Nutrition Spotlight: Blueberries

Whenever we talk about antioxidants, blueberries are always one of the first foods mentioned. But are you aware of some of the other nutritional benefits of blueberries? Do not let their compact size fool you--great things come in small packages! According to the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, blueberries are “low in fat and sodium, have just 80 calories per cup and contain a category of phytonutrients called polyphenols.”[1] Polyphenols are “secondary metabolites of plants and are generally involved in defense against ultraviolet radiation or aggression by pathogens. In the last decade, there has been much interest in the potential health benefits of dietary plant polyphenols as antioxidant. Epidemiological studies and associated meta-analyses strongly suggest that long term consumption of diets rich in plant polyphenols offer protection [against certain health complications].”[2]

Blueberries are also a good source of Vitamin C and are high in manganese. “Vitamin C is necessary for growth and development of tissues” while manganese helps the body process cholesterol and nutrients such as carbohydrates and protein.[3] Additionally, one cup of these little blue berries “delivers 14% of the recommended daily dose of fiber and nearly a quarter of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C.”[4] Best of all, blueberries are extremely easy to add to a variety of recipes such as smoothies or salads, or they can be enjoyed on their own as a healthy snack! “Remember too that, in general, the more color they have, the more antioxidants [produce has],” making blueberries a great source of nutrients with their dark blue color.[5]

[1] “Health Benefits of Blueberries.” U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council,

[2] Pandey, Kanti Bhooshan, and Syed Ibrahim Rizvi. “Plant polyphenols as dietary antioxidants in human health and disease.” Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity vol. 2,5 (2009): 270-8. doi:10.4161/oxim.2.5.9498

[3] “Health Benefits of Blueberries.” U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council,

[4] Thompson, Chloe. “The Health Benefits of Blueberries.” WebMD, WebMD, 2010,

[5] Seliger, Susan. “'Superfoods' Everyone Needs: Blueberries, Tea, Salmon, & More.” WebMD, WebMD,