Mr. Toastmaster, fellow Toastmasters, honored guests,
Eat blue food. But don’t feel blue! You may ask, what food is blue? There are blue skies, blue oceans, blue mountains, blue minerals, blue whales, blue flowers, blue birds, blue insects, and blue football teams, but what food is blue? I once told a guest that I had created a red, white, and blue salad for our 4th of July celebration. I asked him to guess what blue food I used. He kept thinking but couldn’t come up with the answer.
Tell me if you know what it was.
(That’s right.) The answer is: blueberries. Okay, blueberries look … a little purple. On a good day they look blue. Just examine the photographs. Advertisers must Photoshop photographs of blueberries to make them look more blue.
Pure blue in food may be a little imaginary. Let me illustrate.
At the Bees playoff game in Salt Lake, I sat in the grandstand, thirsty as fire. Along came a vendor sporting blue and purple slushes on his arm. I wasn’t sure what he was selling them for. I had a few sips of water in a bottle I managed to get past security. They caught me, but there was so little water in my bottle, security let me by, knowing that I’d still be thirsty by the end of the game. Presumably the blue slush was blueberry flavored and the purple slush was grape flavored. The blue really looked blue. I almost called the vendor over so I could have a cold sip. What I really wanted was the water. The blue was an artificial dye and the rest of the drink was sugar water and ice. So, I didn’t imbibe. What I want to tell you though is that there are natural dyes or pigments in food. They’re phytochemicals, and they’re extremely good for us.
The bluish pigments in blueberries are anthocyanins. Blue. Cyan. There must be a connection there. They appear red, purple, or blue, depending on pH. So that’s the secret. They’re abundant in blueberries, cranberries, and bilberries as well as red and black raspberries and blackberries. They’re even found in eggplant. So that’s why eggplant is purple.
What can they do for you? No one’s made a phytochemical pill that can prevent or treat cancer, but blueberries show evidence for protective effects against cancer and vascular diseases, including atherosclerosis, ischemic stroke, and neurodegenerative diseases of aging such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Huntington’s. Blueberries have been shown to improve the memory of older adults and improve the spatial memory of younger animals. Blueberries have more antioxidants than any other vegetable or fruit.
Does that interest you?
You might also be interested in knowing that blueberries have been found to protect vision. They protect against cataracts and macular degeneration. They protect against the aging and damage of retinal pigment epithelial cells.
Blueberries may even lower our blood pressure. I can use that during my speech.
We can buy supplements that contain anthocyanins, but I think our money is better spent buying the real, delicious whole food.
Reading PubMed journals can leave us wondering just how to apply scientific findings. It’s probably best to not jump to any grandiose conclusions. But do we need science to tell us to eat something as delicious as blueberries? Just make sure the blueberries are real, not the artificial blueberry slush sold at baseball games.
Besides anthocyanins, blueberries have a lot of dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese. Combine blueberries and strawberries in a delicious rich and thick and ‘chocolit’ blueberry strawberry chocolate shake. Eat blueberries in three-berry yogurt delight. Eat blueberries on a “4th of July Red, White, and Blue Cherry Chicken Salad”. All three of these recipes are included in my full-color healthy eating cookbook “KaeLyn’s Korner Kitchen: Complete Meals for the Healthy-Minded, available for only $8.24 on Amazon.com.
So go blue. Buy a copy of my book, eat some natural pigments, enjoy delicious food, and protect against disease while you’re doing it.
Thank you Mr. Toastmaster.