July is Blueberry Month! Blueberries are one of nature’s greatest treasures. There are so many great things to love about them: their long harvesting season, their nutrition content, and their versatility in recipes.
- Blueberries are native to North America and have been around for more than 13,000 years!
- In 1974 the USDA proclaimed July as National Blueberry Month.
- A lot of scientific research contributed to blueberries being part of a healthy lifestyle in the 2000’s.
- Blueberries can be found in your grocery store year round but they thrive with cool nights and hot days.
- They are harvested in the US from April to late September. In winter months, November through March, we receive blueberries from South American countries like Peru, Uruguay, Argentina, and Chile. Our winter in the US is when South America has their summer, so the conditions are perfect for growing blueberries.
- It’s wonderful to have access to blueberries all year round because we can have them fresh on top of yogurt, sprinkled on a salad, or baked in blueberry muffins!
- One cup of blueberries contains only 80 calories. They have many nutrients including fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese.
- Fiber is beneficial for regulating our cholesterol, keeping us regular, keeping our heart healthy, and giving a sensation of feeling full.
- Vitamin C supports a healthy immune system and wound healing.
- Vitamin K is essential for bone metabolism, regulating blood clotting, and blood calcium levels.
- Manganese helps our body to convert nutrients into energy and helps with bone development.
- Blueberries contain phytonutrients, called polyphenols, which is a compound that gives blueberries their classic blue color. These polyphenols are also shown to help lessen inflammation in the body.
- Blueberries pair well with many things-sweet and savory!
- Visit www.blueberrycouncil.org
- for blueberry recipes as well as suggested pairings!