Blueberries have gotten a lot of great press and for good reason- the tasty fruits are a super food loaded with nutrients and can help with weight loss.

A 2009 study on rats by the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center indicated that eating blueberries could help get rid of belly fat and stop conditions that lead to diabetes.

In the study some rats ate freeze-dried blueberries crushed into powder that were mixed into their food while others didn’t. After 90 days, the rats who ate the blueberry powder had less belly fat. They also had lower triglycerides, lower cholesterol and improved insulin sensitivity, a measure of how the body processes glucose.

Blueberries are a great addition to any weight loss plan.  A one-cup serving is only 80 calories and the 4 grams of fiber will help you feel full. It can make a great snack after hitting the gym at In-Shape Health Clubs.

The health benefits of blueberries are many.  Blueberries’ rich color show they have a high level of phytochemicals, which may reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. They are a great source of Vitamins C and E and the mineral manganese, which is needed for strong bones.  Blueberries are ranked as having one of the highest antioxidant capacities among all fruits and vegetables in the American diet.

Here are a few ways to enjoy the benefits of blueberries:

- Mix them with cereal
- Eat with yogurt
- Munch on them alone as a snack
- Add to a salad
- Make blueberry muffins
- Add to brown rice and quinoa
- Make a blueberry smoothie