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Blueberries

Background:

Blueberries are one of few plants native to North America. In fact, they are the largest fruit crop in Canada. Blueberries make a great snack eaten alone, mixed into oatmeal or Greek yogurt, baked into whole wheat muffins, or added to a salad with fresh greens, cherry tomatoes, and walnuts!

Benefits of blueberries:

  • Blueberries are a source of fibre, a compound very important to digestive health. It can also help promote the feeling of satiety – feeling full and satisfied.
  • Blueberries provide dietary antioxidants called anthocyanins, which are also responsible for the berry’s blue colour. Anthocyanins can reduce inflammation and even protect against some diseases. Research is being done on the effect of anthocyanins for the prevention of cancer, heart disease, and other diseases.
  • Blueberries are a source of vitamin K. This nutrient has many functions, including to make blood clot to close wounds and contributing to bone health.
  • Blueberries are a source of vitamin C. Vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant to prevent damage to cells, maintain the immune system, and more.

 

Nutritional Value of ½ cup Raw Blueberries (125 ml):

  • 44 calories
  • 11 g carbohydrate
  • 2 g fibre
  • 1 g protein
  • 0 g fat
  • ~12% daily recommended intake of vitamin K
  • ~12% daily recommended intake of vitamin C

Did You Know?

Much of the research on the health benefits of blueberries have been on the anthocyanins they contain. Research has also shown that consuming blueberry powder does not give the same level of positive results, suggesting that eating the whole fruit is more beneficial than eating blueberry as a powder or supplement.

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