Blueberries belong to the Ericaceae family, along with other berries, with a variety including whortleberry, billberry, huckleberry and many more.
Blueberries grow in clusters and range in size from that of a small pea to a marble. Ripe, fresh blueberries are full and have deep color, ranging from blue to deep garnet to almost purple-black.
It is covered with a powdery waxy “bloom” on their surface as a protective coat.
Its flesh, like grapes, are semi-translucent and encases tiny seeds.
These little berries are packed with so much goodness. They are an excellent source of flavonoids, especially one called anthocyanidins, an anti-oxidant that is anti-inflammatory and keeps the elasticity of capillary walls. It is a phytonutrient that is responsible for its deep colors.
Blueberries are also rich in vitamin B2, C and E, manganese, soluble and insoluble fiber such as pectin.
The exceptional health benefits of blueberries is mainly due to its high quality phytonutrient, anthocyanidins, which is rated as the best and highest capability anti-oxidant.
Alzheimer’s Disease prevention: Blueberries help protect the brain from oxidative stress, improve learning capacity and motor skills. Consumption makes the person alert in a healthy way, unlike stimulants.
Bladder infection: Blueberry juice has a unique compound that is able to cleanse E.coli bacteria from clinging to the cells lining the urinary tract, making it an effective potion to stop recurring bladder infections.
Cancer: The ellagic acid in blueberries is an anti-cancer property that can help retard the growth of tumor and cancerous cells.
Cholesterol: The soluble fiber pectin not only helps lower cholesterol but its anti-oxidant virtue is also important in combating oxidation of cholesterol.
Constipation: The fiber in blueberries promote ease in bowel movement. Drink half a cup of blueberry juice twice a day on empty stomach half hour before food to encourage movements.
Diarrhea: Like for bladder infection, the anthocyanosides in blueberries help kill the E.coli bacteria which is a common cause for diarrhea. Particularly effective when diarrhea is caused by food poisoning. Another compound, tannins, also help to firm up loose stool in this case.
Inflammation: The powerful proanthocyanidins in blueberries is an excellent anti-oxidant that can help combat inflammations like osteoarthritis and gout.
Nasal congestion: This magical fruit contains a substance called vasodilators that help dilate blood vessels, providing temporary relief for nasal and lung congestions.
Vision: Helps improve vision and providing protection against age-related macular degeneration. Also particularly helpful in improving night vision, including easier and quicker adjustments to darkness or sudden glares. Also instrumental in protecting against the development of cataracts and glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.
Keep blueberries free from moisture as the presence of water will hasten decay. Remove damaged berries to prevent the spread of the decay.
Blueberries don’t keep at room temperature for more than one day. Store them dry in an air-tight container in the refrigerator where they can keep for about a week. However, always remember the rule to eat as fresh as possible.
Blueberries do contain moderate level of oxalates. Individuals with a history of calcium oxalate should limit consumption.