Shops are brimming with fresh Moroccan and Spanish blueberries, such a wonderful fruit, full of health benefits, a great snack, and a perfect substitute for sweets (fruit for kid’s!).
The choice in shops is all the better for many new and flavoursome varieties such as Kirra, Mayra, Arana, and Celeste. However, most varieties (see label for variety name) will be satisfactory at this stage of the season, with slight variations in sweetness, flavour and texture.
Common varieties are currently: Rocio, Ventura (often organic), Snowchaser and Star.
Quality & Buying – Fresh Blueberries:
All fresh blueberries are sold in punnets, so are difficult to assess while shopping. They should be plump and quite firm, with no signs of mould.
Look through the side of the punnet to avoid any of the following:
- Green or pale colouration of berries;
- Soft or wrinkled berries;
- White mould growth on the berry or in the stalk button.
Why eat blueberries?
While they are one of the most nutritionally dense foods, blueberries are sweet and full of flavour, so are easy to like and easy to eat. They require no preparation, so are a great snack, and can be added to a huge range of recipes. In many ways, blueberries are one of natures perfect snack foods, and ideal for lunch boxes.
Nutrition (Serving: 1 cup = 148g):
- High fibre: 14% dv (heart disease, diabetes, weight gain, digestive health)
- High vitamin C: 24% dv (cell health: skin, blood vessel, bone, cartilage; wound healing)
- High vitamin K: 36% dv (blood clotting; wound healing)
- High manganese: 25% dv (healthy bones; insulin production; antioxidants)
- Low calories: 4.2% dv (57 kcal/100g)
- Low Glycaemic Load: 6 (less than 10 = low effect on blood sugars)
- Sugars: blueberries are 10% natural sugars (15g/serving) of which 0% is sucrose, 49% is glucose and 50% is fructose.
(Daily Value (dv) % of a 2000 kcal per day diet from 1 cup of blueberries)(Source: USDA SR-21)
Blueberries are high in flavonoids such as anthocyanins which convey antioxidant properties. Studies have shown indication that increased antioxidants in the blood can lower blood pressure, help oxidise LDL cholesterol, improve memory in older adults, and help neutralise free radicals to reduce DNA damage.
Authority Nutrition (USA): 10 Proven Health Benefits of Blueberries