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Blueberries A Big Super Food In A Very Small Package | Amoils.com

Added January 7, 2011, Under: Diseases, Health, Nutrition

 

Blueberries on wooden table

We bought a blueberry bush at the local garden center just for fun a few weeks ago. It has its place in the sun with plenty of water and regular organic plant food and we have been picking a good handful or two of berries every day ever since – from one plant! Our visitors have been very intrigued with it. I know it is summer now where I live in the southern hemisphere, but if you are able to include a few blueberry bushes in your backyard come spring, I am sure you will be surprised at your summer crop too.

Happy blueberry bushes

For maximum fruit production, site your plants in full sun. Happy blueberry plants like a low soil pH, meaning it should be on the acidic side. Use well-rotted organic matter and if drainage is poor, consider planting the bushes in a raised bed or even in containers.  Our blueberry bush is in a container.  A good idea is to plant 2 bushes per family member.  

North America is the world’s leading blueberry producer, accounting for nearly 90% of world production. The North American harvest runs from mid-April through to early October but as blueberries are grown in the southern hemisphere too, they are now usually available in the US all year round.  Although they are best eaten raw and fresh, blueberries can be used in baking, desserts and added to smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal or muesli.

Some of those great benefits

  • Blueberries are an excellent source of vitamin C with a serving containing almost 25% of your daily requirement for Vitamin C (necessary for the formation of collagen and to maintain healthy gums and capillaries as well as helping in the absorption of iron and promoting a healthy immune system).
  • Blueberries are a good source of dietary fiber to help heart health, keep cholesterol in check and maintain regular bowel movements. As well as the roughage, a big handful will give you vitamins, sodium, copper, fructose and acids to improve digestion.
  • Blueberries are an excellent source of manganese, playing an important role in the development of bones and in the metabolism of protein, carbohydrate and fat.
  • Blueberries are rich in antioxidants (the highest of all fresh fruit) and will go a long way to boosting your immune system, preventing infections and slowing down ageing. This is mainly due to the presence of Anthocyanin – a pigment responsible for the blue color of the blueberries.
  • Blueberries help promote urinary tract health by inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria, with added antibiotic properties.
  • Blueberries help to preserve vision by slowing down visual loss as well as preventing or delaying all age related ocular problems like macular degeneration, cataract, myopia, dryness and infections – especially those affecting the retina.
  • Blueberries heal damaged brain cells and neuron tissues, keeping your memory sharp for a long time. Researchers found that diets rich in blueberries, given to aging animals, significantly improved both their learning capacity and motor skills. Now blueberries are being promoted for people with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Blueberries are very good anti-depressants with no side effects, elevating your mood.

Add blueberries to your shopping list

Choose ones that are firm with a bright uniform blue color with a whitish bloom but not soft or watery. If you shake the container lightly, the berries should move freely. This means they are not soft, damaged or moldy. When no fresh berries are available, you can resort to frozen berries but again shake the bag gently so that the berries can move. If they are clumped together it could mean they have been thawed and refrozen. The deeper the color of the blueberry, the more rich they are in antioxidants and other medicinal benefits.

You will doing yourself and your health a great favor if you make blueberries part of your daily diet.

Time to go and pick myself another handful!

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