Blueberries, small berries that contain a number of benefits for our body.
What do they contain? Where and what can you use them for?
Does it protect us from the diseases of civilization? You will learn about this in the following article.
Blueberries, the miraculous blue berry
Cranberry blueberry, Latin called Vaccinium. It has blue-purple berries that are juicy and slightly sweet. It occurs most often in Europe, Asia and North America.
People have been eating blueberries for 13,000 years. New are Canadian blueberries, which began to be cultivated and bred at the beginning of the 20th century.
The small blue-purple berries grow on bushes that can be 10 cm to 4 meters tall. Blueberries are easy to grow, they only need suitable soil conditions.
What causes their typical color? They contain the compound anthocyanin, which gives them a bluish-purple color.
Why consume blueberries?
Blueberries are considered a superfood. They have a high content of nutrients, antioxidants, fiber and vitamins.
One cup of blueberries contains the recommended daily dose of vitamin C – 24%.
Blueberries contain health-promoting polyphenols and flavonoids. Plant compounds that have strong antioxidant effects. Thanks to their high content of antioxidants, they can protect your skin from damage and promote its healing.
They also help the body create more collagen and protein, thanks to vitamin C and anthocyanin.
Blueberries can be eaten fresh or processed into various recipes – yogurts, smoothies or sweet desserts. If you can’t think of a recipe, read the recipe for delicious blueberry muffins or a refreshing blueberry smoothie .
If he consumes them sparingly, we don’t have to worry about allergic reactions.
Blueberries and health
Blueberries have been shown to protect against heart disease and cancer. They support healthy blood pressure, mental health and maintain bone strength.
Blueberries also have an effect on the proper functioning of the brain. The contained antioxidants keep the mind sharp and healthy. The study showed that after consuming blueberries for 90 days, the participants’ memory improved and they made fewer mistakes in the test.
Several studies show that blueberries are effective against diabetes, improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar. For people with diabetes, blueberries can help with glucose processing, weight loss, and insulin sensitivity.
If you are taking the blood thinner Warfarin, consult your doctor about the dosage of bilberry. They contain a high proportion of vitamin K, which can affect clotting.
Blueberries are low in calories and fat because they are composed primarily of carbohydrates and water. It also offers a range of vitamins such as C and K. The nutritional values, minerals and vitamins are as follows:
|Nutritional values||Raw blueberries 100 g|
|Vitamin A||3 mcg|
|Vitamin B3||0.418 mg|
|Vitamin B5||0.124 mg|
|Vitamin C||9.7 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.57 mg|
|Vitamin K||19.3 mcg|
Types of blueberries
Also called wild blueberries (Vaccinium angustifolium). As the name suggests, they grow mainly in forested areas.
Blueberry bushes can be found in the forest in places where the roots have enough moisture and enough sunlight. They are low, growing from 5 to 60 cm.
The fruit is a small, sweet blue-black berry. They are collected by hand or with a comb. However, it is proven that blueberry ridge destroys.
Latin Vaccinium praestans. A plant native to Kamchatka in eastern Russia, it is also found in North America to eastern Asia.
It grows freely in nature, but in Japan, for example, it is used as an ornamental plant in gardens.
It grows to a height of up to 20 cm. It has small leafy branches, pinkish-white flowers and red berries. These distinguish it from other species.
It has a strong smell, which is why it is often referred to as “stink berry”. However, it is very resistant due to the harsh and cold climate in which it grows.
If you want to grow the Kamchatka blueberry as an ornamental plant, it is a good idea to plant its seeds in a flowerpot at the end of winter. The seeds require three months of cold storage and sometimes take up to a year to germinate. When the seedling has grown, plant it in late spring or early summer.
Indian Blueberry or Flycatcher (Amelanchier). It is most often found in North America, then in Asia and Europe.
It resembles a small tree that can grow to a height of 20 m. The bark is gray or light brown, the flowers are white. Blueberry fruits are red to purple when ripe and are harvested in summer.
The fruits are sweet and excellent to eat, especially raw.
Sometimes called Honeysuckle (Lonicera caerulea). They didn’t get this nickname just by chance. They can withstand temperatures down to around -47 °C.
