The Bountiful Benefits of Blueberries

The blueberry may be small in size, but it packs a mighty nutritional wallop. Sweet, juicy, and ultra good for you, it’s also one of the most popular summer fruits.

The Bountiful Benefits of Blueberries | Foodal.com

And with a very short season, you don’t want to miss out when they’re available.

To take advantage of the upcoming harvest, let’s have a look at their many health benefits, how we can incorporate more fresh berries into our diets, and how to preserve their goodness once the season has passed.

After that, there’s a plethora of recipes to think about, while you’re waiting for blueberry season to arrive and whenever you’re ready to get going in the kitchen.

Blueberry Background

Native to North America, botanists estimate that blueberries arrived on the landscape some 13,000 years ago. Close cousins of the North American species live in Europe, Asia, and South America. From the genus vaccinium, its relatives include cranberries, bilberries, rhododendrons, and azaleas.

Blueberries - A heatlhy and tasty way to get your nutrients - recipe ideas included | Foodal.com

When the first European explorers arrived on the continent, Native Americans had been enjoying this delicious fruit for millennia – fresh when in season, and dried or smoked throughout the rest of the year.

Revered among the native peoples, these little gems had their own myth associated with them – they were called “star berries,” because the calyx or blossom end forms a perfect five-pointed star.

They dried the berries in the sun before adding them to soups and stews, or crushing them into a powder and dry-rubbing it onto meat, to act as a preservative.

During a time of famine, the story claims the Great Spirit sent his star berries to ease the hunger of his people. Legend tells us they gave their harvest in turn to early pilgrims, to help them through their first winter.

The leaves and roots were brewed into teas and used for medicinal purposes, such as to ease a persistent cough.

A pudding made with cracked corn and water became a favorite among the settlers to the new world. They added milk, butter, and sugar before baking, and historians hold that this blueberry pudding was a welcome part of the first Thanksgiving celebration.

Natural Blueberries - Great for Your Health | Foodal.com

Of course, at these first feasts, the blueberries were wild rather than cultivated varieties – what are commonly known today as “low bush” types.

Today, blueberries are big business, with hundreds of varieties available. Economically, they’re the second most important berry crop in the US.

Until the early 1900s, it was assumed that the wild, low bush plants couldn’t be domesticated. At that time, a determined farm girl from New Jersey named Elizabeth White joined up with Dr. Frederick Coville, a USDA botanist.

Together, they identified the wild plants with the most desirable properties – hardiness, ease of pollination, early yield – and crossbred the bushes, creating strong, vibrant new varieties. Their first commodity crop was marketed in Whitesbog, New Jersey in 1916.

Powerful Antioxidants

Blueberries rank the highest of any fruit for antioxidant capacity, a unit of measurement on the ORAC – or oxygen radical absorbance capacity – scale, with 13,427 in a daily serving from the fruit of wild bushes, and 9,019 from commercially produced fruit.

Compare that to cranberries, the fruit with the next highest concentration of antioxidants, which come in at 8,983. (1)

Their high antioxidant content essential to optimizing health as they’re a top defense against free radicals, which can damage cellular structure and DNA.

Most of the current health research on blueberries involves, as least in part, their anthocyanin content. This important phytonutrient is usually mentioned first in their health-promoting descriptions, and this offers impressive health-supportive characteristics.

Blueberries - great for well-being | Foodal.com

Anthocyanin is a combination of two Greek words meaning “from flowers” and “deep blue.” This deep hued antioxidant pigment gives a number of foods their vibrant shades of blue, purple, red, and orange.

They’re most abundant in berries and berry juice (including blueberries, blackberries, blackcurrants, cranberries, raspberries, and strawberries) as well as red and purple grapes, red wine, eggplant, red cabbage, black beans, sweet cherries, black plums, and blood oranges.

Plants with vibrantly colored fruits and veggies produce anthocyanins as a protective defense against harsh environmental stressors, such as cold temperatures, drought, and damaging ultraviolet light. (2)

In addition to the anthocyanins, they contain a wide range of flavonoids, all of which contribute to antioxidant effectiveness.

As a result of these generous amounts of healthful compounds, these berries also rank very highly on the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI). ANDI is a ranking system that evaluates foods based on their nutritional value, vitamin and mineral content, phytochemical composition, and antioxidant capacity.

