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Fun fact: Blueberries have a natural waxy coating called a bloom. This bloom acts as a barrier to protect blueberries from insects and other bacteria.

Blueberries are a member of the Ericaceae family which also includes cranberries and bilberries.

Nutrition

  • Blueberries are an excellent source of vitamin K and manganese, and a good source of vitamin C and fiber.
    • Vitamin K assists in blood clotting and works with calcium to build strong bones.
    • Manganese is important for normal brain and nerve function and plays a role in blood sugar regulation and calcium absorption.
    • Vitamin C aids in the absorption of iron, plays a role in wound healing and helps the immune system by protecting the body against disease.
    • Fiber aids in digestion by helping to prevent constipation while it also adds bulk to your diet to make you feel fuller faster which can help with weight control.
  • Blueberries also contain the phytonutrient anthocyanins. Phytonutrients, also known as phytochemicals, are substances in plants that have beneficial health effects. Research suggests fruits and vegetables containing anthocyanins may play a role in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline, and cancer.
  • Blueberries are naturally low in calories, fat, and sodium.

How to Purchase, Prepare, and Store

  • Blueberries are available fresh, frozen, or dried.
  • Purchase fresh blueberries that are firm, smooth skinned, plump, and deep purple-blue or blue-black colored.
  • Berry size in not an indicator of maturity but the color is. If you purchase blueberries that are reddish in color, use them in cooking.
  • Avoid blueberries that look soft, shriveled, or have any signs of mold.
  • Refrigerate fresh blueberries and wash prior to eating.
  • To freeze blueberries:
    • Place them directly in the freezer in their original package in a resealable plastic bag and freeze. Rinse prior to eating.
    • Or rinse blueberries first and let dry completely on paper towels. Place in a resealable plastic bag or other freezer safe container and freeze. Blueberries will freeze separately so you can remove the portion you need.
  • Blueberries can also be canned. Various methods exist for canning. Visit the USDA website to learn safe canning techniques.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup fresh blueberries

  • Calories: 84
  • Protein: 1.10 g
  • Fat: 0.49 g
  • Carbohydrate: 21.45 g
  • Fiber: 3.6 g
  • Sugars: 14.7 g
  • Calcium: 9 mg
  • Magnesium: 9 mg
  • Potassium: 114 mg
  • Vitamin C: 14.4 mg
  • Folate: 9 µg
  • Vitamin A: 80 IU
  • Vitamin K: 28.6 µg

Source: fdc.nal.usda.gov

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