(NaturalNews) Foods that have an incredible array of health benefits that go well beyond just their nutrient value are considered Superfoods. These foods are typically loaded with a combination of critical fatty acids, anti-oxidant phytonutrients and essential amino acids. Blueberries contain an extraordinary amount of unique phytonutrients and impressive anti-oxidant scores that make them a superfood.
Blueberries are a native plant to North America. They grow in shrubs that can be anywhere from 8-10 inches tall or up to 5-6 feet tall. Maine is considered the largest low bush blueberry producing country. Michigan produces the most high bush growing blueberries.
This summer superfood is loaded with antioxidant phytonutrients called anthocyanidins. These nutrients powerfully neutralize free radical damage to the collagen matrix of cells and tissues. In addition, anthocyanins have been shown to improve capillary integrity and enhance the effects of Vitamin C.
Blueberries boost brain function
The anti-oxidant power of blueberries has been shown to be particularly useful in stabilizing brain function and protecting the neural tissue from oxidative stress. Studies have shown improvements in memory and learning while reducing symptoms of depression.
The riper the berries the more anti-oxidant power they contain. To assess the ripeness of the berries look at the color. Riper berries are a darker blue. Blueberry season is mid-late summer, June - August. Most frozen berries are picked at maximal ripeness and frozen.
Blueberries also contain other major phytonutrients including pterostilbene, resveratrol, flavonols and tannins. All of these have been shown to inhibit the development of cancer cell growth.
Blueberries are necessary to purchase organic due to the high amount of petrochemical pesticides that are used on the non-organic varieties. In June of 2011, the Environmental Working Group labeled non-organic blueberries as a significant concern. Blueberries grown in the US were the 10th most pesticide laden out of 53 fruits and vegetables tested. They have made the list of "Dirty Dozen" with this finding.
The term "wild" is considered a marketing term that producers of low bush blueberries have used to help sell their blueberries. Wild blueberries may or may not be organic. One should always check labeling and certifications.
Frozen blueberries are fantastic in shakes and smoothies. Blueberry seeds are significantly smaller than that of other berries such as strawberries, raspberries & blackberries. The small size makes them less challenging to digest and more palatable in a shake than the other berries.
About the author: Dr. David Jockers owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Ga. He is a Maximized Living doctor. His expertise is in weight loss, customized nutrition & exercise, & structural corrective chiropractic care. For more information go to www.drjockers.com To find a Maximized Living doctor near you go to www.maximizedliving.com Dr. Jockers is also available for long distance phone consultations to help you beat disease and reach your health goals
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