A Dietitian Takes: 3 Reasons You Should Eat Wild Blueberries

What you put in your shopping cart, and subsequently in your home, is what matters most when it comes to what goes on your plate. Ideally, your carts are filled with a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, but often the frozen ones are just as good or even better. One of the most nutrient-dense fruits you can get your hands on is in the frozen section, and you might just walk past it.

Frozen blueberries are a common addition to things like smoothies in many people’s kitchens due to their low sugar content but high antioxidant properties. However, wild blueberries takes what you might love about regular (cultured) blueberries to the next level. These berries are undoubtedly one of the most natural crops in North America. They are one of three berries native to this part of the world and vary greatly from what one might normally imagine when thinking of blueberries.

Wild berries grow completely wild, meaning no one plants them, and that’s how it’s been for thousands of years. They can be found in low-lying areas and rocky terrain. Regular blueberries grow in very specific environments under careful conditions in tall forest areas. In fact, wild berries usually have to be picked by hand rather than harvested with traditional machinery due to where and how they grow. These berries are also much smaller in size with a stronger flavor and can be purple or even black in color.

For the average consumer, the biggest difference between the two types is the nutritional content. Any type of berry will likely be one of the most nutritious fruits you can get, but what sets wild blueberries apart? Here are three health reasons why you should eat them more often:

1. Very high in antioxidants

Blueberries in general are naturally rich in antioxidants, especially anthocyanins. These compounds are deep red, purple, and blue pigments that have been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, prevent neurological decline, and even slow the growth of cancer.

Despite their small size, wild blueberries may contain more of these antioxidants than cultivated ones. Their higher skin-to-flesh ratio means they have less water and more room for housing nutrients. In fact, studies have shown that these berries actually contain double the antioxidant content in comparison. So if you’re looking to optimize your consumption of cancer-fighting compounds, getting your hands on wild blueberries is a great place to start.

2. Incomparable levels of manganese

When you think about the nutrients you need, you probably don’t immediately think of manganese. This essential trace mineral is required for proper functioning of the brain, nervous system, and enzyme functions in the body. Studies have also shown that it supports blood sugar regulation, bone health and wound healing.

Just one cup of wild blueberries can provide you with 200 percent of your daily value of manganese, equal to providing eight times more compared to regular blueberries.

3. The best source of fiber

By now most people know how important fiber is to overall health. It helps keep blood sugar in check, regulates hunger, improves gut health, and keeps your bathroom trips regular. However, according to recent studies, most Americans don’t get enough fiber in their daily diets. Low-fiber diets have been linked to poor gut health, irregular bowel movements, weakened immunity and even colon cancer.

All fruit contains fiber, so anything you have on hand and like is great, but wild blueberries make it easy to get the most bang for your buck. Just one cup can give you 25 percent of your daily recommended intake, providing you with over 70 percent more fiber than regular blueberries.

Bottom line

There are so many fun ways to include wild blueberries in your diet, and as a dietician, I eat them nearly every day. I often like them in smoothies, on yogurt or oatmeal, in cereal, or adding them to baked goods like muffins or fruit crumbles. They’re also super sweet with a powerful berry flavor, making them a great choice for a snack on their own. Depending on where you are, chances are you won’t find fresh berries. So next time you’re in the frozen fruit aisle, grab a pack to take your nutrition to new heights.

Youtube videos

#Dietitian #Takes #Reasons #Eat #Wild #Blueberries
Image Source : studyfinds.org

Leave a Comment