I only ate blueberries for a week
They also make a pretty good body lotion
Juicy, plump and sweet, these little blue balls of goodness are a super food that not only taste great, but seemingly also have unlimited health benefits. This is because blueberries are believed to be bursting with nutrients which aren’t found in other fruits – a perfect nutritious snack.
A scroll through Instagram will confirm the popularity of the fruit amongst health boffins. It’s no wonder blueberries are currently such a shit hot topic.
They are not only packed full of antioxidants, which are essential for optimising health, but also offer many other weird and wonderful side effects, all of which can be enjoyed as a result of regularly eating the beneficial berries.
Unfortunately I might have taken the advice of certain experts too literally. I not only ate them with every meal for a week, but also tested out their alternative applications.
Nothing too out of the ordinary here, spicing up standard pancakes by adding some berry nutrition.
Not exactly very Instagramable, but when squished together it did remind me of jam sandwiches.
Rice and blueberries
Muller Rice get away with fruity rice pudding so why not. Unfortunately, without a whole load of additives and “pudding”, basmati and blueberries won’t be making it onto Jamie’s super foods any time soon. It tasted of dry, sweet shit.
Cous-cous and blueberry salad
With the potential to take sweet and savoury a bit too far, this salad was surprisingly nice. Like a pomegranate seed the blueberries provided much appreciated bursts of flavour.
As well as being a versatile cooking ingredient, the humble blueberry has other powerful benefits to your general health and well being.
Improving short-term memory
Due to the high antioxidant content of blueberries, the body is protected from oxidative stress, meaning that memory is improved and cognitive decline is slowed down. Amaze.
And what better way to put this theory to the test than with a mental arithmetic test.
Yay my fave.
Test one confirmed a pretty lousy maths ability with a score of 18.
The previous pathetic score necessitated the use of a mathematical aid. Two packets of blueberries assisted me throughout the test as a calculation tool.
A blueberryabacus was born. Maths was made more fun and improved my score slightly.
Softening dry skin
Not keen on splashing out on high-end body lotion to get baby soft skin? Apparently the secret to super soft skin is blueberries.
Although they are not your standard beauty product, apparently the mighty blueberry antioxidants work wonders to soften the skin.
We tested the supposedly perfect body lotion. Four packs of blueberries later and there wasn’t actually any discernible difference aside from a lot of stickiness. And blue juice. Everywhere.
For even better skin, combine 2 cups of brown sugar, 2 teaspoons of puréed blueberries and 3 tablespoons of lemon juice. The antioxidants in the blueberries help soften the skin, the lemon juice brightens and the sugar exfoliates.
Protecting the retina from UV rays
Time to whip out those five euro fake Ray Bans, depending on the Bureau de Change, bought in a beach in Spain, as you can now look directly at the sun as our favourite fruit can protect your eyes from sunlight damage.
The retina is protected by anthocyanins in the blueberry that prevents unwanted oxygen damage.
Some would say blueberry filled goggles aren’t the most practical form of eye protection, but I can certainly say my eyes were completely protected from naughty UV rays.
However, they did not protect me from the inanimate objects I encountered while walking down the street – like lampposts. On the not so bright side, my eyes remain protected and who knows maybe you’ll see this wavey look at Bestival.
Reduce muscle damage
Blueberries have also been found to reduce muscle damage after strenuous exercise. Ideal. Everyone dreads leg day for fear of losing the ability to actually walk up the stairs after, so thank goodness my blueberries were there to save the day.
Financial restrictions and my mighty legs meant I could not buy enough blueberries to effectively load up the squat rack. So this time we actually did a proper test.
Consuming blueberries can aid in reducing the damage that occurs from oxidative stress in muscles after a workout, consequently keeping soreness to a minimum and ensuring muscle performance isn’t sacrificed.
So in order to see if blueberries were the answer, strenuous leg exercises were in order. Sigh. A 30-minute lower body workout was followed by a 20 minute break before a 30 minute HIIT workout.
Dying would be an understatement.
Blueberries fuelled the first workout – the second was free of any blue goodness. In order to see which was the most effective session, a polar watch was used to measure the amount of calories burnt.
Workout 1 with blueberries:
Workout 1 without blueberries:
The results are actually quite shocking. Could blueberries really make that much of a difference? No excuse to skip leg day now.
And they also aid with weight loss. A cup of blueberries is only 80 calories whereas a tube of fruit pastels is double, with 162 calories.
Blueberries are bursting with fibre, meaning you will be fuller for longer and are a perfect guilt free way to satisfy the sweet tooth. So grab a bowl and start eating – the little bastards are absolutely delicious.