Health-Enhancing Blueberries

Flu-Season_Survival_Copyright_M-J_de_Mesterton

Blueberries contain vitamins A and C, zinc, potassium, iron, calcium and magnesium, are high in fiber and low in calories. The USDA Human Nutrition Center (HNRCA) has ranked blueberries at the very top of antioxidant activity within a range of forty-one fruits and vegetables.

Blueberries are rich in natural health-enhancers, including vitamin C,  vitamin A, zinc, potassium, iron, calcium and magnesium. They also have many antioxidant properties, and help in the prevention of:

Blueberries have recently acquired a reputation for enhancing one’s cardiovascular health, and their antioxidants naturally help in the prevention of cancer. Recent research has added to the blueberry’s list of powerful properties.

Metabolic syndrome, or pre-diabetes, is exhibited in those with a particular combination of health anomalies,  including larger-than-normal  amounts of abdominal fat, elevated blood-sugar, high blood pressure, and high triglycerides. Together, those conditions are likely to cause diabetes, cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, and strokes.

Laboratory-rats that for 90 days consumed blueberry-enriched powder as two percent of their diet had less abdominal fat, lower triglycerides, lower cholesterol, and improved fasting glucose and insulin sensitivity than the control-group, who had no blueberry component in their diets.

Blueberry ingestion was determined to have a positive affect on specific genes related to fat-burning and fat-storage.  Where muscle tissue is concerned,  alterations in genes related to glucose-uptake were discovered to have been caused by the intake of blueberries.

Research also indicated that “metabolic syndrome” is  caused not only by abdominal fat, as previously believed by the medical industry, but by insulin resistance in one’s skeletal muscle system, an anomaly which alters energy-storage and causes metabolic syndrome.

Eating blueberries can help to prevent insulin-resistance, lower the related belly-fat, reduce cholesterol levels, and its numerous antioxidants can help to stave-off age-related brain disorders.

Blueberries  contain an antioxidant compound called pterostilbene, a compound similar to resveratrol, which has been found to reduce cholesterol as well as dangerous prescription drugs.

Just as dried cherries do, blueberries, when added to ground beef before cooking, help reduce the formation of  cancer-causing heterocyclic amines (HCA).

In Europe, the bilberry has most of the same properties as the blueberry. One of the many things they have in common is anthocyanin, the substance that makes them blue, which is beneficial to the cardiovascular system and is believed to lower blood-pressure. Bilberries have been used to enhance eyesight since World War 11, when pilots who ate bilberry jam attributed their improved night-vision to the tiny fruit. Bilberries are also said to aid in relief of varicose veins and gum-disease as they promote healthy circulation. Caution must be taken with bilberries by those who are taking blood-thinnning drugs, as they are a natural blood-thinner.

Blueberries can be added to a morning smoothie that you make with yogurt in a blender, together with whatever other fruits you have in stock. Frozen blueberries can be much less expensive than fresh ones, easier to store, and retain most of their antioxidant properties. When used in a smoothie, frozen blueberries make it ice-cold (see my photograph). This preparation makes a health-promoting breakfast, and is delicious as well. Staying well is the best thing you can do in this ailing world.

©M-J de Mesterton

M-J_de_Mesterton_Fruits_Still_Life
M-J’s Blueberry Smoothie for Surviving Influenza Season
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Non-Electric Tool: the Lehman’s Foodmill

If the power goes out, or disappears altogether (with the ridiculous restrictions on energy-production in the U.S., you never know what may happen), there is an alternative to the food-processor and blender: the hand-operated foodmill. Lehman’s, a company of which I am fond and have featured here at Elegant Survival several times, has an affordable, efficient one.

Lehman's Foodmill
Lehman's Foodmill

Elegant Survival Non-Electric Tools

In the event of a power-outage, or complete disaster, you will need certain non-electric kitchen tools. Let’s say that you’ve successfully put away a stock of wheat. You will need to grind it for flour, or crush it for salads and pilafs. The traditional heavy metal meat and vegetable grinder, which attaches by vise to a table or counter-top, is necessary. If you have stored-up a load of coffee beans (whole coffee beans, like wheat “berries”, have a much longer shelf-life than their ground forms), you will need a high-quality, hand-operated coffee grinder. See my Survival Tools link-list on the right side of this page for sources.
Hand-Operated Meat and Wheat Grinder

Here is a photo of my sprouted grains and seeds, showing my hand-operated coffee-grinder.
Click on photo to enlarge Photo Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2008

Emergency Foods

A great way to always have some form of cheese, without refrigeration, is to buy economy-sized containers of grated Parmesan cheese–the kind which comes in the plastic cylinders. Kraft has a nice product; check its packaging for shelf-life prospectus. As in my previous posts about dehydrated foods, et cetera, I’m not posting this information for food-snobs, but for people who wish to be prepared for disaster!

