Blue isn't just my favorite color. Blue is also clearly the hue of blueberries - one of the very few naturally colored blue foods. (Ignore those who say blueberries are actually purple.) If you were to incorporate more of just one color into your diet, blue (and blueberries) would be it. Blueberries are antioxidant powerhouses, containing more benefits than any other fruit or vegetable.
Blueberries: At a Glance
Serving size: 1/2 cup Vitamins: A,C,E, beta-carotene Minerals: Potassium, manganese, magnesium Also contain: Fiber
Did you know that blueberries are a true American berry? They were an important part of survival to Native Americans and were one of the first meals they shared with explorers Lewis and Clark.
In studies, a few of the benefits of blueberries include improved brain power. The antioxidants of blueberries help reduce inflammation - similar to cherries. Because of this, blueberries help protect the brain and reduce aging. The results have suggested improved brain performance, memory, coordination and communication - all of those qualities that often dissipate with age. You should consider blueberries to be a important preventative to start incorporating into your diet. Despite their powerful properties, you shouldn't consider blueberries a cure to disease such as Alzheimer's.
As with most high antioxidant foods, blueberries are believed to have cancer preventing qualities, as well as an impact on regulating blood sugar and eye health.
If using within a couple of days: refrigerate in their container, rinsing just before using.
If not using soon: Freeze washed and dried berries in a single layer on a baking sheet then transfer to a plastic bag. They’ll keep for 3 months. Note: Frozen berries have been shown to have just as high nutritional value as fresh! Good reason to stock up now when they're in season.
Try adding blueberries to:
Cereal, blending into smoothies, tossing in fruit salad, mixing into muffins or pancakes, making blueberry jam, in desserts like pies, crisps or cobblers, freezing, juicing and dehydrating. And stay tuned for more ideas.
For information on finding local berries, consult our Locally Grown Guide.
For more info on blueberries check out The World's Healthiest Foods.