Foods with the highest amount of nutrients per calorie receive the highest rankings on the ANDI Index, and blueberries consistently receive top ratings. (3)

For nutritional values, each one-cup serving of fresh blueberries contains:

  • 84 calories
  • 0 grams of cholesterol (as only animal products contain cholesterol)
  • 1.1 grams of protein
  • 0.49 grams of fat
  • 21 grams of carbohydrates
  • 3.6 grams of dietary fiber, which is 14% of daily requirements

In the same one-cup serving we also find 24% of the daily recommended value of vitamin C, 4% of vitamin B6, and 36% of vitamin K. They provide iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, manganese, zinc, copper, folate, beta carotene, choline, and vitamins A and E as well. (4)

9 Health Benefits of Blueberries

1. Strong Bones – The minerals iron, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and vitamin K found in blueberries all help with building and maintaining healthy bone structure.

Iron and zinc are needed to maintain the strength and flexibility of bones and joints, and a vitamin K deficiency has been linked with a higher chance of bone fractures. Adequate vitamin K intake also improves calcium absorption, and may aid in the reduction of calcium loss. (5)

2. Lower Blood Pressure – Naturally free of sodium, they also contain potassium, calcium, and magnesium – all of which have been found to be effective in naturally decreasing blood pressure. (6)

3. Manage Diabetes – Research shows that for Type 1 diabetes, those who consume high-fiber diets such as those containing blueberries have lower blood glucose levels. And Type 2 diabetics may show an improvement in blood sugar, lipids, and insulin levels. (7)

4. Healthy Hearts – Zero cholesterol along with fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and this berry’s rich phytonutrient content all work together to support a healthy heart. And again, the fiber content helps to lower the total amount of LDL or “bad” cholesterol in the blood, which in turn may help to decrease the risk of heart disease. (7)

5. Cancer Prevention – Along with vitamins C and A, the variety of phytonutrients found in this fruit function as powerful antioxidants, providing the vital role of protecting cells against destructive and damaging free radicals.

They may block tumor growth, reduce inflammation throughout the body, and slow or help to prevent numerous types of cancer. These include colon, endometrial, esophageal, lung, mouth, pancreatic, pharynx, and prostate.

Folate also plays an important role in DNA generation and maintenance, and healthy cells help to prevent the formation of cancer cells from damaged mutations in the DNA. (8)

6. Improve Mental Health – Numerous studies have shown that adequate consumption of blueberries can reduce the risk of cognitive decline as well as Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative disorder resulting from cell death in parts of the brain.

The same studies have also revealed that, in addition to reducing the risk of cognitive damage, they can also improve short-term memory loss and motor coordination. (7)

7. Healthy Digestion – Because of their fiber content (14% of the daily recommended value), they help to keep the digestive system healthy, preventing constipation and promoting regularity.

8. Weight Loss – Adequate dietary fiber is recognized as an important factor in weight reduction and healthy weight maintenance, because of its “bulking” properties in the digestive tract. Foods high in fiber increase satiety as well, thereby reducing the appetite and making us feel fuller for longer.

9. Firm Skin Texture – Collagen, necessary for strong and healthy skin, requires the essential nutrient vitamin C to work as an antioxidant, and to help to prevent external damage caused by overexposure to the sun, airborne pollutants, and smoke. Vitamin C also boosts collagen’s function to smooth wrinkles and improve overall skin texture.

How to Eat More

Just ½ cup three times a week can play a significant role in reaping some of the benefits listed above.

And with their brief availability as a fresh fruit (at least if they’re locally grown), it’s good to know that researchers have found that fresh fruit and vegetables including blueberries can be frozen for up to six months without any loss of compounds such as vitamin C, polyphenols, anthocyanins, lutein, and beta-carotene.

To freeze, wash and drain well, ensuring they’re dry so as to minimize the formation of ice crystals. Lay them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and freeze for a couple of hours, then seal in airtight containers or zip-top bags.

In addition to fresh and frozen berries, they can be juiced, dried, freeze dried, and prepared in jam, jellies, and syrups.

When purchasing dried, frozen, or juice, always check the labels for any added sugars – they’re sweet as is and really don’t need anything added. And, when looking for jellies or jams, try the natural all-fruit spreads without added sugars.

Homemade Blueberry Smoothie | Foodal.com

The Great Blueberry Fraud

Numerous well-known manufacturers of cereal, breads, bagels, granola bars, and baking mixes like to ride the antioxidant gravy train and market consumer goods with blueberry in their product names – and photos of plump, healthy berries on the packaging of their products.

