This superfood helps prevent many chronic diseases

Blueberries are one of nature’s best medicines. There are many varieties in the Vaccinium family that are only found in North America. You can tell that they are good for you for one simple reason: they are blue. It is easy to eat well if you remember to eat fruits and vegetables of many different colors.

The things that make these berries blue are chemicals called anthocyanins. They seem to prevent cancer in mice, and in vitro and animal studies have yielded similar results in colon and stomach cancer cells. Combine them with polyphenols, flavonoids and stilbenes and you get a tongue-twisting family of molecules that our bodies just love.

The most compelling benefits seem to be in improving brain function. A large study called the Kame project followed 1836 Japanese Americans. Those who regularly drank fruit juice rich in polyphenols cut their risk of developing Alzheimer’s dementia by 76% – and blueberries are full of polyphenols. Other researchers have shown that they promote the growth of new brain cells in mice. [1]

Organic blueberries have more antioxidants than regular ones – and wild ones are the best. Remember that in July, when they are ready to be picked. They freeze well, and do well in a blender, on desserts or just grabbed by the handful. You can buy blueberry extracts if you like, but food is generally a better approach – especially when it is this tasty.


[1] Dai Q, Borenstein AR, Wu Y, Jackson JC, Larson EB. Fruit and vegetable juices and Alzheimer’s disease: the Kame Project. Am J Med. 2006 Sep;119(9):751-9.