A Lesson from the Native Americans on the Benefits of Blueberries

The small size of blueberries belies the numerous benefits one can gain from consuming them. With its contribution to overall health and wellness and the many culinary delights that can be concocted using this fruit, it is no wonder the blueberry has become one of the most popular berries in the world. Native Americans from the Northeast regions of the United States and the Eastern seaboard of Canada have given much importance to the tiny fruit because of the medicinal properties and the uses for food that it provides. The folklore that surrounds blueberries includes the belief that it is the spirit of ancestors that look after the people in times of hunger and famine. The tribes also preserve them in time for the winter, when other food sources are scarce. While they believed that its juice can treat cough, and they also were confident that the tea made out of the leaves can cleanse the blood. Whether as a cure of an ailment or an answer to food shortage, the Native Americans turn to blueberries to help them in their time of need.

Fast forward to the present time, blueberries are still growing in popularity in many parts of the world aside from Northern America, where it is an indigenous fruit. Even homeowners have discovered the wonders of growing their own blueberry plants at home, with the goal of having a constant supply of fresh produce whenever they need it. With over a hundred varieties to choose from, anyone who desires to produce their own blueberries can cultivate the variety that is ideal in their location. The better known varieties are Northblue, Bluecrop, Berkeley (popular among home growers!), and Chandler, the world’s largest blueberry.

We have known since childhood that orange and yellow colored vegetables are good for the eyesight. It is a lot more fascinating when mothers slyly add carrots or squash to their children’s meals. But studies on ophthalmology reveal that eating more fruits helps one stay away from vision destroying diseases. Simply tossing in a cup of blueberries onto a bed of greens, or even serving them alongside salmon, chicken, or ice cream, is enough for you to meet your daily needs. Of course, this should go hand in hand with other fruits.

So whether you like blueberry yogurts, blueberries smoothies, blueberry pancakes, muffins, tarts and pies, or you just happen to like the simple goodness of a fresh blueberry, surely you cannot go wrong when you eat this delicious fruit. Take it from the Native Americans: this tiny wonder is packed with a lot more benefits than you could ever imagine!