When it comes to summer’s bounty of amazing fresh produce, blueberries are at the top of the list. Available from April through September, these North American natives hit their peak season in mid-summer. Cool and refreshing, they’re perfect for warm July afternoons. And these tiny blue orbs pack an outsized dose of nutrition, too!
Blueberries and other dark red/purple/blue fruits and vegetables are high in anthocyanins, antioxidants that reduce inflammation; boost immunity; protect against heart disease, cancer, and other age-related diseases; and may extend longevity. Antioxidants in berries are especially powerful for keeping the eyes and brain healthy during aging, and increased consumption of blueberries has been linked with improved learning, recall and memory, and a lower risk of cognitive decline and dementia.
Blueberries are also high in quercetin, a flavonoid that can mitigate histamine, a compound in the body that’s involved in inflammation. Studies suggest that quercetin can lower risk of diabetes, reduce inflammatory pain, and protect liver health, among its other benefits.
And if that weren’t enough, blueberries, along with purple grapes and red wine, are one of the few food sources of the antioxidant resveratrol. What distinguishes it from all other antioxidants is its ability to promote health or longevity in a wide range of animals, from microscopic worms to human beings. In animal studies, resveratrol increases life expectancy—even when animals eat a junk food diet. It also appears to have some benefits in regulating blood sugar and reducing the risk of heart disease.
Of course, all of that nutritional value wouldn’t matter if blueberries weren’t also delicious—and versatile. From smoothies to pies to…would you believe it…cornbread, blueberries make a tasty addition to almost any dish. Which makes adding an extra dose of blueberries to your diet as easy as, well, pie.
Make it! Blueberry Recipes
Banana Wave Blueberry Banana Bread—This delicious dairy-free treat is made with banana milk.
No-Bake Lemon Blueberry Bars—Too hot to even think about turning on the oven? Give these cool, no-bake treats a try.
Blueberry Pineapple Collagen Pudding—All the health benefits of blueberries. plus skin- and joint-supporting collagen, in one simple pudding.