Health Benefits of the Blueberry
Everything is right about eating blueberries! Whether you eat them fresh, frozen, dried or canned, blueberries are a winner when it comes to good nutrition. A versatile fruit, the blueberry can be served cold, paired successfully with a number of other healthy foods from cucumbers to spinach or added to stews and other hot dishes. Blueberries are so popular that there are several cities that host annual Blueberry Festivals. Blueberry picking farms are gaining in popularity around the U.S. Click here to search for a U-Pick location.
Blueberries are packed with vitamin C.
In just one serving, you can get 14 mg of Vitamin C almost 25 percent of your daily requirement. Vitamin C aids the formation of collagen and helps maintain healthy gums and capillaries. It also promotes iron absorption and a healthy immune system.
Blueberries are dynamos of dietary fiber.
Research has shown that most of us don’t get enough fiber in our diets. Eating foods high in fiber will help keep you regular, your heart healthy and your cholesterol in check. A handful of blueberries can help you meet your daily fiber requirement. What a tasty way to eliminate this worry from your day!
Blueberries are an excellent source of manganese.
Manganese plays an important role in bone development and in converting the proteins, carbohydrates and fats in food into to energy – a perfect job for blueberries.
Blueberries contain substances that have antioxidant properties.
Antioxidants work to neutralize free radicals unstable molecules linked to the development of cancer, cardiovascular disease and other age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s. Substances in blueberries called polyphenols, specifically the anthocyanins that give the fruit its blue hue, are the major contributors to antioxidant activity.
The blueberry of the genus Vaccinium, is a native American species. Early settlers cherished the fruit as a staple ingredient in foods and medicines. They incorporated the berries into their diets, eating them fresh off the bush and adding them to soups, stews, and many other foods. North America is the world’s leading blueberry producer, accounting for nearly 90% of world production at the present time. The North American harvest runs from mid-April through early October, with peak harvest in July which is also known as National Blueberry Month. More info.