Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday we offer pick-your-own Blueberries in our 3/4 acre patch, July 15th through August (typically). No sprays are used in the production of these amazing little round fruits!
From research labs all across the country and the world, there is growing evidence that blueberries could be powerful little disease fighters. Want to retain your memory? Try a blueberry. Lower your risk factors for some cancers? Make blueberries part of your diet. How about a great natural source of antioxidants for optimum health? That’s right, true blues.
The long list of health benefits associated with blueberries is becoming as well known among the general public as it has been for many years in the health and research communities and with professional growers. From Newsweek to the Wall Street Journal and beyond, it’s almost impossible now not to hear something good, make that great, about blueberries.
James Joseph, Ph.D., and his team at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University report that a diet of blueberries may improve motor skills and reverse the short-term memory loss that comes with aging. USDA animal trials showed improved navigational skills after a two-month diet of blueberry extract. Although other fruits and vegetables were studied, only blueberries were effective in improving motor skills.
Blueberries may reduce the build up of so called “bad” cholesterol that contributes to cardiovascular disease and stroke, according to scientists at the University of California at Davis. Antioxidants are believed to be the active component. Blueberries rank #1 in antioxidant activity when compared to 40 other fresh fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants help neutralize harmful by-products of metabolism called “free radicals” that can lead to cancer and other age related diseases. Anthocyanin — the pigment that makes the blueberries blue — is thought to be responsible for this major health benefit.
Though blueberries themselves are not a cure-all, they contain a number of substances which are thought to have health benefits. These substances include, but are not limited to fructose, fiber, vitamins and antioxidants. Antioxidants thus far, seem to have the most conclusive role in the prevention/ delaying of such diseases as cancer, heart disease and the aging process.