Current trends are leaning heavily towards healthy and environmentally friendly foods. As a result more people are choosing to grow their own fruit and vegetables organically. Blueberries are one of the healthiest fruits you can eat and are also easy to grow organically.
Blueberries are native North American fruit. These little blue dynamos are wonder workers when it comes to your overall health. They are full of phytochemicals and flavonoids from Mother Nature. Blueberries are low in calories full of flavor and nutrients. They are anti-cancerous, can aid in night vision, delay aging, help in preventing plaque in the brain, help in cardiovascular protection. Blueberries are in the same family as azaleas, rhododendrons, cranberries and bilberries. Both of these berries are also native North American fruit.
North America’s earliest inhabitants treasured blueberries, which they gathered and used both fresh, dried and as an ingredient of other dishes. Valued as a flavoring and revered for their therapeutic benefits, they sustained and nourished health. They were one of the staples in the North American Indian’s diet.
Preventing Cancer and Reduce the Effects of Aging
In studies by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and researchers at the University of Illinois have reported on the health benefits from eating blueberries. The beneficial effects may include preventing cancer and reducing the effects of aging including the loss of memory and motor skills.
It has been documented that blueberries contain the highest antioxidant capacity of most fruits and vegetables that have been tested. Antioxidants neutralize the free radicals produced during metabolism, which can damage DNA molecules and lead to cancer. Blueberries also thwart environmental carcinogens, and protect against cardiovascular disease, and may put a stop to the effects of Alzheimer’s. The list of other health benefits include:
1) fight sun damage to skin
2) Neutralize free radicals which can affect diseases in the body
3) help reduce belly fat
4) Promote urinary tract health. The blueberry has power to fight urinary tract infections. A constituent found only in blueberry and cranberry juices inhibit bacteria from attaching to the bladder wall of the urinary track and help reduce infection.
5) restoring health of the central nervous system – Blueberries can help prevent and heal neurotic disorders by preventing degeneration and death of neurons, brain-cells and also by restoring health of the central nervous system.
6) Retard the effects of aging and loss of memory and motor skills.
7) beneficial for diabetics – Blueberry juice can be beneficial for diabetics. By improving glucose tolerance, blueberry juice could improve glucose absorption.
8) Help prevent cancer
9) Reduce the risk factors for cardiovascular disease
10) enhances memory and learning> -. A recent study reports that blueberry juice enhances memory and learning in older adults. A cup and a half of juice a day was suggested or you can eat the equivalent amount of fresh blueberries.. It also reported a reduction in blood sugar and symptoms of depression.
Grow your own Blueberries
Choose blueberries that are organically grown to avoid the possibility of getting blueberries that may contain pesticides and herbicides ingesting pesticides. You can also grow your own in your yard on in containers on your patio to insure your blueberries are pesticide free. Avoid blueberries that are dull in color or are soft and runny in texture. Blueberries should be kept free from moisture because water will wash of their protective coating and cause the berries to decay. You can freeze blueberries you grow and have them for year around use. In addition growing your own can be enjoyable as well as rewarding. You can purchase your plants free of pesticides from a reputable nursery. The “wild” (lowbush) blueberry plants with fruit smaller than those from cultivated highbush plants are prized for their intense color and high antioxidant levels. Rubel is an example of one of these plant varieties that is very popular. Another is Top Hat; Top Hat is perfect for border plantings or growing on the patio in containers. It also makes an outstanding nominee for a bonsai project. Friendship is a true wild blueberry that grows about 2 to 3 ft tall. Friendship also lends itself to container culture (USDA zones 4-7). It needs a large pot. It’s Ornamental use is excellent. It is superior in its bloom and vigorous growth. Friendship is known for its superb flavor of the wild blueberry. Patriot is a low growing bush reflecting its partial lowbush parentage. Patriot makes an excellent container and landscape variety.