Tart, colorful and, most importantly, full of vitamins, blueberries have everything. These little blue berries are available on the market throughout the summer, right through to end of September. Wild blueberries, which are very dark blue in color, grow in particular mountain ranges such as the Vosges and the Massif Central, but most commercially-available blueberries in France are in fact from the “bleuet”, or “blueberry”, family of berries, which originate from North America. These blueberries, considered to be a shrub, have a beautiful blue-purple color and have only been cultivated in France since the 1980s.
Blueberries contain a large number of antioxidant agents, particularly polyphenols and flavonoid acids, including anthocyanins. These pigments give blueberries their attractive blueish color and contribute to cardiovascular health (1). They limit the levels of “bad” cholesterol in the blood, and, in the long term, protect the cellular structure of blood vessels. The antioxidants found in blueberries also act against oxidative stress (2), which disturbs the proper cellular functioning of the entire body. These molecules play an important role in cognitive function by protecting neuronal cells (3). Recent studies have demonstrated the positive effects of fermented blueberry juice against neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s (4). Lastly, flavonoids have a hypoglycemic potential as they inhibit blood glucose levels. Regular consumption of blueberries or blueberry juice could therefore effectively combat the development of diabetes type 2 (6) and certain forms of obesity (7).
In France, blueberries only grow until the month of September, but these amazing berries tolerate the cold very well. Freezing them is easy and does not affect their nutritional value in any way (8), so you can continue to enjoy them throughout the year. As they don’t peel, organically-grown blueberries should be chosen whenever possible, in order to limit your consumption of pesticides, which are mainly found on the skin of treated fruit and vegetables. Blueberries are easy to prepare and will give a touch of tartness to your desserts, from Canadian blueberry muffins to fresh fruit salads as well as delicious smoothies. Try a raspberry, banana and blueberry detox smoothie - you won’t be disappointed. You can also add them to your muesli to enjoy their vitamins from the moment you have breakfast. Enjoy!
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