‘Tis the season, once again! Blueberries are abundant, fresh, local and delicious!
I’m always looking for new research on blueberries because they're my favorite berry and I need more excuses to keep eating them. In the U.S., they rank 2nd behind strawberries in popularity and contain one of the highest antioxidant capacities of any fruit, vegetable, spice or seasoning.
One of the few fruits natives to North America, another species you've probably seen includes the "wild" blueberry, grown in lowbushes rather than the typical highbush, and which is renown for its smaller size and more intense color.
Don't have any in your fridge right now? Go get some! If you aren't convinced yet, here are 4 fun facts about this amazing little bright blueberry and its many health benefits.
- There is new food science evidence that supports blueberries can improve memory and cognitive function, helping delay the onset of cognitive disorders in elder individuals. In a study of participants with an average age of 76, 12 weeks of daily blueberry consumption was enough to improve scores on two different tests of cognitive function and memory.
- You can freeze blueberries without damaging the delicate anthocyanin content (antioxidants) that gives them their deep blue and purple color. Blueberries can be frozen for up to 6 months without it affecting their antioxidant value.
- Berries are relatively low on the glycemic index scale (GI) with a rating of 40-50. They are rated higher than other berries, but interestingly have a more favorable impact on blood sugar regulation in type 2 diabetes patients. In a study where participants consumed at least 3 servings of low glycemic fruits a day, including blueberries, there was significant improvement of blood sugar regulation over a three-month period.
- There is some evidence pointing to higher antioxidant content in organic blueberries. They appear to have more total phenol and anthocyanin antioxidants than non-organic blueberries. Another reason to go organic!
Looking for a delicious and nutritious way to use blueberries? Try this Blueberry Frozen Greek Yogurt. Super easy to make and easier to eat!