Who knew that there were so many different types of blueberries? The common species consumed in North America, V. corymbosum, is actually one of many species found in the Western Hemisphere. Evidence from a recent study suggests that species found in tropical regions in this hemisphere may have greater ability to scavenge free radicals than the well-known species we see in North American grocery stores.
Consuming a diet high in antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables is believed to protect your body from cardiovascular disorders, diabetes, and lung diseases like COPD. So should you go looking for these neotropical species like C. grandifolia or A. wardii to help combat chronic disease? Fortunately for you and your wallet, you need not splurge on hard-to-find, dried tropical berries. Blueberries, along with their relatives cranberries and lingonberries, are well-documented, powerful antioxidant foods that are available in your local grocery store. Here are six reasons to consume blueberries:
- They have tons of antioxidants to help reduce risk of chronic disease.
- Berries are a low calorie, high fiber food that can help with weight loss and maintenance.
- Blueberries lower heart disease risk, making them a heart-healthy superfood!
- They enjoyed in many different recipes or straight from the pint.
- In season in late-summer, going berry-picking is a great family activity.
- Frozen blueberries pack the same amount of nutrients, and cost under $3 for a 12 oz. bag.