Blueberries come from flowering plants which are native to North America. Blueberries are related to bilberries and cranberries, and are often considered a superfood due to their high nutritional value and many active plant compounds.
Rich in fibre, blueberries also contain high levels of vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese. Where blueberries really shine, however, is in their antioxidant properties – these berries have the highest antioxidant content of all commonly consumed foods.
The antioxidants in blueberries – particularly the flavonoids and anthocyanins – are known to help prevent DNA damage and to limit the harmful oxidisation caused by free radicals. These phytochemicals are also known to have positive effects on cholesterol, blood pressure and cardiovascular health; anthocyanins are important for good vision and eye health too.
Recent studies have shown that blueberries can help to improve cell signalling in the brain, leading to improved cognition and inhibiting the progress of degenerative brain diseases.
Blueberries are a popular fruit to eat raw, as they have a sweet and pleasant taste. They can also be cooked in desserts and pies, or juiced. As a supplement, you can buy blueberry capsules and tablets, or blueberry powder.