Blueberries | Superfood of the Month
Blueberries Description & Health Benefits
- Blueberries are a member of the Ericaceae family which also includes cranberries and bilberries.
- 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.
Selecting, Storing, and Preparing
- 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.
1 cup fresh
Calories: 84 | Protein: 1.10 g | Fat: 0.49 g | Carbohydrate: 21.45 g | Fiber: 3.6 g | Sugars: 14.74 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