Blueberry - Research
Blueberries were ranked second (wild blueberries) and fourth (cultivated blueberries) overall in tests to identify the most antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables when compared to more than 100 other fresh fruits and vegetables.6 Antioxidants help neutralize harmful by-products of metabolism called "free radicals" that can lead to cancer and other age related diseases. Anthocyanin is the pigment that makes the blueberries blue and is responsible for this major health benefit.7
In an Agriculture Research Service and University of Denver study, neuroscientists discovered that feeding blueberry extract to laboratory rats slowed age-related loss in their mental capacity, a finding that has important implications for humans.8
Blueberries are becoming more popular as new research discloses the health and nutrient benefits. Asia, in particular, has a strong market for fresh blueberries, but other products, including dried blueberries, are also experiencing good sales.9
6 New “Best Antioxidants” List. Better Nutrition. October 2004. Available at: http://www.betternutrition.com/document_display.cfm?document_id=398&keyword=blueberry&summary=1&startsum=1. Accessed January 26, 2005.
7 Blueberry. Food Museum website. Available at: http://www.foodmuseum.com/blueberry.html. Accessed August 25, 2006.
8 Joseph J. Berry Good for the Brain. USDA. April 1997. Available at: http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/np/fnrb/fnrb497.htm#berry. Accessed January 26, 2005.
9 Lee D. US Blueberries Producers Eye Opportunities in Asia. Fruit, March/April 2000. Available at: http://www.sunnyridge.com/aboutus/us_blueberry_producers_eye_oppor.htm. Accessed January 26, 2005.