The shrub grows to a height of 1.5 – 2 m. It has oval leaves, yellowish-white frost-resistant flowers and blue berries. Edible berries average 1 cm¹⁹ and weigh 1.3 – 2.2 grams.
Chukchi blueberries are harvested at the turn of spring and summer. Berries ready for harvest are dark purple or blue inside.
You can process them into jams, juices, ice creams or yogurts.
Called Vaccinium corymbosum in Latin. It is one of the most common varieties of blueberries that can be found in stores. Their largest producer is Canada, producing approximately 40% of world production.
The bushes grow to a height of 1.8 – 3.7 m. They have dark green glossy leaves, which turn red, orange or yellow in autumn. Their flowers are white, sometimes light pink and have a bell shape.
The blue-black fruit is juicy, sweet and large with a diameter of 6.4 to 12.7 mm. Thanks to their sweet taste, they are highly sought after for consumption. They can be used in a number of recipes in the kitchen, and you can be inspired by several of them. Look at several variants of processing blueberries in the kitchen .
Canadian blueberries are bred to handle cold temperatures and produce a high yield of sweet, large berries. They do best in acidic soil.
Canadian blueberries are bred in several varieties:
A hardy crop that ripens as one of the first. The fruits of this variety of Canadian blueberry are of high quality – large, juicy and sweet.
Blueray and Bluecrop
These are large and very resistant species of Canadian blueberries. They are very similar, but there are differences between them.
Blueray has slightly larger fruits and is more susceptible to natural conditions.
A medium-sized Canadian blueberry. This is a more resistant species.
The fruits of this variety are very soft, so hand picking only is recommended. Suffers from fluctuating spring temperatures. That is why it is good to wrap it with a protective film.
Canadian blueberry cultivation
Canadian blueberries need acidic soil, the pH of the soil should be between 4.5 and 5.5. If your soil is not acidic enough, add finely ground sulfur or aluminum sulfate. Specially mixed fertilizers for Canadian blueberries are also sold and can be found at any gardening store.
When to plant Canadian blueberries? It depends on the variety. Some are better planted in spring, others in early summer.
They should be 1.2 – 1.8 m apart. It is good to combine varieties together, they are more fruitful that way.
The ideal place for growing Canadian blueberries is one that has a gentle slope and plenty of sunlight.
After planting, care is of course important. Trim the blueberries regularly and water them sufficiently.
Sprinkle bark mulch around the blueberries to protect them and retain water. You can also cover them with mesh to prevent pests.
Canadian blueberries and health
They are low in calories and contain antioxidants beneficial for health. They can be considered a high-quality source of vitamin C and manganese.
Their consumption prevents a number of diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer or heart attack.
You can eat blueberries fresh or process them as:
- Freeze-dried blueberries
- Dried blueberries
They are most often frozen and canned. However, studies have shown that freezing blueberries reduces anticyanin by 59%. And as a result, nutrients beneficial for our body are reduced. That’s why it’s better to can them.
To load the blueberries you will need:
- fresh blueberries
- Lemon juice
- A large pot
- Kitchen gloves
- Wash the blueberries thoroughly and let them drain on a sieve.
- Wash and dry the jars and lids thoroughly.
- Fill glasses with blueberries.
- Heat water in a saucepan, add sugar and lemon juice. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
- When the mixture boils, let it bubble for a while and remove from the heat.
- The mixture must cool, at least 5 minutes.
- Pour over the blueberries and seal the jars tightly.
- Pour half of the water into a large pot and bring to a boil.
- Place the jars in the boiling water, cover with a lid and cook for 15 minutes.
- Then leave the jars in the pot to cool for 5 minutes.
- Remove carefully!
If you want to be inspired by other recipes, read the recipes for blueberry preserves . You can use canned blueberries in yogurt, in sauces or for baking.
If you store blueberries in the fridge, they will stay fresh for up to 10 days.
Blueberry tea – made from the leaves of the blueberry bush, which are steeped in hot water. It offers a number of benefits for your health. Tea improves heart and brain functions and is suitable for diabetics. It also has a high vitamin C content.
Blueberry wine – made from the pulp and skin of the berries. It is often made at home.
Blueberry syrup – you can use it to make homemade lemonade or flavor pancakes and waffles.
Many studies suggest that increased consumption of blueberries reduces the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Don’t forget to include them in your diet in the summer, your health will thank you.