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Blueberries Pack a Healthy Punch

Blueberries Pack a Healthy Punch

The mild-mannered, unassuming blueberry is actually a superstar among fruits; so much so, in fact, the United States Department of Agriculture proclaimed in 2003 that July is National Blueberry Month.

ATRIO Health Plans is a big believer in the good-health-good-diet connection, and there's no debating that fruit is an important component of a healthy diet. That's why ATRIO Health Plans is happy to share the benefits of blueberries, along with a yummy recipe for blueberry cornbread.

The Benefits of Blueberries

This is peak season for blueberries, so there's no better time to enjoy these tasty spheres that serve up a bounty of health benefits, including:

  • Antioxidants Abound–Blueberries are one of the best sources of antioxidants, which are compounds that fight harmful free radicals. Antioxidants not only can prevent cell damage, but also can protect against several chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes.
  • Brain Booster–Preserving brain health, particularly as we age, is a top priority. With that goal in mind, several studies have pointed to the power of blueberries to improve memory and cognition.
  • Inflammation Fighter–The high antioxidant content of blueberries also is credited with curbing inflammation, and it's well documented that chronic inflammation plays a pivotal role in many diseases. In fact, the scientific consensus is that inflammation contributes to a wide range of conditions, including some cancers, autoimmune disorders, heart disease, and even depression.
  • Fiber Provider–Blueberries are rich in fiber and low in calories. Not only will they help keep the pounds at bay, but blueberries also promote regularity and healthy digestion.
  • Heart Health–Research has shown that eating blueberries may help reduce heart disease risk factors. A 2015 study, for example, found that eating blueberries daily for eight weeks resulted in participants experiencing lower blood pressure and less arterial stiffness. Another study reported that blueberry supplements contributed to decreases in blood pressure and LDL (bad) cholesterol, two major risk factors for heart disease.
  • Belly Fat Be Gone–Another scientific study concluded that blueberries may help you burn belly fat by igniting genes that are programmed to pave the way for leaner body composition. It was additionally found that consuming a low-fat diet turbocharged the health benefits of blueberries.

Blueberry Cornbread


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup + 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 400° and grease an 8-inch square baking pan or a cake pan with the 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Place pan in oven while it heats.
  2. Toss blueberries with 1 teaspoon of flour and set aside.
  3. Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Stir with a whisk to evenly combine ingredients.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix egg, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Whisk well.
  5. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until dry ingredients are moistened. Gently fold in blueberries. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Enjoy!