Unfortunately, most of these products contain no real berries. After all, they’re expensive, and it’s much more economical to manufacture “blueberry bits” or “berry-ettes” from petroleum-based dyes, hydrogenated oils, sugars, and other yummy fake ingredients.

So always watch for misleading advertising in commercially produced products claiming to contain blueberries – read the labels, and if they aren’t listed or are way down on the ingredient list, give them a pass. They won’t contain the flavor or benefits of the real deal.

Propagation

These plants are easy to grow in temperate zones, with many species to pick from. Choose either the smaller shrubs known as “low-bush” or wild, or the larger ones that are referred to as “high-bush,” which are usually seen in commercial production.

Growing Blueberries | Foodal.com

Plump, juicy berries are the reward for your own backyard bushes – most of which are disease and pest resistant, and can produce an abundant yield for up to 20 years.

From the same family as rhododendron and azalea, they enjoy a slightly acidic soil and appreciate a mulch of pine needles in the fall.

They’re also a beautiful addition to your landscape, with creamy spring flowers, scarlet fall foliage, and red stems and twigs in the winter – wonderful in winter floral arrangements, or seasonal sprays and wreaths. It’s plant that just keeps giving!

Check out the best varieties to grow at home on our sister site, Gardener’s Path.

Festivals

North America is the leading producer of this beautiful fruit, and it’s celebrated throughout the summer with many festivals where you can join in the fun, taste the local samples, and pick your own.

Find a listing of berry festivals in Canada, the UK and the US here.

That’s the conclusion of our look at the bountiful benefits of blueberries – and to get ready for the upcoming berry season, here’s a couple of recipes to enjoy their sweet flavor and beneficial properties.

Recipe Ideas

Spicy Blueberry Jam – Sugar and Gluten Free

This blueberry jam is super easy and fast to make, and retains the health benefits of the berries with no added sugar, and no gluten.

Recipe for Spicy Blueberry Jam | Foodal.com

It can be stored in the fridge for up to a month, or in the freezer for up to a year, and small jars make a great gift or stocking stuffers – so think about making a bit more of this healthy treat for your friends and family as well.

Spicy Blueberry Jam Recipe
Spicy Blueberry Jam
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No Added Sugar and Gluten Free
Servings Prep Time
4 cups 10 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 cups 10 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Spicy Blueberry Jam Recipe
Spicy Blueberry Jam
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
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Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
No Added Sugar and Gluten Free
Servings Prep Time
4 cups 10 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 cups 10 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Ingredients
  • 4 pints fresh Blueberries rinsed and drained
  • 8 medjool dates pitted and mashed
  • Juice of two lemons
  • 1 1/2 cups agave nectar find it near the honey in your grocery store
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Servings: cups
Units:
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Mash the berries with a potato masher, then lower the heat to a gentle boil. Continue cooking, uncovered, for 20 -25 minutes or until the mixture has thickened.
  3. Cool to room temperature, and the jam will set as it cools. Store in clean containers and seal tightly.
Recipe Notes

Besides the ingredients, you'll also need 4 small, sterile jars with lids for storing.

Spicy Blueberry Jam  Recipe

 

Blueberry Oatmeal Squares

These squares are sweet and tasty, with a great texture combo between the berries and oats. Make ahead as dessert for an outdoor cookout, and serve as is or with a dollop of homemade vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt.

Recipe for Blueberry Oatmeal Squares | Foodal.com

You’ll need an 8” square cake pan to make this tasty dessert.

Recipe for Blueberry Oatmeal Squares | Foodal.com
Blueberry Oatmeal Squares
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Servings Prep Time
25 squares 15 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
25 squares 15 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Recipe for Blueberry Oatmeal Squares | Foodal.com
Blueberry Oatmeal Squares
Votes: 0
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Servings Prep Time
25 squares 15 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
25 squares 15 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Ingredients
Dough
  • 2 1/2 cups rolled oats not instant
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup cold butter cubed
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar packed
Filling
  • 3 cups fresh Blueberries rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup granulated Sugar
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • Cooking spray
Servings: squares
Units:
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, bring blueberries, sugar and lemon juice to a boil. Lower heat and simmer about 10 minutes, or just until tender.
  2. In a small bowl whisk the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water. Add the vanilla then whisk into the blueberries and return to a boil, stirring until thickened another 1 minute or so. Remove from heat and cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface, then refrigerate until cooled, an hour or so.
  3. In large mixing bowl, stir together the oats, flour, sugar, lemon zest, salt and cinnamon. With a pastry blender or 2 dinner knives, cut in the butter until the crumbs are coarse and the size of peas.
  4. Lightly spray the baking pan with cooking spray then press in half of the crumbs. Spread evenly with the blueberry filling, then scatter the remaining oat mixture over top, pressing lightly.
  5. Bake in the centre of a 350°F oven until the crumbs are light golden, about 45 minutes. Cool on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