You would do well to lay in a supply of pasta and powdered eggs, as well as olive oil and nuts. It may not be the most nutritious food, but there’s a lot you can do with pasta. A recipe I devised years ago is this: sauté some walnuts and chopped garlic in olive oil until they are brown. Add it to your cooked pasta, together with shredded or grated Parmesan cheese. Eggs, of course, are nature’s perfect food, in my opinion. Adding Parmesan cheese to an omelette yields a delicious dish, especially when it also contains tomatoes, sun-dried or fresh. Both pasta and egg dishes are enhanced by dried parsley and chives–two other items to have on hand when it seems that the end is at hand!

~~M-J de Mesterton

Elegant Survival Non-Electric Tools

In the event of a power-outage, or complete disaster, you will need certain non-electric kitchen tools. Let’s say that you’ve successfully put away a stock of wheat. You will need to grind it for flour, or crush it for salads and pilafs. The traditional heavy metal meat and vegetable grinder, which attaches by vise to a table or counter-top, is necessary. If you have stored-up a load of coffee beans (whole coffee beans, like wheat “berries”, have a much longer shelf-life than their ground forms), you will need a high-quality, hand-operated coffee grinder. See my Survival Tools link-list on the right side of this page for sources.
Hand-Operated Meat and Wheat Grinder

Here is a photo of my sprouted grains and seeds, showing my hand-operated coffee-grinder.
Click on photo to enlarge Photo Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2008

Emergency Foods

A great way to always have some form of cheese, without refrigeration, is to buy economy-sized containers of grated Parmesan cheese–the kind which comes in the plastic cylinders. Kraft has a nice product; check its packaging for shelf-life prospectus. As in my previous posts about dehydrated foods, et cetera, I’m not posting this information for food-snobs, but for people who wish to be prepared for disaster!

You would do well to lay in a supply of pasta and powdered eggs, as well as olive oil and nuts. It may not be the most nutritious food, but there’s a lot you can do with pasta. A recipe I devised years ago is this: sauté some walnuts and chopped garlic in olive oil until they are brown. Add it to your cooked pasta, together with shredded or grated Parmesan cheese. Eggs, of course, are nature’s perfect food, in my opinion. Adding Parmesan cheese to an omelette yields a delicious dish, especially when it also contains tomatoes, sun-dried or fresh. Both pasta and egg dishes are enhanced by dried parsley and chives–two other items to have on hand when it seems that the end is at hand!

~~M-J de Mesterton

Elegant Survival Non-Electric Tools

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In the event of a power-outage, or complete disaster, you will need certain non-electric kitchen tools. Let’s say that you’ve successfully put away a stock of wheat. You will need to grind it for flour, or crush it for salads and pilafs. The traditional heavy metal meat and vegetable grinder, which attaches by vise to a table or counter-top, is necessary. If you have stored-up a load of coffee beans (whole coffee beans, like wheat “berries”, have a much longer shelf-life than their ground forms), you will need a high-quality, hand-operated coffee grinder. See my Survival Tools link-list on the right side of this page for sources.
Hand-Operated Meat and Wheat Grinder

Here is a photo of my sprouted grains and seeds, showing my hand-operated coffee-grinder.
Click on photo to enlarge Photo Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2008

Emergency Foods

A great way to always have some form of cheese, without refrigeration, is to buy economy-sized containers of grated Parmesan cheese–the kind which comes in the plastic cylinders. Kraft has a nice product; check its packaging for shelf-life prospectus. As in my previous posts about dehydrated foods, et cetera, I’m not posting this information for food-snobs, but for people who wish to be prepared for disaster!

You would do well to lay in a supply of pasta and powdered eggs, as well as olive oil and nuts. It may not be the most nutritious food, but there’s a lot you can do with pasta. A recipe I devised years ago is this: sauté some walnuts and chopped garlic in olive oil until they are brown. Add it to your cooked pasta, together with shredded or grated Parmesan cheese. Eggs, of course, are nature’s perfect food, in my opinion. Adding Parmesan cheese to an omelette yields a delicious dish, especially when it also contains tomatoes, sun-dried or fresh. Both pasta and egg dishes are enhanced by dried parsley and chives–two other items to have on hand when it seems that the end is at hand!

~~M-J de Mesterton