Blueberries

trembling flowers
Photo and text are taken from Blueberry Blues in BEENOW 2015, Issue 1.
Healthy blueberry plants produce thousands of flower buds each year. That’s a full-time job for pollinators!

Blueberries are one of the few fruits native to North America, according to Lin Yan, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service. Low in fat, sodium and calories (just 80 calories per cup), blueberries are a nutritious and tasty part of a balanced diet.

Blueberries are also an excellent source of vitamins C and K, manganese and fiber. One serving of blueberries provides almost 25 percent of the body’s daily vitamin C needs and 3.6 grams of fiber. Fiber adds bulk to the diet – which may help a person to feel full faster and may reduce the risk of heart disease. Manganese helps the body to process cholesterol and nutrients.

Blueberries also are rich in compounds such as flavonoids, which are linked to antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. According to researchers at the USDA Human Nutrition Center (HNRCA), blueberries rank #1 in antioxidant activity when compared to 40 other fresh fruits and vegetables. They are being studied by researchers for their anti-aging potential, including their ability to improve memory and learning and to slow the loss of cognitive function associated with aging.

According to the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, researchers currently are studying four areas where blueberries may play a role in promoting good health – cardiovascular health, brain health, insulin response and cancer research.

Entomologists at North Carolina State University give an overview about blueberry pollinators.

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