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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • RUSSELL HIVELY: Blueberries

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  • During the longest days of the years, my morning walks along Wildcat Boulevard are taken in full light. Although it seems impossible, the days are beginning to shorten and now darkness accompanies the first part of my walk. How soon will my entire trek be in the darkness of night?
    I was thinking about an article I had read on blueberries, as I walked along one day. Sadly, blueberry season is gone.
    Blueberries are great to eat with cereal for breakfast. Still, I had not realized how good blueberries are for our bodies until I read the article by David Burton, who is with the Missouri Extension Service in Springfield.
    He wrote, "Nature has provided amazing health benefits in these tiny fruits, and packed them with exceptional taste, plump juicy sweetness, and a powerful dose of nutrition... (Doesn't he make them seem almost too good to eat?)
    Blueberries contain few calories, virtually no fat or sodium, and are full of dietary fiber and vitamin C. But blueberries are most known for their health-promoting phytonutrients."
    Some of the good nutritional things attributed to blueberries follow: "blueberries dramatically lower the risk of diabetes, blueberries halt hardening of the arteries. Blueberries reduce heart attacks, blueberries improve memory in older adults, and blueberries fight obesity."
    Reading this article made me like blueberries even more. They seem to be a "wonder berry," ahead of most foods in nutrition, and are still tasty.
    To receive the benefits of blueberries, nutritional experts recommend three to four servings each week. Also, one must remember to eat the whole fruit. Experts have determined that drinking the blueberry juice helps one's health, but juice is less than ten percent as effective as the whole berries.
    A side benefit of blueberries is that during the blueberry season we have the opportunity to pick our own at the local blueberry farms. Picking berries is good exercise.
    Take a walk, watch for pedestrians, eat fresh foods whenever possible, pop a handful of blueberries in your corn flake bowl, use those signal lights, and see what you notice while passing along Wildcat Boulevard.
    Russell Hively writes a weekly column for the Daily News.

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