01 Dec Fast facts about everybody’s favourite superfood – blueberries
Often referred to as the grandfather of the ever-popular superfood trend, these deliciously sweet yet tangy and flavourful yet bite-sized berries are low in calories but high in nutritional value! In fact, blueberries are one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the world – believed to contain the highest antioxidant capacity of all commonly consumed fruits and vegetables.
Made up of 85% water, an entire cup of blueberries contains as little as 84 calories, with only 15 grams of carbohydrates. This same handful, however, packs a mighty punch – comprising 36% of your necessary daily vitamin K, 25% of your daily manganese and vitamin C, and 17% of your daily fibre requirements.
This high nutrient content means that eating blueberries promotes a number of health benefits, ranging from weight-loss, the lowering of blood pressure and the prevention of heart disease, to maintaining healthy bones and even fighting off cancerous cells.
Known as “neuro-protective agents”, blueberries are also believed to protect peoples’ brains from degeneration, neurotoxicity and oxidative stress and are able to protect against oxidative DNA damage and inflammation due to their high antioxidant content. This essentially means blueberries can help you fight the clock, protecting you against aging.
It’s no wonder why blueberries rank so highly on globally recognised nutritional indexes. The ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) score of blueberries – which is a lab test that attempts to quantify the “total antioxidant capacity” of a food – is an incredible 9,621, while the large quantities of bioactive compounds place blueberries high on the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI), which rates foods based on their vitamin and mineral content, phytochemical composition, and antioxidant capacity.
Originating from North America and once an exclusive export product of the USA, today blueberries are grown in parts of Europe, Asia and Australia, with South Africa increasingly making its mark with regards to blueberry production – doubling over the past two years and showing no sign of slowing down anytime soon.
And why would it? Blueberries are one of the most versatile superfoods around – perfect for a healthy on-the-go snack, to add flavour to a smoothie or the finishing touch in terms of recipe decoration.