Toxins and blueberries

Let me sneak in a blueberry pie recipe in between diary stories, because we all need a piece of blueberry pie from time to time.

Blueberries are some of the most nutrient rich foods you can get your hands on. Such a good source of fibre, minerals and vitamins. In addition to all that, they have one of the highest antioxidant capacities among all fruits, vegetables, spices and herbs. Let me explain a bit before we jump onto the pie...

Antioxidants are as you may know, real important molecules that help protect your body from the everyday cellular oxidation process, and the stress the body is exposed to from all the chemicals and toxins that we are surrounded by, and which many of us ingest, on a daily basis.

Chemicals and toxins come from pesticides, herbicides and fungicides that are sprayed on most of the non-organic fruit, vegetables, berries, coffee, tea, nuts that you buy and eat. It has been sprayed on the cotton that your clothes, bed sheets, your tampons and your baby's diapers are made of. Chemicals are found in the plastic of water/soda bottles and in the plastic containers that you use for food. There's a lot of it in beauty products. In air pollution. Tobacco and cigarette smoke. Alcohol. Electrical gadgets. Yes, pretty much everywhere around you, there are chemicals and toxins that create particles in our bodies known as free radicals.

To put it simply this time (will get more in depth with it in another post), our bodies generate free radicals by itself all the time. It is part of a chemical process called oxidation that happens on the cellular level, which essentially and slowly breaks our body down. We are ageing, we are not going to be forever. This is part of the biological process that unfortunately has to happen to mortal human beings (and animals).

But what we can do to slow the process down a bit, is to choose wisely what sort of foods we eat, what sort of products we buy, what kind of water we drink and what environments we choose to live in.

Toxic foods and materials speed up the oxidation process that breaks our bodies down. Food and herbs that are high in anti-oxidants, helps your body to slow the process.

So what can you do to help yourself? Not relying on your water intake to come from plastic bottles, is a given. Not splattering your face and body with creams, lotions and make-up that are made with laboratorial manufactured chemicals when there are natural options, is another. Choosing organic food before non-organic. Organically certified diapers for your baby. Whole foods instead of fast foods.

How quickly that jolly blueberry pie post turned into something depressing... sorry about that. But it's important to know what you can do to avoid as much harm as possible, by natural means. Because we can get more in charge of our health and well being. Once we realise that we have a better choice. Many choices.

So to thread back to the original star of this post, the blueberry, and why it is so good for us: So the skin of blueberries are made of polyphenols, which has a powerful anti-oxidative effect and which also is antimicrobial. Being antimicrobial means that the compound (polyphenol) has the ability to kill bacteria and effectively combat free radicals.

In 2013 there was a great study done at the University of Barcelona on polyphenols, which showed that there was a 30% reduction in mortality in older adults who had rich-polyphenol diets (>650 mg/day) in comparison to the participants who had low-polyphenol intakes (<500 mg/day). You can read more about that research here. And some more info here.

So my advice of the day to you is, stay away from harmful foods and materials and definitely eat more blueberries. Just a tip, the low-bush blueberries have higher polyphenol content than the high-bush ones.

Polyphenols can of course be found in many more foods, plant foods that is. Highest concentration just above blueberries, are in cloves, dried peppermint, star anise, raw cocoa powder, Mexican oregano, celery seeds, dark raw chocolate, flaxseed, black chokeberry, chestnut, common sage, blackcurrants, capers, black olives, dried rosemary, spearmint and thyme (hello Mediterranean diet!). If you can incorporate a little more of some or most of these into your daily life, you are doing your body a huge favour. It goes without saying that they should all be natural and organic and not covered in pesticides. The pesticides kind of defeats the purpose? Check out this chart for all the polyphneol rich foods.

I feel this biology lesson became way longer than intended. But if you've made it this far, here's a recipe for a crazy delicious blueberry pie 💜

Filling:

  • 500 grams of blueberries
  • 0,75 dl sugar (coconut sugar, date sugar or palm sugar works real good)
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar or vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp potato flour

Batter:

  • 150 grams of butter or vegan butter
  • 0,5 dl syryp (agave works good)
  • 1 dl cream (I use oat cream from Oatly)
  • 2 dl flour of your preference, oat flour works great
  • 2,5 dl oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 dl sugar, again, whichever you prefer
  • 0,5 tsp salt

Serve with:

  • Vanilla ice cream, I choose Oatly's again cause I'm addicted like that

Put your oven on 175C/350F degrees. Pour the blueberries into a buttered pie pan. Pour over the sugar, vanilla and potato flour. Mix well so all the berries are covered.

Melt the butter. Add syrup and cream in here. Whisk it nicely and remove from heat. Pour into bowl together with flour, oats, baking powder, sugar and salt and mix to a nice and even batter.

Pour this mixture on top of the blueberries and place in the centre of oven for about 20-25 minutes. Should have gotten a nice brownish golden colour.

Serve warm with your preferred accompaniment and be grateful for all the good that can be found in nature.