A summer favorite returns! As part of my most popular blog series, this look at the bone-strengthening power of blueberries includes a delicious smoothie recipe with not only blueberries, but also green tea!
When I’m traveling, I make it a point to avoid the fast food restaurants and other convenience “food” found along the road by packing my cooler with snacks.
I make an exception to my roadside rule when I’m on one of my drives in Maine. I know I can look forward to farm stands filled with all varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables. Especially those carrying wild blueberries — one of my bone-building super foods!
Blueberries have become a regular fixture on super food lists because they’ve been shown to help prevent cardiovascular issues, diabetes and cancer due to their high concentration of antioxidants and other health-promoting compounds.
We’ve also learned blueberries may help prevent osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Using animal models designed to represent menopausal osteoporosis, researchers found that when animals were given blueberries, the blueberry “treatment” was able to prevent the loss of bone mineral density throughout the whole body. Those who were not given blueberries suffered a 6% loss of bone density throughout their bodies.
What’s most interesting to me is that researchers report the mechanism by which blueberries prevent bone loss is different than other fruits studied. Blueberries appear to reduce bone breakdown (resorption) rather than by increasing bone formation as do dried plums, for example.
I’m looking forward to finding out more about the many different ways the foods we eat contribute to our bone health. Remember, our bodies are capable of building bone strength if we give them the consistent support they need. You can do just that with some delicious blueberries for dessert.
My favorite blueberry smoothie
½ cup coconut milk
½ cup coconut water
½ cup blueberries
1 teaspoon matcha green tea
(You may also add ¼ to ½ of an avocado to boost healthy fat and potassium, as well as create a creamy texture)
Devareddy, L., et al. 2007. Blueberry prevents bone loss in ovariectomized rat model of postmenopausal osteoporosis. J. Nutr Biochem; 19 (2008) 694-699