 

References

(1) Jeanie Lerche Davis, WebMD.com, Cranberries: Year Round Superfood, http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/cranberries-year-round-superfood

(2) Juliann Schaeffer, Today’sDietician.com, Latest Scoop on Berries…, http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/060113p16.shtml

(3) Dr. Joel Fuhrman, DrFuhrman.com, ANDI – (Aggregate Nutrient Density Index), https://www.drfuhrman.com/library/andi-food-scores.aspx

(4) NutritionData.Self.com, Blueberries, raw, http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1851/2

(5) Dr. Mercola, Mercola.com, Vitamin K: The Key Vitamin to use …, http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/05/16/vitamins-d-and-k2-reduce-osteoporosis.aspx

(6) American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Aedín Cassidy, Éilis J O’Reilly, Colin Kay et. al., Habitual intake of flavonoid subclasses and incident hypertension in adults, http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/93/2/338.full

(7) TodaysDietitian.com, Jasenka Piljac Zegarac, PhD, The Power of Blueberries, http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/100614p42.shtml

(8) Acir.org, Getting the Blues for Health, http://preventcancer.aicr.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=15489&news_iv_ctrl=2303

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About Lorna Kring

Recently retired as a costume specialist in the TV and film industry, Lorna now enjoys blogging on contemporary lifestyle themes. A bit daft about the garden, she’s particularly obsessed with organic tomatoes and herbs, and delights in breaking bread with family and friends.

67 thoughts on “The Bountiful Benefits of Blueberries

  1. I’ve often used blueberries in my deserts because of their detoxifying nature. They’re also great for weight loss too (Just don’t go eating a full punnet of them 😛 ). I once had a terrible UTI that was lasting for over a week and I swear by this mixture of blueberry and cranberry juice (well, slush), but it was gone within the space of a day!

    • This is an incredibly informative post. I found the history of blueberries to be particularly interesting. They also have a lower amount of fructose than many other fruits, which gives them a significantly lower glycemic index. However, aren’t avocados actually the fruit with the highest antioxidant and vitamin content? They are technically a fruit, and I’m pretty sure that they have more antioxidants and vitamins in them than blueberries.

  2. They are definitely a superfood. I make blueberry pancakes every weekend and they’re delicious if I do say so myself.

    I didn’t know that about manufactured products. I’ll think twice before I buy berry cereal again!

    • Pancakes are awesome jeremyn, and I just bought a big box of fresh berries… will have to whip up a batch this weekend, thanks for the idea!

  3. The jam I am loving this one. Jelly and jam is always the hardest to find good ingredients that doesn’t break the bank. I always look at the tag on the expensive ones and cringe. The ingredients in this recipe looks great and I always have most of those them here.

    The squares will be good. I do enjoy things like this although I haven’t made anything like this I always have just bought it. Over the past couple of years I have been making more homemade food. It takes time but it is so much better. I might switch a few things out on the squares. I’ve changed a lot in my diet and noticed a big difference. Probably a gluten free oat meal. I’m wondering how a chia seed would work as a replacement. I’ve seen that in vegan pizza doe. Coconut sugar and flour has become popular. I haven’t tried it yet but this might be a good start. Vanilla extract I’ve been using real maple syrup for that one.

    This one would be great to convert to raw squares. This will take some experimentation. This version will be good to give to my Betty Crocker friends. I’ve need to work on them to get them to make better desserts. It drives me nuts when people stick dessert in your face and you know it has all kinds of chemicals in it. They are trying to be nice but they don’t realize how bad it is for you. Some of it is so addictive and causes diabetes or whatever. Well step, by step.

    • Step by step indeed Love2eat. And if your BC friends come up with a good raw ingredient version, please share it with us.

  4. I always enjoy learning more about how certain foods are really good for us. It’s great that this fruit is beneficial, since it’s one of the few that my picky eater likes.

