Sansum Nutrition for Athletes: Red, White & Blueberry

Summer is upon us and it’s already July, time for fireworks, picnics and pies. It also happens to be National Blueberry Month. The tangy, sweet berries are packed with vitamins A, C, E and K. They also contain fiber, manganese, iron and antioxidants.

National-Blueberry-Month

Nutritional information specialized for athletes
is provided by registered dieticians
at Sansum Clinic of Santa Barbara.

For your good health

Blueberries’ health benefits are mostly due to their unique assortment of phytochemicals, including various anthocyanins, chlorogenic acid and resveratrol. The most abundant phytochemicals are the anthocyanins, the plant pigments responsible for blueberries’ deep blue-violet color.

Studies have shown that anthocyanins have anticancer effects by inhibiting tumor growth and decreasing inflammation in the body. Mainstream research regarding blueberries has focused primarily on their antioxidant activity, potential cancer prevention properties, protective effects against dementia-related diseases, and link to urinary tract, heart and vision health.

In terms of anthocyanins extracted from blueberries, a majority of the existing research is based on human dietary consumption of whole blueberries in various animal and in vitro studies.

Blueberry supplements appear to be safe for most people. However, no scientific information is available to determine an appropriate dosage. The typical amount that dietary supplement manufacturers recommend is 1 tablespoon of dried powder, 1 tablet (containing anywhere from 200 to 400 mg of blueberry concentrate) or 8 to 10 teaspoons of blueberry concentrate liquid daily.

It is important to remember that as with all supplements, the nutritional value of whole foods, blueberries included, cannot be replaced. So pick up a package, or better yet, take an adventure and pick your own at one of our local blueberry farms.

There is no wrong way to eat a blueberry. Blend them in a smoothie, add them to yogurt, top your cereal or try a new recipe like Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins.

By Kristin Price, RD

Find past nutritional articles by Sansum Clinic’s registered dietitians HERE

RECIPE: Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins


Athlete Nutrition

Proper Nutrition plays an important role in athletic performance.

Yield: 16 servings (serving size: 1 muffin)

Ingredients
• 1 2/3 cups oats
• 2/3 cup all purpose flour
• ½ cup whole wheat flour
• 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
• 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 3/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
• 1/4 cup canola oil
• 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
• 2 large eggs
• 2 cups frozen or fresh blueberries
• 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• Cooking spray

Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Place oats in a food processor, pulse 5 to 6 times or until oats resemble coarse meal. Place in a large bowl.
3. Spoon flours into dry measuring cups and level with a knife. Add flours and next 5 ingredients (through salt) to oats. Stir well and make a well in center of mixture.
4. Combine buttermilk and next 3 ingredients (through eggs). Add to flour mixture, stir just until moist.
5. Gently fold blueberries into batter (if using frozen berries, toss berries with 2 tablespoons flour to prevent batter from turning purple). Spoon batter into 16 muffin cups coated with cooking spray.
Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove from pans immediately. Place on a wire rack to cool.

Nutritional Information (Per serving)
• Calories: 190
• Fat: 5g
• Saturated fat: 0.6g
• Monounsaturated fat: 2.4g
• Polyunsaturated fat: 1.2g
• Protein: 4.2g
• Carbohydrate: 33.3g
• Fiber: 2.4g
• Cholesterol: 23mg
• Iron: 1.6mg
• Sodium: 248mg
• Calcium: 74mg

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