- Food and Cooking
The Blueberry Juice and its Anthocyanins
Say Hello to Blueberries
Blueberries are one of the few fruits that is native to North America which remains the top producer of this fruit; the country produces over half of the supplies of blueberries all over the globe. It has been in America's culture for centuries. These berries grow in clumps and its flavors ranges from lightly sweet to sour and tangy. It is popular for its striking dark blue color because of its anthocyanins and its crown at its head, maybe that's why it remains the queen of antioxidants.
It is recommended to consume blueberries fresh for you to have its full flavor and benefits, rather than baking it into a pastry. Extracting its juice or making blueberry juice is another way of getting its concentrated benefits right from the brim in a cooler way. Blueberry juice is not just packed with antioxidants just swimming in its extract but is also incorporated with unique flavors, with an inherent blend of sour and mildly sweet flavors.
Now, if you're looking for the definition of "anthocyanins", here it is, it basically means 'healthy'.
Blueberries has been a favorite subject among scientists; they actually conducted various researches about the health benefits of these tiny berries and they found an incredible breakthrough. Blueberries became the star of antioxidants because it literally contains anthocyanins, hydroxycinnamic acids, hydroxybenzoic acids, flavonols, and phenols, all of which are very potent antioxidants! It has to be the powerhouse of antioxidants amongst all fruits. The blueberries' antioxidant contents focus in fighting free radicals from invading our cardiovascular health and nervous system. Scientists encourage a daily consumption of blueberries because it could be the fastest way to health, what with the abundance of antioxidants present in this fruit.
It is officially said that blueberry is one of the highest ranked 'superfood' and contains the most number of antioxidants among all fruits.
Blueberry Nutrition Facts
Nutritional Value (per 1 cup)
Total Carbohydrate: 21.4 g
Omega-6 fatty acids: 130 mg
Omega-3 fatty acids: 85.8 mg
Vitamin A: 79.9 IU
Vitamin C: 14.4 mg
Vitamin E: 0.8 mg
Vitamin K: 28.6 mcg
Potassium: 114 mg
Phosphorus: 17.8 mg
Calcium: 8.9 mg
Choline: 8.9 mg
Folate: 8.9 mg
Magnesium: 8.9 mg
What You Should Know About Blueberries' Antioxidant Capacity
1 cup Wild Blueberries: 13427 antioxidant capacity
Blueberries: 980 ORAC per 100 g
Blueberries and their Cognitive Benefits
Blueberries and their vast array of antioxidants including high concentrations of flavonoids and anthocyanins, have been linked to significant cognitive improvements especially in older adults. One study which involved testing the cognition of older adults, who consumed blueberries daily for 12 weeks, revealed that blueberry consumption significantly improved the respondents' cognitive function including memory. Flavonoids, one broad category of antioxidants in which anthocyanins in blueberries fall in, have been found by scientists to enhance short term intellectual capacity in small trials.
Flavonoids and anthocyanins which are abundantly found in blueberries also exhibit strong antioxidant properties that protect our vulnerable nerve cells against oxidative damage. This neuro protective-ability of blueberries is another area of interest of many scientists. Aside from lowering the risk of oxidative stress in brain cells, blueberries are found to help achieve the balance of oxygen metabolism in these cells which is required for optimum cognitive functioning. These mechanisms brought about by regular blueberry consumption protect us against age-related cognitive problems and memory deficits. Blueberries are indeed a brain-booster fruit.
Blueberry is Perfect for Both Heart and Brain
Because of blueberry’s abundance in nutrients, especially when it comes to antioxidants, it is possible to prevent almost any kind of diseases. With the increasing mortality rate due to diabetes, heart diseases, cancer, or any poor-lifestyle related disease, people’s health awareness is slowly increasing as well. We are gradually becoming health enthusiasts with a common goal of optimum health in our own ways; and as a human, it is just plausible to prioritize the health of two of the most important organs in our body – the heart and brain. Both organs can be maintained healthy with blueberries in our diet.
Blueberry’s high fiber content in its flesh made it naturally healthy for the heart by being the sweeper of bad cholesterol from our system and preventing plaque formation in our arteries. With these fibers, the heart itself has been rid of any heart problems with a plus of strengthening the cardiac muscles. All the nutrients in blueberries such as its anthocyanins, Vitamins A, B-complex, C & E can prevent and cure neurologic disorders and prevent the deterioration of brain cells making our brain youthful and healthy.
Make some blueberry juice from fresh and raw blueberries. You don't have to buy commercial juice concentrate all the time, fresh homemade organic fruit juice is always healthier plus it lets you save money. If you grow some blueberries on your backyard, then great! If you don't, then use frozen blueberries. Frozen blueberries are found to contain the same amounts of antioxidants as raw blueberries.
- Prep time: 15 min
- Cook time: 30 min
- Ready in: 45 min
- Yields: 2 and 1/2 cups of Blueberry Juice
- fresh or frozen - 2 and 1/2 cups (no syrup or sugar added)
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1. In a large pot filled with enough water, dip blueberries in it along with sugar and then boil on medium heat.
- 2. Adjust heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes more.
- 3. You may mash the blueberries using the back of a spoon or a potato masher to squeeze out their juices. Or you may use an immersion blender to crush blueberries by blending them at high speed until smooth.
- 4. With a fine mesh strainer, strain the mixture until all pulp and all juices are separated. You may save the pulp for making smoothies.
- 5. Store juice in a tightly sealed container or in small plastic bags inside the fridge for up to 3 days
Wild Blueberry Smoothie
Experience another way of getting blueberries' whole health benefits in a cooler way.
- 6 oz fresh wild blueberries
- 6 oz vanilla
- plain yogurt
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 cup ice cubes
- 1. Prepare a blender and blend all ingredients for 5 minutes or until it is well mixed.
- 2. Pour in individual glasses and garnish by dropping some fresh blueberries on the smoothie.
- 3. Serve immediately.
- 4. Enjoy!