    I recently received a waffle iron, so I think I will make her some waffles with fresh berries. She doesn’t eat the syrup anyway, so they should at least be somewhat healthy. At least she’ll be getting some fruit!

    • Homemade waffles are a great way to incorporate fresh berries Zyni… and picky eaters just make us a bit more imaginative in coming up with solutions!

  5. Blueberries have always been a favorite in my family, and I’m so glad they’re in season right now. I plan to try out your recipes, and am going to have to read up more on growing them, because I’d love to plant some bushes in my backyard. That’s one crop that I don’t think the neighbors would complain about if it spread beyond my perimeter.

    • They don’t get any fresher than your own backyard Diane, and they add some nice color in the winter if your garden gets a little stark looking.

  6. It’s because of my pregnancy that I even paid blueberries any attention. I never really knew they were so powerful and helpful to the body. Typically, I consume them in pancakes and yogurts. After reading this I guess I need to stock up on some more. Also, I might try them as a preserve just to say I tried it. I’m curious as to how that worked and the results.

    • Powerful health benefits for you and the little one denelizr, and they don’t loose their antioxidant capacity when frozen… so when you stock up, get some for the freezer to enjoy after the season has passed.

  7. This particular fruit definitely comes with tons of health benefits, but I’m not always a fan of their taste. I sometimes crave blueberries or their flavoring, and other times I’ll avoid the flavor at all costs. Nothing beats a muffin with these little berries in them, though. Plenty of smoothies incorporate them well, too. I’ll have to go pick up a bag at the grocery store today because now they sound good. 😉

    • Muffins fresh from the oven are a treat troutski, especially when the berries are all warm and juicy… now the power of suggestion’s working on me! May have to pick up more at the market for a batch of muffins.

  8. Blueberries are an amazing little fruit, and I don’t have enough in my life. I also remember reading a few years ago about how food manufacturers don’t even use the real thing. While on the one hand it didn’t surprise me, hearing confirmation still kind of boggled my mind.

    That jam recipe sounds really intriguing! I usually associate blueberries with sweeter tastes, so it should be quite a shake-up from the usual.

    • Sad but true Leopard, and not all manufacturers of course, but it is mind-boggling that misleading advertising is still so prevalent.

      Enjoy the jam, it’s a nice change from the store bought versions.

  9. wow, who knew this berry had such amazing history. And it looks delicious, but I’ve never touched one!
    The powerful taste and color of it almost tempts me to use it as the flavor for my spirits

  10. I love blueberries they’re so yummy, and I didn’t even know they had all those benefits! I mean I did know about some of them like the skin thing and like helping diabetes, but I never knew they could help improve mental health! It’s amazing how a little fruit can be so good for you. Also that jam recipe looks amazing! I’ve only ever attempted to make jam once and it was a mess, so I’m a tad scared but I really wanna try it.

    • Start with a small batch of jam MTH, and if the results aren’t great it doesn’t seem so bad… it just takes a bit of practice to get it right.

  11. I knew about the amazing antioxidants that blueberries provided, but I never had heard about the origins of this fruit before. I personally take advantage of my blender and make deliciously healthy fruit smoothies with various berries all the time. I’ll have to try the spicy jam, however; I’ve only had the Smucker’s blueberry jam from Publix (not quite the same as the homemade version for sure). The oatmeal squares look scrumptious as well; thank you for the recipe! 🙂

  12. I knew that blueberries were good for you but I never heard about them helping with detox. I like them but not as much as I love cranberries.

  13. Is it just me or have the blueberries in the US stores this summer been especially good? In the past I have often been disappointed and got berries that were quite sour. But this year every punnet has been juicy and sweet.

  14. Your area must be enjoying good growing conditions for sweet and juicy fruit… sour berries are a bit of a bummer.

  15. I’ve always loved fresh blueberries, but I was trying a smoothie made with them one time that just changed my view because it tasted really bad. I haven’t tried them since, but seeing the nutritional value they yield, I’m seriously considering running to the store right now to get some!

    • Don’t let one bad smoothie spoil it for you hkerm, there’s lots of other ways to enjoy their taste and nutritional goodness.

  16. I love fresh blueberries. In fact, my wife and I bought a couple of bushes 2 or 3 years ago and we always get a few berries each year. The problem I have been having is that they were not growing much at all, so this year I put some pine bark mulch on them and some fish emulsion fertilizer. It seems like this is helping as I am finally seeing some growth this year. The berries are yummy, but I would really like to increase their size and yield. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    • Growing your is great norm, and the pine mulch and fish fertilizer will certainly help.

