Blueberries pack quite the punch when it comes to taste. It is as if they think they’re the Manny Pacquiao of fruits. Plump, juicy, and sweet, the vibrant colors of this delicious fruit range from deep purple-blue to blue-black, often highlighted by a silvery, shimmering sheen called a bloom. Blueberries are a handful of health. They go perfect in warm oatmeal, sprinkled over granola, or baked in muffins. North American blueberry consumption is on the rise. Not only that, but Americans are finding our just how truly splendid they are for their health as well. This graphic by the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council takes a closer look into the nutrition and consumption of blueberries.

The health benefits, and nutritional value, of blueberries are hard to chastise. They’re full of dietary fiber. Many of us don’t even come close to getting the daily amount of fiber our body needs. Just a handful of these little blue beauties will satisfy our recommended daily fiber intake, which helps keep the body regular, the heart healthy, and cholesterol in check.

They’re also low in calories – only 80 – and ridiculously low in fat (virtually non-existent). This makes them an ideal snack, and is one of the major reasons why blueberry production has increased to match the rising levels of consumption in America. In 2005, Americans consumed 414 million pounds. In 2010, that number rose to 749 million pounds, and in 2011 their consumption escalated to 853 million pounds. Which also makes us wonder why people haven’t started to turn into Smurfs from eating so many blueberries.

Research has suggested that the phytonutrients in blueberries, called polyphenols, may help to lessen the inflammatory process associated with chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other age-related diseases. Move over prunes. Blueberries taste better, have less of a negative connotation associated with them, and you look cooler eating them.

via: Blueberry Council


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