We all know that blueberries are a healthy addition to our diet: low in fat and calories, high in fibre and boasting one of the highest antioxidant counts of any fruit or vegetable out there.
While the fresh blueberry season is still a few months away (July to September), there are still plenty of frozen berries to be found in your local supermarkets.
But did you know that recent research shows that frozen blueberries might even have the edge over fresh berries when it comes to health.
Studies conducted at the South Dakota State University show that freezing blueberries makes their powerful antioxidants more available to the human body. This is because anthocyanins, the antioxidant compounds that make blueberries blue, are found in the skin of the berry. Freezing the berries creates tiny ice crystals that disrupt the structure of the cells, which in turn makes it easier for our system to access the anthocyanins contained within the skin.
According to the researcher behind the study, Marin Plumb, because commercially packaged blueberries are frozen soon after they are picked, “they are equal in quality to fresh.”
This is great news anyone interested in healthy eating as frozen BC-grown blueberries are available year-round and frozen BC blueberries can be used in many of the same recipes as fresh berries.
With over 80 years of blueberry-growing experience, the BC Blueberry Council represents over 600 highbush growers. Combined these growers have more than 11,000 hectares (27,000 acres) of highbush blueberries planted in order to meet growing demand. The BC Blueberry Council has a strong commitment to on-farm food safety and works diligently with blueberry growers and collaborates with packers and processors to ensure that BC blueberries meet the highest standards for food safety and quality. For more information: www.bcblueberry.com.
Tara Clark, Social Media & PR for the BC Blueberry Council