      A trick for bigger berries is to pinch out the blossoms for the first couple of years of growth, and let the energy go to developing a strong, healthy plant first. And try planting a couple of different varieties together as blueberries are partially self-fertile – this will extend the season and introduce larger fruit to existing plants. Hope that helps!

  17. I knew these babies were high in antioxidants, but I didn’t know they were the highest of all fruits. I need more blueberries! Now! They’re not my favorite fruit, but I think if I add just a few pecans or walnuts in the mix it would give me a desirable flavor that I can eat regularly. And I’m looking very forward to trying these recipes – especially the jam!

    5 pointed star? Interesting! From a Christian perspective I can only conclude that I need to buy more blueberries! A little humor there, but as a Christian myself I find this significant. To me it means that I can find hints of Christ in everything – even blueberries.

    • A few nuts would be a great way to make them more palatable for you MB, the benefits are certainly worth the effort! And how awesome to find inspiration in the mundane world around us…

  18. Blueberries all the way! When I saw this article I couldn’t resist clicking on. Other than that its about my favorite fruit, I really enjoyed the little history about it. Plus, the nutritional facts just hammer it home that they may be little but pack a huge punch. I also want to thank you for the recipe it really amazing! 🙂

  19. I’m really going to miss the great, fresh blueberries they had in Massachusetts since I just moved away. You could find them in anything there, kinda like jalapenos in Texas :-). They aren’t too tart, so I’ve noticed they can be easy to gorge on, but I believe there are certainly worse things to eat too much of.
    Certainly great for smoothies because they don’t alter the taste nor add too many seeds like blackberries do.
    I actually installed a couple blueberry bushes at someone’s home earlier this summer, and boy were they expensive, but I can see the appeal of having them.

    I had never heard of these fraudulent products, so thank you for alerting me to that. I will be more vigilant in my shopping from now on.

    • There’s really nothing like the taste of fresh, local produce, and of course, home grown is best Hy. And yes, you could do much worse in over-indulging!

      It is a bummer about having to be wary about purchasing everyday products. But, it’s also a good exercise in being more responsible for what I consume, so that’s what I like to focus on. Thanks for your comments.

  20. This post taught me so much. I loved learning about how much blueberries were used in the past and also the fact that most products don’t have actual blueberries in them. I’ll have to watch what I buy more closely so I can benefit from all the nutritional values. I can’t wait to try some of the recipes posted, thanks!

  21. Blueberries are truly a blessing, and not only are they super tasty, buy they provide more antioxidants than many other foods; they are a great way to start your day. In the morning, I love to enjoy a handful of blueberries. If I have got time on my hands, I sit down with a bowl of Greek yogurt and blueberries. This breakfast keeps you full for hours without the bloat. There are various way that you can incorporate blueberries into you daily meals, whether it is in a homemade popsicle, juiced, in a smoothie, handful of blueberries, yogurt, cereal, etc.

    • A blessing indeed soja1, a handful a day keeps the doctor away. Or helps to keep them away… and as you say, so easy to incorporate into our eating plans. Thanks for the insights.

  22. Great article! Blueberries have amazing health benefits! Dr. Joel Fuhrman (of “Eat to Live”, “Eat for Health” fame) has an acronym for the foods that are dense with the most nutrients and therefore amazing at promoting health. The acronym is G BOMBS! I know it sounds silly but:
    G=greens
    B=beans
    o=onions
    B=berries
    s=seeds
    So, according to Dr. Fuhrman, blueberries are “the bomb”!!!!!

  23. Wow! So I knew blueberries were good for you, but had NO idea just how good they are for you. My daughter eats blueberries like they are going out of style. I will now never freak if she eats the whole container at once again lol.

    G BOMBS! I like that 🙂

  24. Blueberries are amazing! Healthy and delicious, that’s exactly what I need. We have planted 2 blueberry bushes recently and I can’t wait to harvest them, although we will have to wait a few more years 🙁
    That blueberry smoothie looks amazing and of course I like blueberry pancakes like everybody else 🙂 I love that jam recipe without sugar, it is a great idea to use dates for sweetening. Also the addition of spices appeals to me, it is a must try for me once I can get my hands on blueberries!

    • You’ll have a couple of years to figure out how to outwit the birds valedevento, they always seem to know how good they are too! Hope you enjoy the jam when the season returns.

