Blueberries are a prime example of a nutrient-dense, low-calorie whole, plant-based food. They frequently land on “healthiest foods” lists due to their high antioxidant content, which prevents and slows cellular damage and supports the immune system to prevent infections. Like their cranberry cousins, blueberries can be helpful in preventing and treating urinary tract infections because of their high levels of antibacterial hippuric acid, which inhibits bacterial growth in the urinary tract, reducing chances of infection.
nutritional profile of blueberries.
Blueberries are notably high in Vitamin K, Vitamin C, and fiber. Vitamin K doesn’t spend as much time in the spotlight as Vitamin C and fiber, but it is equally essential and valuable. Vitamin K regulates normal blood clotting and assists in the transport of calcium throughout the body, reducing bone loss, and decreasing the risk of bone fractures. The nutrition facts displayed here are for 1 cup of raw blueberries (nutrient info. from the USDA nutrient database).
Look for blueberries that look dry and move freely in their container. If they seem to mush together or the container shows signs of moisture, they are probably past their prime and on their way to being moldy. If purchasing frozen berries, shake the bag to make sure the blueberries are not all frozen together in a solid chunk, indicating that the bag may have thawed and been refrozen.
Remove any damaged blueberries from the container before storing in the refrigerator. Do not rinse blueberries until you are ready to use or freeze as the moisture will cause them to mold.
Before using blueberries rinse gently and pat dry. Like most produce, blueberries offer the most nutrients when they are raw. Depending on the recipe, if you choose to bake with frozen blueberries you may need to thaw and drain prior to following the recipe to avoid a soggy baked good. Consider using the thawed juices to replace the liquids called for in the recipe or to add to a smoothie later.
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