19 Oh-So Juicy Blueberry Facts That Make Them 'Star Berries' | Kidadl


19 Oh-So Juicy Blueberry Facts That Make Them 'Star Berries'

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Blueberries are native to North America and are very commonly used in making both sweet and savory dishes.

About 40% of the blueberries used by the global population are cultivated in the United States. The berry grows wild and is also cultivated commercially.

In recent times, blueberries have become very popular, thanks to their amazing health benefits. Did you know that blueberries are also called 'star berries' by native Americans? This is because the blossom end of the berry has five-pointed tiny petal-like shapes. When you pluck fresh blueberries, you can see these tiny projections at the end. Blueberries grow on shrubs that can be really small, about 4 in (10.2 cm) or expansive, even up to 13 ft. (3.9 m). Logically, the bigger the bush, the larger the berry variants would be. The berries grown on smaller shrubs are called 'lowbush berries' and those on higher or taller bushes are called 'highbush blueberries'.

Blueberries are usually blue or purple in color and may be slightly acidic in taste. The fully ripe blueberries are, however, mildly sweet and pleasant to eat. Blueberries are usually harvested between May and August. However, since these berries are native to North America, you may be able to find these fruits in local stores all through the year.

There are two kinds of blueberries: highbush blueberries and lowbush or wild blueberries.

Once you have finished reading this article, why not discover vitamin B facts and vitamin C facts here on Kidadl?

Blueberry Health Benefits

One of the main reasons blueberries are so popular is their antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are compounds that can fight harmful free radicals in the body. Free radicals have the ability to cause DNA damage, and this can lead to a variety of health problems, ranging from cancer to cataracts to cardiovascular diseases.

DNA damage happens when free radicals attack the cells in the body, changing their structure and breaking the DNA chain. As a result, cell division and multiplication become abnormal, and this leads to various diseases.

Antioxidants act by neutralizing free radicals in the body. While one way of staying protected is by limiting your free radical exposure, another way is by increasing your intake of antioxidant-rich foods. What is better than being able to gorge on sweet blueberries and get healthier as a result?

Blueberries may also help maintain your bone health as well. Since they contain a variety of minerals that help improve bone mineral density, Some studies suggest that regular intake of blueberries can lower the risk of bone loss and decrease the chances of osteoporosis.

Cancer is becoming a global problem with a dramatic increase in incidence across all age groups. It is also one of the leading causes of death across the globe. By making this fruit a regular part of your diet, you can bring down the risk of developing cancer.

Heart health is of primary importance, and did you know that blueberries help with this too? Bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) can clog up the arteries and lead to heart attacks. Blueberries are rich in fiber. Fiber can push out cholesterol from the body, and this, as a result, helps bring down the risk of heart disease.

Dietary fiber in the berry also helps protect against diabetes. When diabetic people increase their fiber intake, it improves insulin sensitivity. You can achieve this by including blueberries in your diet every day.

Premature ageing is a condition that leads to the formation of wrinkles, fine lines, pigmentation, and other skin conditions early on. Free radical damage is the main cause of premature ageing. Consuming blueberries regularly helps protect the skin and keeps it younger-looking for a longer time.

Eating blueberries regularly may even help lower your blood pressure levels. Blueberries are a rich source of minerals like calcium and magnesium, and these can help prevent the effects of excess sodium in the body and lead to a reduced risk of hypertension.

Some studies also show that blueberry fruits can help improve your memory and the functioning of the brain. The antioxidants in blueberries protect the neurons and prevent them from ageing.

Blueberry Nutrition Potential

Blueberries contain a certain antioxidant called anthocyanins. Blueberries are naturally blue or purple because of this pigment, and this is a wonderful plant-based antioxidant. These fruits have been proven to contain more than 15 types of anthocyanins, especially in the skin part of the fruit.

Just one cup of highbush blueberry gives you 0.01 oz (0.3 g) of anthocyanin, and every cup of lowbush (wild) blueberry gives you 0.017 oz (0.5 g) of anthocyanin. Studies show that the wild variety has additional antioxidants than the cultivated ones don't.

Other popular antioxidants that these berry variants offer are quercetin and myricetin.

The dietary fiber content in the blueberries you eat also adds to their nutritional potential. A single cup, about 3.5 oz (99.2 g), of fresh blueberries has about 0.08 oz (2.3 g) of fiber. Do note that the daily recommended dietary fiber intake is about 1 oz (28.3 g). So, blueberries are definitely a rich source of dietary fiber that you need to incorporate into your balanced diet.

Apart from these, a 3.5 oz (99.2 g) serving size of blueberries contains 0.024 oz (0.7 g) of fiber, 0.51 oz (14.5 g) of carbohydrates, and just 0.01 oz (0.3) of fat.

You can get all this goodness by eating fresh blueberries or using them in different foods and beverages. Blueberry wine is a popular choice for an antioxidant beverage. You can drink fresh water with infused berries throughout the day. This way, you can enjoy the sweet taste of blueberries and stay hydrated too. Blueberry juice and jam are quite popular too. However, nothing beats the benefits of eating the fruit raw.

And it is delicious, thanks to its enticing purple color!

Children love the color of fresh blueberry juice.

Blueberry Vitamin And Mineral Profile

When it comes to other nutrients, blueberry fruits have considerable vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) and C. Phylloquinone plays a role in keeping the bones healthy, and it is also important for blood clotting in the body.

Vitamin C helps improve your immune system and also protects your skin.

Apart from these, blueberries may also contain small quantities of tocopherol and pyridoxine.

One of the most important minerals that blueberries contain is potassium. Potassium is needed for the proper transmission of signals in the body. It also regulates fluid balance and prevents problems like dizziness. Potassium also has the ability to lower blood pressure levels.

All these values are for fresh berries. When you buy frozen blueberries, the value may slightly decrease.

Blueberry Calories

Apart from the wonderful nutrients that these berries have, another reason why fitness enthusiasts love blueberries is how low in calories they are. One serving size of a blueberry or 5 oz (141 g) has just 80 calories. You could gorge on blueberries all day long and still not find your caloric intake very high. These fruit varieties also have about 84% water. That means you also get hydrated when you consume these.

Blueberry, a fruit native to North America, is a superfood that you definitely should include in your diet. This delicious fruit is no less than a natural pill that protects you from a myriad of diseases, ensures a long healthy life, and also blesses you with that flawless, radiant skin. Native Americans cultivate this fruit widely because of the suitable climatic conditions.

If you can find the wild variants growing nearby, then there is nothing like that. Otherwise, cultivated blueberries are also excellent choices. The health benefits of blueberries are immense. Having this fruit means you and your family will feel less sick, more healthier, and more energetic. Along with the other fruits that you eat, include this exotic superfood too.

If you are not a great fan of eating blueberry raw, you can make milkshakes or juice it out, add it as toppings over pancakes, bake cookies and cakes from blueberries, or even make yummy ice cream from this wild wonder!

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 19 oh-so juicy blueberry facts that make them 'star berries', then why not take a look at why do dogs lick you, or where do aphids come from? how to get rid of this insect species.

Written By
Lydia Samson

<p>A diligent and driven mass communications graduate from Caleb University, Lydia has experience in media and a passion for digital marketing and communications. She is an effective communicator and team-builder with strong analytical, management, and organizational skills. She is a self-starter with a positive, can-do attitude.</p>

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