Blueberry Fields Forever
P O Box 8288
Searcy, Arkansas 72145
1.800.458.4756

Blueberry Recipes

Total Antioxidant Capacity
per serving size

Rank

Food

Serving Size

Total Antioxidant
Capacity

1

Small Red Bean

1/2 cup
dried beans

13727

2

Wild blueberry

1 cup

13427

3

Red kidney bean

1/2 cup
dried beans

13259

4

Pinto bean

1/2 cup

11864

5

Blueberry

1 cup cult-
ivated berries

9019

6

Cranberry

1 cup
whole berries

8983

7

Artichoke hearts

1 cup
cooked

7904

8

Blackberry

1 cup

7701

9

Prune

1/2 cup

7291

10

Raspberry

1 cup

6058

11

Strawberry

1 cup

5938

12

Red Delicious apple

1

5900

13

Granny Smith

1

5381

14

Pecan

1 ounce

5095

15

Sweet cherry

1 cup

4873

16

Black plum

1

4844

17

Russet potato

1 cooked

4649

18

Black bean

1/2 cup
dried beans

4181

19

Plum

1

4118

20

Gala apple

1

3903

Source: J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Jun 16;52(12):4026-37.

 

Blueberries really are good for you!

Antioxidants

In a US Department of Agriculture (USDA) laboratory at Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, researchers have found that blueberries rank #1 in antioxidant activity when compared to 40 other fresh fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants help neutralize harmful by-products called "free radicals" that can lead to cancer and other age-related diseases. Anthocyanin - the pigment that makes blueberries blue - is thought to be responsible for this major health benefit.


Slowed age-related loss

In another USDA lab at Tufts University, neuroscientists discovered that feeding blueberries to laboratory rats slowed age-related loss in their mental capacity, a finding that has important implications for humans. Again, the high antioxidant activity of blueberries probably played a role .


Heart Health

Blueberries may reduce the build-up of so called "bad" cholesterol that contributes to cardiovascular disease and stroke, according to scientists at the University of California at Davis. Once again, the antioxidants are believed to be the active component.


Urinary tract health

Researchers at Rutgers University in New Jersey have identified a compound in blueberries that promotes urinary tract health and reduces the risk of infection. It appears to work by preventing bacteria from adhering to the cells that line the walls of the urinary tract.


Nutrition

Blueberries are also low in sodium and high in dietary fiber and potassium - all this for only 40 calories per cup serving!

 

USDA Study Of Food Antioxidants Reveals Best Sources

"The bottom line is the same: eat more fruits and veggies," says Ronald L. Prior, Ph.D., a chemist and nutritionist with the USDA's Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center in Little Rock, Ark., and lead author of the study. "This study confirms that those foods are full of benefits, particularly those with higher levels of antioxidants. Nuts and spices are also good sources."

The new study is more complete and accurate (thanks to updated technology) than previous USDA antioxidant data and includes more foods than the previous study, the researchers say. They analyzed antioxidant levels in over 100 different foods, including fruits and vegetables. In addition, the new study includes data on spices and nuts for the first time.

Among the fruits, vegetables and nuts analyzed, each food was measured for antioxidant concentration as well as antioxidant capacity per serving size. Cranberries, blueberries, and blackberries ranked highest among the fruits studied. Beans, artichokes and Russet potatoes were tops among the vegetables. Pecans, walnuts and hazelnuts ranked highest in the nut category.

Although spices are generally consumed in small amounts, many are high in antioxidants. On the basis of antioxidant concentration, ground cloves, ground cinnamon and oregano were the highest among the spices studied.

Prior says that the data should prove useful for consumers seeking to include more antioxidants in their diet. But he cautions that total antioxidant capacity of the foods does not necessarily reflect their potential health benefit, which depends on how they are absorbed and utilized in the body. Researchers are still trying to better understand this process, he adds.

Currently, there are no government guidelines for consumers on how many antioxidants to consume and what kind of antioxidants to consume in their daily diet, as is the case with vitamins and minerals. A major barrier to such guidelines is a lack of consensus among nutrition researchers on uniform antioxidant measurements. Scientists will soon attempt to develop such a consensus at the First International Congress on Antioxidant Methods, held June 16-18 at the Caribe Royale Hotel and Conference Center in Orlando, Fla., with the ultimate goal of developing better nutritional data for consumers. ACS is the principal sponsor of the meeting.

For now, USDA officials continue to encourage consumers to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables for better health.