The Awesome Blueberry!

from Erica Vaughn, Produce Manager

Excerpts from The Healthiest Foods in the World

“There is exciting new evidence that blueberries can improve memory. In a study involving older adults (average age 76 years), 12 weeks of daily blueberry consumption was enough to improve scores on two different tests of cognitive function including memory. Participants in the study consumed blueberry juice (3/4 of a pound of blueberries were used to make each cup of juice) and consumed between 2 to 2-1/2 cups each day, a very plentiful amount of berries. Blueberries… beneficial not only for improvement of memory, but for slowing down or postponing the onset of other cognitive problems frequently associated with aging.

Maximize antioxidant benefits from blueberries–go organic! A recent study has directly compared the total antioxidant capacity of organically grown versus non-organically grown highbush blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum L., var. Bluecrop) and found some very impressive results for the organically grown berries. Organically grown blueberries turned out to have significantly higher concentrations of total phenol antioxidants and total anthocyanin antioxidants than conventionally grown blueberries, as well as significantly higher total antioxidant capacity.

You can freeze blueberries without doing damage to their delicate anthocyanin antioxidants, the colorful pigments that give many foods their wonderful shades of blue, purple, and red. After freezing blueberries at temperatures of 0⁰F (-17⁰C) or lower between 3-6 months, researchers discovered no significant lowering of overall antioxidant capacity or anthocyanin concentrations.”

Quick serving ideas:

  • Add frozen blueberries to your breakfast shake
  • Fresh or dried blueberries add a colorful punch to breakfast cereals
  • For a deliciously elegant dessert, layer yogurt and blueberries in wine glasses and top with crystallized ginger