Long before research found that blueberries were among the world’s healthiest fruits or vegetables to be consumed, the thought of a blueberry was directly tied to a famous movie with a gum-chewing, fast talking young girl, and her simple act of disobedience.
Of course, we are referring to that famous scene in the 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, when competitive gum chewer Violet Beauregarde disobeys Mr. Wonka and begins chewing the not-yet-ready for human consumption three-course dinner flavored gum. This resulted in Violet turning into a giant blueberry before being rolled into a juicing room by the Oompa-Loompas.
At the close of the scene, Violet’s father, Sam, being led by an Oompa-Loompa, chases after her opining, “I have a blueberry for a daughter!” While that might have been a most terrifying experience for Mr. Beauregarde, if he only knew just how incredibly healthy blueberries were, it might not have been so bad after all. One wonders if it hadn’t been for the curiosity and determination of two people in the early 20th Century, what would have ever replaced that memorable scene from the movie classic.
In retrospect, the blueberry was the perfect fit.
History Of The Blueberry
In 1916, the first commercial crop of blueberries was sold out of Whitesbog, New Jersey when a local farmer’s daughter, Elizabeth White, teamed up with USDA botanist, Fredrick Coville. Together, White and Coville worked to find wild plants with the most desirable properties to then crossbreed the bushes to create a vibrant new variety of blueberries. All of this was in response to the fact that most people in the early 20th century didn’t believe that blueberries could be domesticated.
Leading up to the first crop in 1916 were three major breakthroughs that led to blueberries being domesticated.
In 1910, Fredrick Coville discovered that blueberries only thrived in acidic soil. A year later in 1911, Elizabeth White read a copy of Coville’s “Experiments in Blueberries” and promptly invited him to partner with her family’s farm to further these experiments. By 1912, the team of White and Coville saw their first successful field plantings crop up.
Today, there are five major varieties of blueberries grown in the United States. The two most common types of blueberries are Highbush blueberries, which are the most common, and the smaller Lowbush blueberries, which are known as wild blueberries. In 2014, production of blueberries across five continents rose to a staggering 1 billion pounds.
Yet with all this, little did White and Coville know that by the 1990’s and 2000’s, the scientific community would conduct a myriad of research which found the blueberry to be one of the leading icons for leading a healthy lifestyle the world has ever known.
Health Benefits Of The Blueberry
Did you know that blueberries are widely believed, of all commonly consumed fruits and vegetables, to contain the highest antioxidant capacity? This is huge. Why is this important? Antioxidants protect our bodies from damage by free radicals, which are molecules that are known to damage cellular structures and can contribute to ageing and diseases like cancer.
Did you know that a daily serving of blueberries, 50 grams, lowered LDL oxidation by 27% in obese participants, after a period of eight weeks? The antioxidants in blueberries have been found to also play a major part in reducing levels of oxidized LDL lipoproteins, or bad cholesterol.
Did you know an entire cup of blueberries is only 84 calories and that they are made up of nearly 85% water? This same cup (148 grams) of blueberries is filled with Manganese, Vitamin C and K, as well as 4 grams of fiber.
As we can see, there is no doubt that when compared to other fruits and vegetables, when it comes to health benefits, the blueberry reigns supreme. And if the blueberry is this healthy to consume, the next question must be, what are some favorite ways people consume this berry?
Favorite Ways To Enjoy Blueberries
Mixed with a banana and some yogurt, top off your next smoothie by mixing in some blueberries to add some color, flavor, and all the while, give your health a great big hug.
Did you know that July in America is the month of the blueberry? Why not celebrate the hot days of summer by adding to your dinner salad some blueberries? Paired with nuts and other fruit, give your dinner salad a touch of sweetness offset with a little pepper and feta cheese to leave your taste buds both refreshed, and left begging for more.
How does starting your day with a Blueberry Granola Parfait sound? It’s simple. All you need are some blueberries, salt, sugar, cinnamon, thick Greek yogurt, and some granola. If you are looking to take it over the top, when cupping the parfait, trying drizzling a little honey over it.
Blueberry Mint Water
Just add blueberry and mint to water and let sit in fridge. No further words needed for this, just try it. Head’s up though, this is incredibly refreshing.
Of course, these are but just a few favorite ways people enjoy blueberries. What are your favorite ways to enjoy blueberries? Let us know. You can get started today with enjoying blueberries by ordering them fresh from Organic Earthly Delights.
Did You Know Organic Earthly Delights Has A Farm Stand?
Our Farm Stand is your community produce store where you can walk right in and take your time shopping for the best organic produce. Yes, we sometimes have organic, healthy blueberries that will boost your health and provide you with a tasty treat.
We make our Madras farmstand easy. When you’re done shopping, it’s as simple as adding up your order and leaving your payment in the box. To see which produce items are currently available in the Farm Stand, click here.
Organic Earthly Delights also makes deliveries from Vancouver, WA , Portland and Salem and of course to Central, Oregon, too. To learn more about our home delivery, click here.