Blueberries – the Super Antioxidant! They are great plain, in yogurt, shakes, pancakes, waffles on top of cereal and many other recipes. My favorite is washing and eating them right from their container for breakfast or a healthy snack. A healthy food that’s delicious every day.
The USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans are clear: eat fruits and vegetables every day! Consumers looking for delicious ways to get the recommended amount of fruit into their daily diets (1 to 2½ cups) will find blueberries the ideal choice. Just ½ cup of blueberries delivers one fruit serving and is a good source of dietary fiber. It’s a Daily Dose of Blue that’s easy, tasty and so good for you.
Wild Blueberries Are the Leader in Antioxidants
Wild Blueberries deliver a potent antioxidant punch. In fact, they have the highest antioxidant capacity per serving when compared with more than 20 other fruits. Using a lab testing procedure called Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC), USDA researcher Ronald Prior, Ph.D., found that a one-cup serving of wild blueberries had more total antioxidant capacity (TAC) than a serving of cranberries, strawberries, plums, raspberries and even cultivated blueberries. Wild blueberries also outperformed selected fruits in an advanced procedure known as the cellular antioxidant activity (CAA) assay, a new means of measuring bioactivity inside cells. The study was conducted by a Cornell University research team led by Dr. Rui Hai Liu. Simply put, this makes wild blueberries powerful allies in the quest for good health.
“Wild Blueberries are stars in terms of their antioxidant capacity,” said Dr. Ronald Prior, lead researcher at the USDA Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center and Agricultural Research Service.
Antioxidants Fight Aging, Cancer and Heart Disease
Wild blueberries provide powerful, natural anti-aging and disease prevention qualities. Every day our cells wage a battle against free radicals – unstable oxygen molecules associated with cancer, heart disease and the effects of aging. Dietary antioxidants come to the rescue. These phytonutrients, natural substances found in fruits and vegetables, neutralize free radicals and help prevent cell damage. Antioxidants also protect against inflammation, thought to be a leading factor in brain aging, Alzheimer’s disease and other diseases of aging. The potent antioxidants found in wild blueberries include flavonoids and other phenolics such as anthocyanins; wild blueberries are higher in anthocyanin content than other fruits and vegetables.
Healthy Aging: The Power of Blue
Potent antioxidants are highly concentrated in the deep-blue pigments of wild blueberries. Scientists around the world are studying the ways in which the Power of Blue may help combat disease and promote healthy aging. The many potential health benefits of wild blueberries include:
Brain Health: Ongoing brain research shows that blueberries may improve motor skills and actually reverse the short-term memory loss that comes with aging, making blueberries a natural “brain food.”
- Cancer Prevention: Research shows that blueberry compounds may inhibit all stages of cancer.
- Heart Health: Research indicates that blueberries may protect against heart disease and damage from stroke.
- Urinary Tract Health: Like cranberries, blueberries may help prevent urinary tract infections.
- Vision Health: Research around the world has indicated that blueberries may improve night vision and prevent tired eyes.
Recipe: Blueberry Salsa Salad
Original Recipe Yields 6 Servings
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
- 1 medium red apple, diced
- 1 large navel orange, peeled, sectioned and chopped
- 1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened apple juice
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 (5 ounce) package spring mix salad greens
- 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
- In a large bowl, combine the blueberries, apple, orange, onion and cilantro. In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, apple juice, sugar, oil and salt; drizzle over fruit mixture and toss to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes.
- Divide salad greens among six serving plates. Using a slotted spoon, arrange blueberry salsa over greens. Drizzle with dressing left in bowl. Sprinkle with blue cheese.