Exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) is the reason you are sore after an intense exercise session. Blueberries can speed up the recovery process of muscle soreness and inflammation if eaten before and after strenuous exercise (we briefly touched on this in yesterday’s post) and this is in addition to their well-known antioxidant properties that help protect against chronic disease.Picture source
Food is a wonderful way to reduce EIMD safely. Blueberries were ignored for a long time in healthy balanced diets because of their low vitamin C content but blueberries contain the widest range of phytochemical compounds and are especially high in anthocyanins (gives the fruit its characteristic blue colour) which is why blueberries have a high antioxidant capacity. Phytonutrients are non-vitamin, non-mineral components of food that have significant benefits. Helping body cells communicate with each other more efficiently is only one of the benefits. Blueberries are so rich in these phytonutrients that despite their relatively low vitamin C and E content – they provide as much antioxidant protection to the body as 1 733 IU of vitamin E and more than 1200 mg of vitamin C!
You should have 1 – 2 cups of blueberries daily to obtain the full benefits and the easiest way to do this is definitely by making a fruit smoothie. We blend together 3 cups of ice and 4 cups of blueberries (or mixed berries containing blueberries). We buy the berries in frozen bags as this is much cheaper than buying them fresh. You can also add slices of apple, watermelon, banana, orange or any other fruit that is in season at the time – the options really are endless. It is also a great idea to add some plain yoghurt to the mix.
Do you have any must-try combinations of fruit we should include in our smoothies?