The health benefits of blueberries have made the news in recent years. Some of the reported benefits of eating blueberries include improved vision, cleared arteries, strengthened blood vessels, enhanced memory, stopped urinary tract infections and reversed age-related physical and mental declines.
Nutrients in Blueberries
According to LSU AgCenter nutritionist Beth Reames, blueberries and other brightly colored berries contain vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and phytochemicals that help protect against disease, including certain cancers and heart disease.
Phytochemicals are nonnutritive substances in plants that promote health and prevent chronic disease. Antioxidants are phytochemicals that help neutralize harmful byproducts of metabolism called free radicals that contribute to heart disease and other diseases.
Blueberries are nature’s number one source of antioxidants among fresh fruits and vegetables according to the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston. Anthocyanins, the pigments giving blueberries their deep blue hue, act as antioxidants, which may provide many health benefits.
Blueberries are Low Cal and healthy
Blueberries also are a low-calorie food – only 40 calories per 1/2 cup. Blueberries are low in fat, sodium-free and a source of fiber, beta-carotene, vitamin C and potassium.
Blueberries contain compounds that may help to prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs), The compounds, called condensed tannins, can keep the bacteria responsible for UTIs from attaching to the linings of the urinary and digestive tracts.
Reames says to look for berries that are dark blue, with a frosty bloom. Store fresh blueberries in your refrigerator for up to two weeks, and wash them just before you use them; washing and then storing makes them mushy. Loose-pack frozen blueberries are available year-round, and you can use them in any recipe that calls for fresh blueberries. Since they are washed, they can be used right from the package.
How to Choose Blueberries
Fresh blueberries should be plump and firm with a dark blue color and waxy, silvery “bloom.” Sweetness varies by variety. Blueberries do not ripen after harvest, so as soon as you buy them, you can eat them. One pint of berries will provide four to five servings of fresh uncooked fruit.
Just like any other fruit we know that fruit is better fresher then frozen so go out and pick some fruit if you are in a place where that is possible