4 years ago

Why you should add more blueberries to your menu

Do you love blueberries? So does everyone else! In fact, blueberries are one of the most popular fruits in America, second only to strawberries.

Native to North America, blueberries grow on a shrub that belongs to the Ericaceae family, which also includes cranberries, azaleas and rhododendrons. To this day, the U.S. grows and supplies over half of all blueberries in the world.

Blueberries can be as small as a pea and as large as a marble, featuring a white-gray “bloom” that covers the surface and serves as a protective coat. This “king of superfoods” has the highest amount of antioxidants of just about any fruit and is also rich in anti-inflammatory compounds.

Blueberries are known for health benefits like helping night time vision and improving memory function; some studies claim blueberries can also improve cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure and help prevent cancer.

When choosing blueberries, look for ones that are firm with uniform coloring. Give the blueberry container a gentle shake to see if the berries move freely – if they don’t, some may be soft or damaged.

Before storing your blueberries, be sure to remove any soft or moldy berries to prevent the rest from spoiling – and don’t wash your berries until just before you eat them, as washing will remove the bloom that protects them, causing them to go bad faster. You can store them in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Blueberries are wonderful added to smoothies and salads, delicious baked into pancakes or served with desserts, and they make a wonderful topping for cereal or oatmeal.

Although blueberries are only in season in the U.S. from May through October, we find summer-worthy berries grown in Chile during our winter months. Chile’s clear blue skies, hot days and cool nights are idea for blueberry growing. Each year, tons of Chilean blueberries are harvested by hand and machine, packaged in clean, modern facilities and shipped right to North American ports so you can enjoy the season’s best blueberries all year long.

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Sources:
World’s Healthiest Foods
American Institute for Cancer Research
U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council