Everyone knows that fruits and vegetables are ‘good for you’, but not everyone knows why.
Over the years, a great deal of research has been undertaken to uncover the properties that make fruits and vegetables nature’s best weapon against disease. By the 1990’s, all eyes turned towards antioxidants that help neutralize harmful-by products in the body called ‘free-radicals’ that may lead to age-related and degenerative illnesses.
Each September, World Alzheimer's Month helps to raise awareness of this degenerative disease and challenge the stigma that surrounds dementia.
“With World Alzheimer’s Day being held on September 21 this year, we believed it is timely to share some documented research about the benefits of blueberries,” says Anju Gill, executive director of the BC Blueberry Council.
Gill says that the researchers who ranked the antioxidant potential of 40 fresh fruits and vegetables found blueberries at the top of the list. “Blueberries have high polyphenols content and the polyphenol that has most excited scientists is the same one that gives the blueberry its distinctive and wholly unique blue colour, a pigment called ‘anthocyanin’(1).”
Research revealed additional anti-inflammatory benefits of the polyphenols that appear to greatly increase the disease-fighting power of the blueberry. Both antioxidant and the anti-inflammatory actions of polyphenols have been linked to a wide range of health benefits and improved treatment outcomes in a large number of age-related illnesses, including brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s(2).
With over 80 years of blueberry-growing experience, the BC Blueberry Council represents over 600 highbush growers. The Council has a strong commitment to on-farm food safety and works diligently with blueberry growers to ensure that BC blueberries meet the highest standards for food safety and quality. For more information: www.bcblueberry.com.
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1 Prior, R.L., et.al. J Agric Food Chem 1998, 46:2686-2693; Wu, X. et.al. J Agric Food Chem 2004, 52:4026-37.
2 Joseph, J. A. et al. Nutr Neurosci. 2003, 6:153-62.
Diana Barkley, PR for BC Blueberry Council