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, just waiting for you to indulge in and devour. In North America blueberry consumption is on the rise, and Americans are discovering just how good these little blue wonder fruits are for their health. This graphic by the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council takes a closer look into the nutrition and consumption of blueberries.
A cup of blueberries has only 80 calories, and virtually no fat, which makes them a delectably glorious treat. Blueberry production is increasing to match the rising levels on consumption. 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.
The health benefits of blueberries are hard to ignore. They’re full of dietary fiber — something many people don’t have enough of in their diet. Just a handful of blueberries will satisfy recommended daily fiber intake, which helps keep the body regular, the heart healthy, and cholesterol in check.
They’re loaded with vitamin C as well. One serving equals 25% of one’s daily need of vitamin C, which aids collagen formation and helps maintain healthy gums, capillaries, and keeps the immune system strong. They’re also a terrific source of manganese, which plays an important role in bone development and in converting proteins, carbohydrates, and fats into energy.
Then there’s blueberries major claim to fame: they’re filled with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. 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.
Click here or the graphic below for a full-sized view.
via: Blueberry Council