Native to the North American landscape, blueberries are truly an all-American food. For many years nutritionists and researchers ignored the tiny blueberry because of its relatively low vitamin C content. However, what these people did not know was that the blueberry’s benefits stem mainly from their incredibly high levels of antioxidant phytonutrients.
Phytonutrients are non-vitamin, non-mineral components of food that have significant healthful benefits. There are literally thousands of different types of phytonutrients, and each phytonutrient is unique in both its physical characteristics and its function.
Research has shown that phytonutrients help the body cells communicate with each other more efficiently, hence preventing mutations at the cellular level and preventing the proliferation of cancer cells. There is still much more that we are learning about the powers of phytonutrients everyday.
Blueberries are so rich in phytonutrients that they provide as much antioxidant protection to the body as 1,733 IU of vitamin E and more than 1200 milligrams of vitamin C. It is recommended that you consume 1 to 2 cups of blueberries daily to obtain the full health benefits of this amazing fruit.
These blue gems are fun to eat alone or with yogurt, as a juice, or even cooked into breads and cookies. Studies have also shown that blueberries have remarkable benefits for brain health, especially in older adults with dementia.