Native Americans believed that blueberries were magic. They used them to dye clothes. European colonists smashed them to color paint. But both cultures recognized the dietary -- and medicinal -- value of the berries.
Petite powerhouses of antioxidants, fresh, sweet blueberries protect you from top to bottom. High concentrations of anthocyanins create the blue color, but they also may protect eyesight and energetically combat cancer-causing free radicals. Another antioxidant, ellagic acid, seems to inhibit tumor growth.
Blueberries may even reduce belly fat. The effects are best when blueberries are added to a low-fat diet, but a University of Michigan study on animals found that blueberries were beneficial even in high-fat diets. Blueberries affect the way fat is stored and burned, and also improve the body's glucose use.
See what honey, another sweet powerhouse, can do for you on the next page.