Blueberries

Blueberries, also known as bilberries, whortleberries and hurtleberries and are known for their velvety, deep-blue colour, of course. These luscious berries are one of the few fruits native to North America.

 

Native Americans used the berries, leaves, and roots for medicinal purposes. The fruit was used as a fabric dye and combined with meat into a nutritious dried jerky.

Blueberries rank as the number one fruit provider of antioxidants. They are also high in iron along with vitamins K, C & A and lots of fibre.  Studies also indicate that they improve memory in the elderly and are good for the cardiovascular system. I couldn’t find any negative information in my research. They give you energy, nutrients, make you feel fuller than eating other fruit and don’t put on weight. It all sounds great to me and they are in season now.

The shrub is of the genus Vaccinium, from the Latin vacca for cow since cows love them, a fact first noted by Captain James Cook in the late 1700s.

Blueberries used to be picked by hand until the invention of the blueberry rake by Abijah Tabbutt of Maine USA in 1822.

Native Americans used blueberry leaves in medicinal teas thought to be good for the blood and blueberry juice was used to treat coughs.

During World War II, British Royal Air Force pilots consumed bilberries, which purportedly improved their night vision. Later studies show a sound basis for this practice because blueberries are high in bioflavonoids which are used by the rods in the eye for night vision.

Information from: worlds healthiest foods, nutrition data and facts, australian blueberries.com  and wikipedia

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