Health

For More Information on the Health Benefits of Wild Blueberries go to: https://www.wildblueberries.com/health-benefits/


Wild Blueberries and Human Health: Current Evidence, 2020
Prepared by Wilhelmina Kalt, Ph.D. for WBANA Canada

Although taste and versatility may be your first reasons to choose Wild Blueberries, their health and nutritional benefits cannot be ignored. Wild Blueberries really do live up to their reputation as a “Superfruit”. Excitement about the health benefits of Wild Blueberries began about 20 years ago when the high antioxidant capacity of these little blue fruits garnered the attention of researchers studying food and health. Scientific research since then continues to reveal the ways that Wild Blueberries can protect our health.

Wild Blueberry Pigments. We now know that the abundant blue pigment in Wild Blueberries contributes a lot to their health benefits. Wild Blueberries are one of the richest sources of these pigments called anthocyanins (“antho” means flowering plant; and “cyanin” means blue). Wild Blueberries are so rich in anthocyanin pigments that a daily serving of about 40 g (approximately 1/3 cup) has been associated with health benefits.

Wild Blueberries & Heart Health. Eating more blueberries is associated with a reduced risk of heart attack and high blood pressure, based on epidemiological studies that examine the diet and health of large populations over many years. More detailed research shows that blueberries contribute to a healthy circulation system by keeping blood vessels more pliable. This effect leads to improved blood flow and makes the circulatory system more responsive to the body’s needs for oxygen and nutrient delivery.

Wild Blueberries & Blood Sugar Regulation. Greater intake of blueberries is associated with a reduced risk of type 2 (late onset) diabetes, based on diet and health history of large, diverse populations, over many years. One way that Wild Blueberries can help to regulate blood glucose levels is by maintaining or improving the body’s ability to respond to insulin.

Wild Blueberries & Metabolic Syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a relatively new medical term which encompasses health conditions related to the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. Conditions include elevated blood cholesterol, blood pressure, blood glucose, abdominal obesity, and systemic inflammation. These conditions increase the risk for health complications, including dementia. Wild Blueberries and their anthocyanin pigments protect against metabolic syndrome by supporting heart health and blood sugar regulation. Eating more blueberries is also associated with less body weight gain based on long-term population studies.

Wild Blueberries & Brain Health. Wild Blueberry pigments help to keep blood vessels healthy to support oxygen and glucose delivery to the brain. They can also mitigate inflammation. These benefits help the brain to stay healthy and sharp. In highly controlled studies testing older adults, memory and other aspects of cognition were improved after Wild Blueberry intake.

New Exciting Research. In recent Wild Blueberry studies examining brain function, school-aged adolescents showed better cognitive performance after they consumed Wild Blueberries. These cognitive tests examined aspects of memory, mood and decision making. Results were compelling because young brains are not affected by age and stress like those of elderly adults. It was also very notable that cognitive benefits were seen as soon as 2 hours after intake, whereas other studies test cognition after several week of blueberry feeding.

Want to Learn More? For current information on all aspects of delicious, nutritious Wild Blueberries see wildblueberries.com. For a current scientific review of blueberry health benefits see: https://doi.org/10.1093/advances/nmz065

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Our friends over at The Kilted Chef came up with this amazing recipe!Wild Blueberry Rhubarb Custard PieServes 6 to 81 unbaked pie shell, homemade or purchased2 cups (500ml) rhubarb pieces, chopped1 ½ cups (375 ml)Wild blueberries, fresh or frozen1 ¼ cups (300 ml) white sugar2 Tbsp (30ml) quick-cooking tapioca2 Tbsp (30ml) cornstarch3 eggs, beaten1 cup (250ml) heavy cream½ tsp (2ml) saltPlace rhubarb and blueberries in an unbaked 9inch (23 cm) pie shell. Mix remaining ingredients together and pour over fruit. Bake for 10 mins at 400 degrees F (205 C). Reduce oven to 350 degrees F (180 C) and bake for an additional 40 minutes. Cool completely and store refrigerated. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream. Note: if rhubarb is frozen, increase tapioca and cornstarch by 1 Tbsp (15ml) each. ______________________Pie Crust(makes three 9 inch/23 cm pies)4 cups (1L) flour2 cups (500ml) shortening1 tsp (5ml) salt1 ¼ cup (300ml) cold waterDissolve the salt into the water and place in the freezer. Place the flour in a large bowl and add the shortening, work the shortening into the flour with your fingers until you have pea-sized bits. Move the dough to one side and pour in half of the water. Work the water into the dough with one hand while rotating the bowl counterclockwise with the other. The dough should come together but not too wet. Add more water as needed. Shape the dough into three equal portions and form into round discs. Wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Roll out one portion of pie dough on a floured surface. Place into a 9 inch (23 cm) pie plate and trim the edges leaving a 1 inch (2.5 cm) overhang. ___________________________Meringue⅓ cup (75ml) water1 Tbsp (15 ml) cornstarch4 egg whites, room temperature1 tsp (5ml) vanilla extract½ cup (125 ml) sugar¼ tsp (1 ml) cream of tartarCombine the egg whites and vanilla into the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on medium-low until the eggs become frothy. While the eggs ar rolfing, combine the water and cornstarch in a small saucepan and heat over medium-low until thickened and opaque. Combine the sugar and the cream of tartar, increase the mixer speed to medium-high and incorporate with the egg whites 1 spoon at a time. Once the sugar has been incorporated, turn the mixture to high and beat egg whites until they begin to stiffen. Add the warm cornstarch mixture 1 spoon at a time and continue to beat until the meringue is stiff and glossy. Mound the meringue onto the slightly cooled pie, ensuring that the meringue covers the crust, this will prevent shrinkage. Place the pie in a 350f (180 c) oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown. This pie can be made with frozen rhubarb, you will simply need to increase the quick cook tapioca to 3 Tbsp (45 ml). Note: The pie as a Kilted Kitchen original recipe. The meringue recipe was inspired by America’s Test Kitchen. ... See MoreSee Less
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Has anyone tried Van Dyk’s powdered wild blueberries yet? It’s great for baking, smoothies, and sprinkling on all sorts of tasty treats. What have you used it in? ... See MoreSee Less
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Just how much are you a fan of wild blueberries? Did you know that St. Peter’s on Prince Edward Island has an annual festival dedicated to the juicy little fruits? In fact, despite the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the festival was still able to run (albeit a bit differently than normal). Movie nights, ball games, and all things wild blueberries can be enjoyed during this fun event! Want to find out more? Here’s the link: www.stpetersblueberryfestival.com/ ... See MoreSee Less
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Wild blueberries can be used in many different ways. One of our favourite ways is in a delicious wine! Muwin Estate Wines Ltd. has come out with a delicious wild blueberry wine with a medium intensity. It’s especially delicious paired with mild cheeses, chocolate, pork and desserts. You can find find it at your local NSLC or check them out online at muwinestate.com/ ... See MoreSee Less
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While raisins and grapes shouldn’t be fed to our furry four-legged friends, dogs can eat wild blueberries! Not only are they safe to eat, they provide the same nutrients to dogs as they do to humans, including vitamin C, fibre, antioxidants, and more! ... See MoreSee Less
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