One fruit a runner needs to eat are blueberries since their health benefits are endless as they dramatically improve mental and physical health! For instance, I always write lots about how barefoot running improves movement coordination, but according to a study in the British Journal of Nutrition, blueberries do this, too!
- The study found that the polyphenols in blueberries stimulates new nerve cell growth in the motor cortex area of the brain, helping improve balance and movement coordination.
Aside from that, blueberries have strong healing powers, too. According to Andrea Dreisietl, Ph.D, blueberries are high in anthocyanins, which is a strong anti-oxidant that helps your cells produce healing hormones, helping nourish and repair your muscles. Blueberries also contain ellagic acid which breaks-down inflammatory waste products that attack cartilage. And, according to researchers at Northwestern University, consuming 3 cups of blueberries weekly, reduces arthritis risk by almost 20%. What is more, blueberries also contain manganese and vitamin K, which helps promote activity of enzymes responsible for stronger, healthier joints, as per research out of the University of Arizona.
Another amazing health benefit of blueberries is that they make you happier. As if running didn’t make you happy enough, you sure can get a happy-buzz just by eating 1/2 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries. According to a study in the journal of Pharmacological Research, eating 1/2 cups of blueberries daily increases serotonin (happy neuro-hormone) levels in the brain.
With that in mind, you might want to take advantage of these guilt-free recipes of healthy snacks with blueberries.
Healthy Snacks with Blueberries
I never realized the cooking versatility of blueberries –they go way beyond being included in just your average salad or batch of muffins, you can eat them with chicken and salmon, too!
Frozen blueberry bites via Skinny Mom
Chicken blueberry with orange vinaigrette via House of Yumm
Healthy blueberry muffins via Dinner at the Zoo
Clean eating blueberry crumb bars via iFOODreal
Thai blueberry basil chicken via Creme De La Crumb
Blueberry oat Greek yogurt muffins via Running with Spoons
Blueberry quinoa breakfast bars via Simply Quinoa
Blueberry honey salad via Blueberries and Muffins
Blueberry bourbon glazed salmon via A Zest Bite
Oatmeal blueberry yogurt pancakes (gluten-free, high protein) via Ambitions Kitchen
Blueberry pineapple salsa via Carlsbad Cravings
Blueberry-dijon chicken via Taste of Home
Dark chocolate covered blueberries with almond dust via The Dinner-Mom
Blueberry oatmeal cookies via Amy’s Healthy Baking
Roasted salmon with blueberry BBQ sauce via Wicked Spatula
Healthy oat and blueberry blender muffins via My Fusser Eater
Easy blueberry crisp via Sugar Apron
Good morning healthy blueberry zucchini muffins via Ambitious Kitchen
Blueberry chicken chopped salad via Gimme Some Oven
Blueberry banana oatmeal smoothie via Jessica N Wood
Superfood avocado blueberry salad via I Wash…You Dry
Spinach salad with salmon, avocados and blueberries via Gimme Some Oven
3 ingredient pineapple blueberry Popsicles via Our Thrifty Ideas
Lemon blueberry oatmeal bars via Joyful Healthy Eats
Blueberry muffin energy balls via The Healthy Maven
Blueberry and mango spinach salad with basil vinaigrette via wholesomelicious
Blueberry balsamic glazed chicken via Pure Grace Farms
Blueberry peach oatmeal via Eating Bird Food
Blueberry basil lemonade via Noshing with the Noland
Blueberry spinach muffins via Red and Honey
Baked blueberry oatmeal cups via Live Well Bake Often
Blueberry balsamic glazed Brussels sprouts via U.S Highbush Blueberry Council
Roasted turkey with blueberry balsamic glaze via U.S Highbush Blueberry Council
Blueberry quinoa salad via Minimalist Baker
Summer berry spinach salad with easy strawberry vinaigrette (vegan and paleo) via Fit Mitten Kitchen
Watermelon feta blueberry salad via Running in a Skirt
Blueberry feta salad with lemon poppy-seed dressing via Lemon Tree Dwelling
Blueberry chicken chopped salad via U.S Highbush Blueberry Council
Strawberry, blueberry, greens salad with honey vinaigrette via The Kitchen is my Playground
Balsamic blueberry salad via Alida’s Kitchen
Grilled pineapple, blueberry chicken and avocado via Gimme Some Oven
Strawberry. blueberry almond chicken salad via Sally’s Baking Addiction
Blueberry pecan chicken salad via Renee’s Kitchen Adventure
Orange basil butter chicken with blueberry sauce via Sugar Me Dish
Blueberry peach chicken salad via Peanut Butter and Peppers
Summer kale salad with blueberry balsamic vinaigrette via Iowa Girl Eats
Peanut butter blueberry chia smoothie via Columbian Blog
Be sure to check back here for updates on blueberry recipes. I’m always adding more!
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BSc Neurobiology; MSc Biomechanics candidate, ultra minimalist runner & founder of RunForefoot. I was a heel striker, always injured. I was inspired by the great Tirunesh Dibaba to try forefoot running. Now, I'm injury free. This is why I launched Run Forefoot, to advocate the health & performance benefits of forefoot running and to raise awareness on the dangers of heel striking, because the world needs to know.