
Improved Cardiovascular Function from Your Brain to Your Heart
Just as anthocyanins help with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, they also work to help fight off age-related health issues like heart disease, cancer, cognitive decline, and more. The anti-aging power of Wild Blueberries lies in their polyphenols (anthocyanins) and help to improve blood vessel function. It’s been shown that good cerebral blood flow can support a healthy brain, and in turn, a healthy heart. With 33% more anthocyanins than ordinary blueberries, choosing Wild is a no brainer – no pun intended.
Easy Recipes that Have Heart Health in Mind
Many people think that Wild Blueberries are only a natural fit for breakfast foods, but we believe they can fit into any part of your day. To prove it, we’ve curated a full day of Wild Blueberry recipes that are easy-to-make while still putting your health first. From breakfast to dinner, check out these five delicious, heart-healthy meal options for yourself and your family:
- Breakfast: Wild Blueberry Brain Boosting Morning Smoothie
- Lunch: Wild Foods Salad with Wild Blueberries
- Snack: Wild Blueberry Energy Bars
- Dinner: Shrimp and Veggie Kabobs with Wild Blueberry Barbecue Sauce
- Dessert: Wild Blueberry High Protein “Cheesecake”
As you dive into a month dedicated to celebrating love and relationships, make sure to take time to appreciate the relationship with one of your biggest supporters: your heart. After all, making heart-healthy eating choices has never been easier with Wild Blueberries available all year round in the frozen food section. Happy Heart Health Month!