Today is June 6, 2021

Published 7:00 am Sunday, June 6, 2021

7 ways to incorporate more blueberries into your diet

Fruits and vegetables are vital components of a nutritious diet, and few foods pack a more nutritional punch than blueberries.

Verywell Health says blueberries are touted as a superfood because they are full of antioxidants, vitamins, fiber, and phytosterols, which are micronutrients that can significantly lower LDL cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Blueberries also are low in saturated fat and may help lower triglyceride levels. A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that women who consume blueberries on a daily basis have lower blood pressure. Furthermore, researchers in Finland determined a berry-rich diet supports healthy aging and controls the risk of chronic diseases.

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Enjoying a blueberry muffin or a cup of blueberries with breakfast are two ways to consume more blueberries. But those are not the only ways to incorporate more blueberries into your diet.

1. Make a smoothie. Blend blueberries into a smoothie containing frozen yogurt and other fruit. Drink it any time of the day as a filling snack or even a small meal.

2. Whip up blueberry relish. Diced fresh blueberries tossed with onion, diced tomato and various seasonings can be used to top fish tacos or spread on toast rounds.

3. Create a fruit salad. Blend together various fresh fruits into a delicious fruit salad. Squeeze fresh lemon juice on top to prevent browning of the fruits used.

4. Whip up overnight oats. Mix equal parts of almond milk, oats and Greek yogurt together in a container and let sit overnight. In the morning, mix in favorite some blueberries. Add a little pure vanilla extract for added flavor.

5. Add blueberries to batters. Mix blueberries into pancake or waffle batters to add extra nutrients to meals.

6. Flavor your drinks. Drop blueberries into water, fruit juices or lemonade for a nutritional boost. Dress up sangria with blueberries for an added punch to this popular cocktail.

7. Mix up energy bites. Pair nuts, oats, chia seeds, flax seeds, and other healthy ingredients with blueberries. Utilize maple syrup or honey to keep ingredients together, and bake until golden brown. Many different recipes are available online for these types of treats.

Blueberries make nutritious additions to any diet, and there are various ways to incorporate more of this flavorful fruit into your meals.


9 signs your young child is having vision problems

As many a parent can attest, decoding a youngster’s needs can be challenging when that child is not yet able to fully communicate. Diagnosing health issues may require a little trial and error. So it’s no wonder many parents are not aware if their children are having issues with vision.

Routine wellness exams by your child’s physician can help to determine if a child is having problems with his or her vision. Doctors may detect subtleties that parents may not see, including signs that suggest kids are having trouble with their vision.

The American Optometric Association recommends vision exams at age six months, three years and before entering first grade, as well as every two years thereafter until age 18. Initial vision assessments typically take place in a pediatrician’s office. Parents can speak with their children’s pediatrician and ask if he or she can look for signs of vision trouble in their sons or daughters. Some pediatricians may recommend children visit an optometrist or ophthalmologist.

In addition to speaking with their children’s pediatricians, parents can keep an eye out for the following warning signs children may exhibit when they’re experiencing vision disorders.

· Squinting, which can be a sign of compensating for poor vision.

· Sitting too close to the television or holding a tablet screen close to the face.

· Covering or shutting one eye.

· Rubbing eyes due to visual fatigue and not general fatigue.

· Pulling toys or other objects closer.

· Head tilting, which could be a signal that vision may be better in one eye than the other.

· Inability to make steady eye contact or track an object in an infant older than three months of age.

· Crossed or misaligned eyes after age four months.

· Children who are easily distracted in learning situations or have difficulty paying attention may be losing interest due to trouble with their vision.

A proactive approach to eye health by parents when children are young can help correct problems early on and ensure children can see and function successfully through the years. Early treatment can lead to major, long-term improvements in vision.


How to choose the right pair of sunglasses

Sunscreen is essential to protect skin against potential sun damage, but what about keeping the eyes safe from the sun? Are the eyes vulnerable to significant sun-related damage as well?

According to the Calvert Ophthalmology Center, ultraviolet rays from the sun can contribute to various eye problems. These can range from temporary vision loss to macular degeneration. When spending time in the sun, it’s vital that individuals take steps to protect their eyes. One of the ways to do just that is to wear sunglasses.

All sunglasses are not created equal. Quality sunglasses protect the eyes from UV rays, reduce eyestrain in bright conditions and protect the eyes from flying debris. Here’s how to find the right pair of sunglasses for you.

· Check the UV rating. Sunglasses should block 100 percent of both UVA and UVB rays. UV rays can contribute to cataracts and even destroy the retina, which is the lining at the back of the eyes. In addition, UV light can cause changes in the cells of the eyes that may produce discomfort or even lead to cancer. Make sure the label indicates that the sunglasses protect against UVA and UVB rays.

· Wear large sunglasses. The more coverage from sunglasses the better. The American Optometric Association advises that oversized or wraparound sunglasses are best, as they can cut down on the UV rays entering the eye from the side.

· Don’t be fooled by dark lenses. Dark lenses do not necessarily block more UV rays than light-colored lenses. It is important to look at the label to see the UV rating.

· Select functional sunglasses. The sporting goods experts at REI state that certain sunglasses are specifically designed for certain activities. Sport sunglasses, for example are designed for running, biking and hiking. They’re lightweight and fit tightly so they stay on while exercising. Their frame and lens materials also may be more impact-resistant than casual sunglasses. Glacier glasses are sport sunglasses that protect the eyes from intense light at high altitudes and against reflections from snow.

· Know the functions of polarized lenses. Polarization helps reduce glare coming off of reflective surfaces, such as water. Note that polarization will not offer more protection from the sun, but it makes engaging in certain activities more comfortable.

· Recognize that the color of lenses also helps. In addition to polarization, the color of lenses can affect how much visible light reaches the eyes and affects clarity. Brown, gray and green are ideal for everyday use and most outdoor activities. Light colors like rose, yellow and amber are good in low to moderate light conditions. They can improve the visibility of objects and make surroundings seem brighter.

Shop smart when selecting sunglasses to keep eyes healthy and comfortable.