Blueberries are sweet, nutritious and very popular for their taste. They are often labeled as a high-value nutritional food, because they are low in calories and beneficial to the well-being of our body.
Let's see what are the health benefits that blueberries give us, even in the dehydrated version.
Dehydrated blueberries: properties and benefits.
From the blueberry bush these berries are born with a bluish hue, one of the most nutritious. One serving of blueberries contains fiber, Vitamin C and Vitamin K, Calcium, Manganese and several antioxidants. In addition to substances useful for our body such as citric acid and malic acid, phosphorus and mirtillin - a substance that makes them cleansers for the digestive tract.
Antioxidants protect the body from free radicals, molecules that can damage cells, contribute to aging and related diseases. Blueberries are believed to have one of the highest levels of antioxidants in all fruits and vegetables, with the main ones belonging to a family of antioxidant polyphenols called flavonoids - anthocyanins in particular.
These small fruits, through the action of anthocyanins, strengthen the capillaries of the legs and face, and are excellent for fighting ocular fatigue - the anthocyanin molecules are effective for the well-being of sight.
The action against oxidative stress also protects brain functions, and some studies have focused on preventing mental aging that the antioxidants of strawberries and blueberries may have. They help brain function and delay mental decline.
Blueberries can help reduce muscle damage after strenuous exercise, which can cause muscle soreness and fatigue. This state is determined in part by local inflammation and oxidative stress in muscle tissue.
Origins and History of cultivation
The blueberry is a typical fruit of the undergrowth of the northern mountains, defined as a weed by botanists and much appreciated by some animals including goats.
Its abundant fruit production allows it to have excellent quantities for food processing, both for classic blueberry juices, and to create dehydrated blueberries , perfect for long-term storage. < / p>
The ancient Mediterranean civilizations did not know it in the common diet, coming from the mountains of the North, and only in the Middle Ages did it become part of the fruits studied for its purifying, astringent and energetic properties.
In mountain traditions, on the other hand, it is part of the wild berries of the summer tradition, remembered on Blueberry Sunday, a day of frivolity in which young people went in search of fruits - a good excuse to flirt.
In the eighteenth century it was used by doctors to moderate inflamed bile, as an anti-inflammatory therefore, while jams were very popular at a food level.
Plant and Fruit
The blueberry plant is the Vaccinium sect. Cyanococcus, a flowering shrub that produces berries with a bluish or purple hue, known as blueberries. Shrubs can range in size from 10 centimeters to 4 meters high, in the North American variety.
It is a typical species of northern Europe, where it grows spontaneously between 900 and 1,800 meters, in the woods. In Italy it is found in the Alps and in the Apennines.
We find both wild and cultivated plants, and those native to North America Vaccinium corymbosum and several cultivated varieties (highbush) were introduced in Europe in the 1930s. The American giant blueberry variety produces very fragrant berry clusters.
The plant is closely related to similar shrubs, such as those that produce cranberries, blackberries, and Madeiran blueberries.
Blueberries are small fruits, about 5-10 millimeters in diameter, and are green when they appear, then turn purple and blue as they mature.
The flavor of the fruits has a sweet and slightly acidic taste , and the spontaneous ones have a more pronounced aroma and acidity.
The plant prefers acidic and porous soils, with organic substances (humus), and free of limestone, a cold and windy climate.
Nutritional values of Blueberries
Blueberry contains, as we have seen, many antioxidants, maintained despite dehydration.
This version of dried blueberries contains different sugars and not excessive calories (332 per 100 grams), as well as a good content of minerals, fiber (about 5 g / 100g), proteins (1.1 g / 100 g), and fats.
The fruit of the blueberry is rich in minerals, in particular potassium (214 mg / 100 g) calcium (250
mg / 100 g), and iron (0.9 mg / 100 g).
In the dried blueberry fruit we also find vitamin C, in good quantities (3.0 mg / 100 g) and Vitamin A (50 IU / 100 g).
How to consume or use dehydrated blueberries in the kitchen
Like other dried fruit specialties, a dose of dried blueberries can be a beneficial energy snack for athletes or for mental focus. It is a berry with high nutritional value for antioxidants, generally indicated in low-calorie diets as it contains few calories and many beneficial substances.
A handful of dehydrated blueberries can be placed in dried fruit mixes , in fruit juices, or in yogurt, fruit salads, and as decorations on ice creams, muffins , cupcakes .
The little blueberries can also be used as ingredients for sweets and energy bars - excellent when combined with cocoa.
A curiosity? The presence of tannins and polyphenols in blueberries make them an excellent substitute for wine in terms of benefits, without the side effects.
Dehydrated blueberries: side effects and contraindications
There are no particular contraindications to taking dried blueberries in the correct quantities, unless there is an intolerance to the food.
However, it is necessary to consider that excessive consumption can cause various side effects because intestinal gas, bloating, diarrhea, etc. can occur.
Excessive use is also not recommended for those suffering from diabetes, due to the possibility of an increase in blood sugar, due to the sugars of the dehydrated fruit.