Small and precious fruits: blueberries are good for the skin, help improve vision, strengthen capillaries and even the brain "accelerates". Just consume them in the right way.
Small, delicious and rich in beneficial substances, blueberries, wild and not, are miraculous fruits. They contain plenty of antioxidants, organic acids, tannins and vitamins. The concentrated juice of blueberries and the encapsulated and ready-to-use extract are even prescribed by doctors for natural shock treatments, but certainly the consumption of whole fruits on the prevention front is more effective. Because in nature the beneficial substances are wisely mixed in food to ensure maximum bioavailability.
To fill up on the substances contained and not to nullify the beneficial effects of blueberries, it is important to choose correct combinations and cooking techniques. As Chiara Manzi, founder nutritionist of the European Academy of Culinary Nutrition and author of "Antiging con gusto" (Sperling & Kupfer) explained to us: "to maximize their qualities, blueberries should not be consumed with yogurt, as well as with milk, ricotta or cream, because casein inhibits the action of polyphenols, the main substance contained in these small fruits. Indeed, blueberries are the only fruits that contain polyphenols both in the skin and in the pulp and which therefore powerfully favor the production of antioxidants in our body. Therefore it is good to make the most of them avoiding, in addition to dairy products, to associate them with very caloric ingredients, which generate many free radicals, neutralizing the antioxidant power of blueberries ". The good news, however, is that polyphenols are heat resistant, so blueberries can be cooked without losing their properties. “In blueberry jam - continues Chiara Manzi - polyphenols are still present, but for what has just been said it is good to choose jams with a low sugar content (less than 30%). The wording "only fruit sugars" can be misleading because some jams are added with sugars obtained from fruit, but not only from what is in the jam. Better, therefore, to check the percentage of sugar on the label ".
Full of goodness with blueberries
Numerous scientific studies support the beneficial properties of this fruit. The one presented at the American Chemical Society of Boston, for example, demonstrates that the polyphenols and flavonoids contained in blueberries strengthen the micro-eyelashes of the brain, a sort of small brushes that clean it from toxins, bringing its speed of operation back to full capacity, thus thinking it is more polished. The disposal of waste also has a preventive effect on degenerative brain diseases and in general against memory loss.
According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, blueberries, in the dose of one cup a day, prevent hypertension, reducing the values of the minimum by 10%. The anthocyanins contained in mirtilii, then, counteract the capillary fragility and all the disorders deriving from the collapse of the venous wall.
With blueberries, vision also improves, because the greater muscle elasticity allows a faster change of focus and the recovery of vision in the absence of light. Thanks to the antiseptic substances contained in small fruits, they are valuable in the treatment of diseases of the urinary tract.
In the kitchen: right cooking and imaginative recipes
To take advantage of all the properties of blueberries, the recommended dose is 100-150 grams per day, even frozen. For a healthy, efficient and delicious consumption of blueberries it is also important to choose the right cooking techniques. Vitamin C, of which blueberries are rich, is thermolabile only if it comes into contact with oxygen. Vacuum cooking, therefore, does not damage it. Also pay attention to the addition of sugars to balance the tart flavor of blueberries. It is possible to choose natural and zero-calorie sugars with no marked aftertaste, such as erythritol, obtained from fermented fruit and also sold in supermarkets.
"I would recommend this recipe - explains Chiara Manzi - a 70% dark chocolate mousse prepared by mixing chocolate (also rich in polyphenols) melted in a bain-marie with egg whites beaten until stiff, half normal sugar and half erythritol accompanied by blueberries ".
For those who want to indulge in a delicacy, there are so many sweet recipes, mainly of Anglo-Saxon tradition in which blueberries are the main ingredient: tarts and pies, cheesecakes and soft muffins, even pancakes for breakfast are often accompanied by fresh fruits or jam of blueberries.
There is no shortage of savory recipes that well combine the sour taste of blueberries with the flavor of other ingredients such as in roasts, or in risottos - try the recipe for risotto creamed with mushrooms and blueberries.
"Do it yourself" blueberries
Did you know that blueberries can easily be grown on the terrace or in the garden? Just choose robust varieties that grow well even in the lowlands (such as the cranberry) and are particularly lush. The fruits, many, are harvested from late spring to early autumn. With one caveat: they are very good and even the birds are greedy, so they should be protected with a net or small scarecrows.