Activities like picking blueberries can be loads of fun for the whole family–and a great way to eat fresh, delicious fruit in the summertime. It’s time to learn about and celebrate Pick Blueberries Day!
Native to North America, blueberries originally grew wild and were likely picked by local hunters and gatherers as part of their diet. Blueberries were not successfully cultivated for commercial production until the early 20th century.
- America’s favorite muffin is the blueberry muffin.
- Referred to as a “superfood”, blueberries are considered to be a very nutritious food, chock full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
- Protect from Free Radicals. Free radicals are waste that is produced by the body’s cells that can be damaging (and even cause cancer. Eating blueberries for just two weeks can reduce cell damage by 20%.
- Control Diabetes. People who have diabetes may be able to manage their insulin better when they make blueberries a regular part of their diets.
- Manage Blood Pressure. Blueberries can help with cardiovascular health, perhaps by helping the body to produce more nitric oxide, which reduces blood pressure and helps to smooth out the vessels.
- Vitamins and Minerals. Blueberries are chock full of essential nutrients the body needs, including Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Manganese and Antioxidants.
- A cup of blueberries has only 81 calories. They are the perfect snack for anyone watching their waistline or striving for better fitness and health.
- Florida is the first state every year to bring blueberries to market. The season usually starts in March and lasts into April or even May, though the season depends on several factors.
- Blueberries get their intense blue color from anthocyanins, a type of antioxidant. Blueberries contain different types of antioxidants, which fight the free radicals that cause cell damage.
- It is believed that blueberries can aid in the fight against cancer, aging, and more.
- Blueberries have been shown in clinical trials to help destroy belly fat.
- Scientifically, blueberries show promise in fighting Type II Diabetes, heart disease, dementia and more.
- Blueberries have been shown to improve memory.
- Early colonists boiled blueberries in milk and made gray paint out of them. The traditional blue paint that was used in the homes of the Shakers was also made from blueberry skins and milk. But they added indigo and sage blossoms.
- During the American Civil War of the 1860s, blueberries were collected and sent to troops in care packages for use as a food staple.
- There are 5 major types of blueberries grown in the United States including lowbush, northern highbush, southern highbush, rabbiteye and half-high
- Blueberries beat out every other type of berry for the highest antioxidant capacity.
- The anthocyanin present in blueberries is good for eyesight!
- Naturally free of sodium, blueberries also contain potassium, calcium, and magnesium which all help to lower blood pressure.
- The phytonutrients found in blueberries function as powerful antioxidants, protecting cells against damaging free radicals. They may block tumor growth, reduce inflammation and slow some types of cancer.
- Those who consume high-fiber diets that contain blueberries have lower blood glucose levels.
- Blueberries are fabulous for the brain and can even help reduce the risk of memory loss.
- Blueberries aren’t actually blue, but deep purple. This is the color of anthocyanin, a pigment that is especially rich in blueberries.
- New Jersey claims the blueberry as its official state fruit and Minnesota claims the blueberry muffin as its official state muffin.
- Robert Frost, that American poet loved blueberries so much he decided a poem about them. It’s called “Blueberries.”
- The annual harvest of North American blueberries would cover a four-lane highway from Chicago to New York if spread out in a single layer.
- Maine is the blueberry production capital of North America