Blueberries: A North American Favorite
One of the most popular berries ever and native to North America, blueberries are an antioxidant superstar in the fruit arena. They’re chock-full of phytonutrients, including anthocyanins—the antioxidant pigments that give blueberries their brilliant blue color.
Why are antioxidants so important? Antioxidants are essential to optimizing health by helping to fight the free radicals that can damage cellular structures as well as DNA. Research suggests that blueberries can improve memory and may slow down the onset of some problems associated with aging. Blueberry consumption has also been shown to reduce cholesterol and lower triglycerides.
These berries may be tiny but they pack a nutritional and flavorful punch! To get the greatest nutritional benefit enjoy blueberries raw. But, of course, a freshly baked blueberry pie is a must-have for summer picnics and holiday celebrations! Other ways to enjoy blueberries include: adding fresh blueberries to breakfast cereals, making a delicious parfait with yogurt and fresh blueberries, and adding fresh blueberries to pancake batter.
When buying blueberries, look for berries that are firm, uniform in color and covered in a whitish bloom. Wait to wash the bloom off your blueberries until right before eating—keeping the bloom on the berries protects the berries’ skins.