Meadville Tribune

Our Health

July 9, 2013

Fad-free weight control: Blueberries loaded with antioxidants, flavor

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) are currently under review for when a 2015 version is published. The last version, DGA 2010, includes recommendations to increase servings of fruits and vegetables. Summertime is a wonderful time to expand your variety of fruits and veggies, and July is blueberry month. Blueberries will be available at farmers markets and at local supermarkets at good prices now, so this is a great time to stock up and try new recipes as well.

Blueberries are loaded with antioxidants, including anthocyanin. This potent phytochemical, which gives blueberries their blue color, is classified as a bioflavonoid. Flavonoids are “free radical scavengers.”

Free radicals are highly reactive atoms circulating in the body that can damage cells. These flavonoids may indeed have numerous other properties, including antioxidant properties, adding even more health benefit. Flavonoids are present in many fruits and vegetables, including blueberries.

There are many easy ways to use blueberries. Try these:

- Mix some blueberries into your pancake mix. Try serving pancakes topped with a dollop of vanilla yogurt instead of sugary syrups once in a while for something different and more nutritious.

- Add blueberries to your morning oatmeal or any ready-to-eat cereal.

- Freeze them and serve them up to children as a frozen treat; or simply wash and pack them into zipper bags for later use.

- Make a blueberry banana smoothie. Mix up one cup of vanilla yogurt, 1/2 cup of fresh blueberries, one banana and a few ice cubes in a blender. Whir until well-mixed and enjoy.

- Freeze the smoothie into freeze pops. Simply pour smoothie mixture into freezer pop molds with sticks for a healthy, refreshing and frozen treat.

- Top one scoop of churned vanilla bean ice cream with a half cup of slightly sweetened blueberries (add 2 teaspoons sugar per 2 cups). Top with a tablespoon of Chambord liqueur.

- Check out the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council at for recipes and all you’d ever want to know about blueberries. And enjoy more of this nutritious summer fruit.

Blueberry breakfast cake, courtesy of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council


1 1/3 cups flour

3/4 cup quick-cooking oats

1/3 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoons salt

3/4 cup milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 egg

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries


Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit

1. Grease an 8-inch round baking pan. Set aside.

2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, oats, sugar, baking powder and salt.

3. In a 1 cup measure, stir milk, oil and egg. Pour all at once into flour mixture.

4. Stir just until moistened — batter will be lumpy.

5. Fold in blueberries.

6. Spoon batter into prepared pan.

7. Bake until cake is golden and pulls away from sides of pan — 20 to 25 minutes.

8. Cool on a rack, 5 to 10 minutes. Serve warm.

Yield: 8 portions

Per portion: 236 calories, 5 g protein, 33 g carbohydrate, 9 g fat, 211 mg sodium, 29 mg cholesterol

Simple food safety

You may be using your grill a lot more often during the summertime, so here’s a food safety reminder: Never use the same platter that held raw meat, fish or poultry for cooked foods. When grilling, take raw meat to grill on a platter and either wash the platter or switch out a clean platter for the cooked meat. Otherwise, raw juices from the uncooked product can spread to the cooked food and cause food-borne illness. The same goes for utensils — be sure to use clean utensils for cooked food.

Rust, a local registered dietitian and author, can be contacted via her website,, or by emailing her at

Text Only
Our Health
  • Don't let a desk job negatively impact your health

    If you’re female, you might want to consider a more physically active career to avoid a variety of cancers.

    July 21, 2014

  • Study focuses on cancer in those who apply pesticides

    This year marks the end of the Agricultural Health Study, a 20-year study of the effects of pesticides on farm workers and their families. Although the study focused on Iowa and North Carolina, there are still some elements that are important for Pennsylvania farmers as well as anyone who handles chemical compounds.

    June 30, 2014

  • Learn to swim and keep drowning at bay

    When you and your family hit the pool or the beach this summer, you need to be aware of a phenomenon known as secondary drowning, or dry drowning.

    June 16, 2014

  • ‘Planting’ the seeds of a better diet this summer

    Summertime is a great time to make improvements to your diet and lifestyle. Despite the conflicting “advice” you may get about diet when reading the popular press (not to mention all of the “food rules”), adding more plants to your diet is always a good idea.

    June 9, 2014

  • Is the idea of drinkable sunscreen worth swallowing?

    Tired of greasy, sticky hands after applying sunscreen? Even the spray-on sunscreens leave you inhaling fumes that you shouldn’t breathe. Well, enter a new era of skincare products: drinkable sunscreen.

    June 3, 2014

  • Survivor stories: Beating cancer with faith and family love

    I recently talked with Rebecca Arbuckle of Meadville to discuss her journey with breast cancer and how she was able to beat it with faith, strength and the love of her family. Although our conversation was upbeat and filled with confidence, there were times that emotion broke through, as it should, for having faced such a battle and won. I am in awe of the people I have had the chance to interview and am honored to share their stories.

    May 27, 2014

  • Uncovering the simple fix to the 'super bug'

    The World Health Organization has identified a serious threat to human health around the globe. Known as a “superbug,” this antimicrobial resistant bacterial infection has been coined “AMR” (Antimicrobial Resistance).

    May 19, 2014

  • Get educated about high blood pressure and eating better

    May is High Blood Pressure Education Month, and one in three Americans have it. High blood pressure (hypertension) is a leading risk factor for stroke. Hypertension is often referred to as the “silent killer” since you may feel no apparent symptoms. Yet, high blood pressure will cause damage to the blood vessels, brain and heart over time.

    May 13, 2014

  • Researchers: colon cleansing health benefits a myth

    Researchers have found that while colon cleansing has been around since ancient times, the health benefits are basically a myth.

    May 5, 2014

  • Prescription for Medical Nutrition Therapy

    Nutrition is a vital part of being well, and an even more important part to getting well (or healing). It’s a critical part of prevention, yet if I surveyed physicians or lay people, and asked them “Does diet therapy work?” chances are at least 70 percent of them would say “No.”

    April 21, 2014

Business Marquee
AP Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide