Blueberries: The Antioxidant Powerhouse

What nutrient makes blueberries blue? Find out this and other fascinating facts about this little blue nutritional powerhouse.


They may be little, but blueberries pack a serious nutritional punch. Bite for bite, blueberries contain more cancer-fighting antioxidants than any other food.

One of these antioxidants, anthocyanins, gives blueberries their bluish purple color.

But you have to eat your blueberries fresh or frozen. These nutrients don’t survive in processed foods.

Native Americans used blueberry juice to soothe coughs, and they believed tea made from the leaves was good for the blood.

In 1620 the Wampanoag Indians in New England taught the pilgrims how to gather blueberries, dry them and store them for winter.

Blueberries are one of only a handful of fruits along with huckleberries, cranberries, and concord grapes that are native to North America.

Outside North America, the Japanese are the largest blueberry eaters, consuming more than 1 million pounds every year.

Most of the blueberries we buy come from highbush blueberry shrubs, which can grow to over six feet. You can also find lowbush blueberry shrubs, which act more like a ground cover.

The blueberry blossom forms a perfect five-point star, which gave the fruit its original name: Star berries.

It’s still a fitting name for a fruit that’s a nutritional star.

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