  25. The history of the blueberry is very important and informative. I have always loved adding blueberries to my oatmeal and to my pancakes. I so love the taste and am actually the only one in my household that likes the tartness of the blueberry. I never thought about blueberry jam and the health factors…this is so much more healthier than store brought brands that claim to use 100% fruit.

    • The homemade jam is a nice way to enjoy their flavor sheebah, and without all sugar and preservatives from the store bought varieties. Thanks for your comments.

  26. Looks like I will be spending time in the kitchen! Those recipes look heavenly! Yum! I knew blueberries had antioxidants, but I had no clue they did all that for your body. That is just amazing. I don’t think a lot of people realize this. Also, the history of the blueberries was really neat. I don’t think I really thought about the history of food much, always just ate it.

  27. i am a serious lover of blueberry recipes. I had no idea it had so many benefits. It’s like cranberry and sorrel. Looking ford to trying the blueberry oatmeal recipe.

  28. I have heard through a variety of sources over the years that blueberries were high in antioxidants and one of the better for you fruit options. Reading this article though has opened my eyes! I had no idea of the history behind these beautiful little berries. And the health benefits! Wow! Helping with digestion, protecting against free radicals, high fiber, the list goes on and on.

    Thank you for such interesting information. They have not been a staple food for me thus far, but I will definitely incorporate them much more now. In fact, I believe there is a blueberry festival in my area coming up…!

    • They’re an amazing fruit CynB! And they freeze up well too, so you might want to stock up at that blueberry festival… glad you enjoyed the post!

  29. I absolutely adore blueberries, so thanks for giving me more reasons to grab some when I go to the store. You really can’t beat the taste of fresh blueberries right off of the bush, though. Berry season is just great. I had known about some of the health benefits, but I never would have guessed that they help promote mental wellness. That’s really amazing.

    I am definitely going to try that recipe for blueberry jam. It looks fantastic!

    • Fresh, their taste is incomparable Tsuzuko, and so are their health benefits… pretty cool about keeping the brain healthy isn’t it?!

      Enjoy the jam!

  30. Blueberries are one of the features of Vancouver Island that attracted us to move here. My husband grew up in a family that spent part of every summer picking blueberries and other fruit, for their own consumption and for a small income. Now we grow a few bushes in our backyard and generally do a picking or two at a nearby organic blueberry farm near us. Happily, our big box food store also stocks frozen organic blueberries. I think we eat them every day, on our porridge mostly.

    I learned some things in this article that I knew nothing about– for example, I did not know that blueberries were in the same family as rhododendrons and azaleas. I can attest that all three plants are native to Vancouver Island, making this a beautiful and healthy place to live, even if we know that someday the “Big One” (earthquake) is slated to hit.

    • One of my first jobs was picking berries in Aldergrove for pocket money as a kid… of course, I think I ate more than I got paid for!

      You live in one of the sweet spots of the West Coast blazeC, with an abundance of wonderful local produce – enjoy this year’s berry season!

  31. Blueberries!!! I love blueberries both because it’s tasty and because of its health benefits <3

    Another healthy fruit (anti-cancer) is soursop. I'd like to also see a post like this about that 🙂

    • I’ve read some of the claims about soursop toradada, but as yet haven’t seen any information on clinical trials… hopefully the research will prove it to be another superfruit. Thanks for the suggestion.

  32. I’ve learned all I ever needed to know about blueberries just by reading this! This is an incredibly informative article. Blueberries and cranberries are my favorite berries to snack on, they’re healthy as well as delicious. They are extremely versatile as well and can be used in many recipes. I’ve never thought about preserving them myself, but it seems very easy to do.

    Blueberry pancakes are my favorite recipe, but the squares look scrumptious. I will definitely be giving them a try.

    I knew that they had plenty of antioxidants, but I never expected them to be this packed with wholesome nutritional goodness. They have definitely earned their place as a superfood.

  33. Fantastic article, I eat blueberries regularly but I didn’t know about all these healthy benefits. It’s also good timing since the berry season has come, my garden is booming right now!

  34. Don´t know what you got til it´s gone. I grew up in an area of the USA where for months you could literally just go for a short hike and come home with as much as you could carry. And unfortunately, I never appreciated them enough. (same with Strawberries). Now where I live, Blueberries sell for the same as their weight in gold, and really aren´t practical for any type of cooking.

    The health benefits are real, they are packed with vitamins and antioxidants and make a great addition to deserts and baked goods.

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