The blossom end of the blueberry, called the calyx, forms the shape of a perfect five-pointed star.
One of the few fruits native to North America, the blueberry has a long history of medicinal and culinary uses among Native Americans. Blueberries were introduced to pilgrims shortly after the settlement of Plymouth as one of several native plants that could be used to supplement food supplies. Today, North America accounts for nearly 90 percent of worldwide blueberry production.
This berry brings nutrition to the table, with more than one-quarter the recommended daily value of vitamin C and manganese, and more than one-third the recommended daily value of vitamin K. Blueberries are also a good source of dietary fiber — just a handful can help you get a day’s supply. And the next time you grab that handful, consider this: The substances that give blueberries their color also make them antioxidants. This means they’re a go-to food for fighting free radicals associated with the development of age-related conditions such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. A recent study even indicates that women who eat blueberries and strawberries at least three times per week can reduce their heart attack risk.
No time for cobbler? No worries. Stir blueberries into your morning yogurt. Use them in smoothies. Add them to salads for a sweet twist. Take them with you in a tote for a stand-alone afternoon snack. Or try my favorite easy ways to eat blueberries — alongside carob chips and almonds for a tasty, no-guilt triple superfood treat.
Click here to check out more nutrition data for blueberries.
Image Credit :: Farmer’s Market Blueberries, by Mr. T in DC