Later this summer, we'll be going to Maine for vacation. If you haven't been, I highly recommend it. Maine's busy season is from Fourth of July until mid-August. Since we live by the beach in New Jersey, we like to go to Maine either before or after the busy season.
If you are looking to go somewhere warm for vacation, then you should go during the season or just after the season. It will still be in the 70's or 80's later in August. If you like cooler temperatures, visit Maine in May or June.
Maine is a very dog friendly state. There are very few places that do not cater to man's (and woman's) best friend. It is a great state for hiking, swimming, kayaking, fishing, paddle boats and boating. In general, if you like the outdoors, Maine is the state for you. We've been going for the past 10 years and find something new to do every time.
The wild blueberry is native to Maine and exceptionally sweet. You will find blueberries used in honey, syrup, pies, jams, jellies, BBQ sauce and anything else you can think of. Just the thought of going to Maine, makes me start thinking about blueberry recipes.
I eat blueberries every day either in overnight oatmeal, a smoothie or on top of homemade granola. I buy organic frozen blueberries which means I never have to worry about running out!
Blueberries are very healthy. Below are some of the health benefits:
Blueberries Reduce the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Blueberries contain anthocyanins, which are a type of flavonoid. Flavonoids are known for their antioxidant affects and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Studies have shown that when eaten regularly, blueberries (as well as other berries) result in a 32% lower rate of a heart attack. Plus, berries can reduce the risk of high blood pressure of about 8 to 10%. (Source: Blueberry Health Benefits)
The skin of blueberries contains resveratrol, which has been studied for its effectiveness in preventing different types of heart disease and cancer. Unfortunately, cooking blueberries have been shown to reduce their resveratrol content. (Source: World's Healthiest Foods)
Blueberries Promote Brain Health
Blueberries are known to help protect the brain from oxidative stress and may reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as dementia. In fact, a study showed that in elderly adults after 12 weeks of daily blueberry intake the adults had better ability to gain knowledge and remember information. (Source: Blueberry Health Benefits)
Blueberries Support a Balanced Microbiome
What is a microbiome? The microbiome houses the microorganisms that live in our digestive tract. The microorganisms are crucial to our overall health because it helps prevent illness and disease as long as it remains balanced.
When it becomes unbalanced a variety of gut issues can occur, such as bloating, gas, diarrehea, constipation and even worse, diseases like Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). A study using 25 grams of blueberry powder taken daily showed a positive effect of increasing beneficial bacteria in the microbiome in humans. (Source: Review of the Health Effects of Berries and their Phytochemicals on the Digestive and Immune Systems)
Does any of this sound like you?
👉Diarrhea and/or constipation
👉Bloating and gas
👉Congestion, coughing, wheezing
👉Brain fog, difficulty recalling words, short term memory issues
👉Headaches and migraines
👉Acne, dry and itchy skin
👉Tired all the time
👉Sensitivity to fragrances and chemicals
If you answered Yes to just one of the above, your microbiome and digestive system is unhealthy. Eating blueberries is one way to support a healthy digestive tract. Working with a professional such as myself is another.
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How would eliminating your symptoms improve your life? You could:
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Now that I am planning to go to Maine in a few weeks, I wanted to bring the goodness of blueberries to breakfast. lunch and dinner. While I don't have Maine wild blueberries, the frozen ones are still nutritious and easy to cook with.
Below are blueberry recipes I can't wait to try.
Spring Mix Salad with Blueberries, Feta and Walnuts from Wholesome Yum. Did you know when blueberries are not in season, you can simply defrost frozen blueberries to be used in salads? I do it all the time and it turns out really good. What I like about this salad is the blueberry dressing recipe. In fact, I think I am going to make a batch and keep it on hand in the fridge. Click here for the recipe.
Chicken with Blueberry Chipotle Sauce from Rachel Cooks. This sauce is a perfect blend of spicy and sweet. It is really easy to make and helps you get dinner on the table in just 35 minutes. I would serve this over rice with a side of steamed broccoli. Click here for the recipe.
Summer Wild Rice Salad by Real Housemoms. I love this idea for work lunches. I try not to make anything for lunch that requires microwaving. Microwaves break down the amino acids in foods making it harder to digest. So I am always looking for a cold dish to keep work lunches exciting. The recipe states you can serve this warm if necessary but don't warm it up too much or the blueberries will lose their shape. Click here for the recipe.
Blueberry Feta Caramelized Onion Naan Pizza from Kitchen Confidante. Who said pizza has to always be tomato sauce and toppings? Not this girl! This is a quick dinner that can be served with a salad. Especially when you are looking for something light. Click here for the recipe.
Gluten Free Blueberry Crumb Bars from What the Fork. These blueberry crumb bars are great for breakfast or an afternoon treat. While the recipe calls for fresh blueberries, frozen would work just as well. Click here for the recipe.
I hope this post inspires you to eat blueberries everyday as a part of your healthy eating routine. As you learned, blueberries support a healthy digestive system, promote a healthy heart and improve our ability to learn! Plus, they are easy to cook!
Do you think you will try any of the recipes above? If so, leave me a comment below.