Friday, November 23, 2018

Food Fact Friday: Blueberries! (And Fresh vs. Frozen)


These little berries really are phytonutrient powerhouses! Lately, my daughter has been enjoying frozen blueberries – which is great, because they are harder to get in the winter.



Since we’re on the topic, let’s talk frozen over fresh for a moment! In a study conducted in 2015, eight fruits and vegetables were ‘put to task’ in an effort to compare fresh vs. frozen. The findings? Overall, the vitamin content of the frozen commodities was comparable to and occasionally higher than that of their fresh counterparts (with the exception of β-Carotene, which was found to decrease drastically in some commodities). (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25526594) Another similar study was done in the same year; this time on minerals and fiber: “The retention of nutrients was highly dependent on the commodity, but the majority of the commodities showed no significant difference between fresh and frozen for all analytes (p ≤ 0.05)”. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25525668)

Needless to say, this is excellent news for those of us in areas where year-round produce production is a challenge! I would actually even argue that because frozen fruits and vegetables are picked at their peak (rather than picked slightly before ripe so that they can endure often long transportation to intended markets); that they could potentially be even more nutritious. So if frozen fruit and vegetables make your life a little easier (especially in the winter months) – GO FOR IT!

Couple of fun blueberry facts: 

Let’s talk vitamins. Would it surprise you that Vitamin K is high in blueberries?  Vitamin K is an important vitamin when it comes to bone health and is probably most well known for its role in blood clotting. 

Blueberries are low in calories but high in antioxidants, fiber and other micronutrients – so almost anyone could benefit by incorporating these babies into their diet on the regular. 

Finally, did you know that here in Canada we grow wild blueberries? Yes! They grow abundantly in 4 Canadian provinces actually (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI and Quebec) – and these are the ones (wild Canadian) that my daughter happens to love. Find more info here.

Happy Friday! Now go get yourself some blueberries!


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