Blueberries are one of the few fruits that are native to North America and In terms of U.S. fruit consumption, blueberries rank only second to strawberries in popularity of berries. The US cultivates around half of all global consumption of blueberries with another 30% from Canada. Maine produces around 25% of all US cultivation of blueberries.
Cultivation of blueberries was widespread among the Native American tribes throughout North America. European colonists learned about blueberries thanks to these Native American traditions and brought blueberry species back to Europe. Yet commercial cultivation of blueberries in Europe has been a relatively recent phenomenon limited to the 20th and 21st centuries. Thanks to increasing cultivation in the Southern Hemisphere — including South American countries such as Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay as well South Africa, New Zealand and Australia — fresh blueberries are now enjoyed throughout the year on many of the world’s continents.
One interesting current trend in history of blueberries has been their dramatically increased consumption within the U.S. In 1997, the average U.S. adult consumed about 13 ounces of blueberries per year. Ten years later, in 2007, that amount nearly doubled and reached an average level of 22 ounces.
There are plenty of myths about eating blueberries but there is little doubt of one fact that simply they are good for you. They have one of the highest antioxidant capacities amongst all fruit. Blueberries are a good source of vitamin K. They also contain vitamin C, fibre, manganese and other antioxidants (notably anthocyanins). Valued for its high levels of antioxidants, some nutritionists believe that if you make only one change to your diet, it should be to add blueberries.A number of clinical studies have tried to prove that eating blueberries reduces cancer rates, heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular disorders. Also helpful is that we can freeze blueberries without doing damage to their delicate anthocyanin antioxidants|.
To prove a huge health benefit such a reduction in deaths or longer life expectancy might be difficult in a trial situation as all these illnesses have multiple causes. But will you live longer if you eat blueberries? Probably yes you will.