You’ve Got To Pick A Punnet Or Two: Blueberries


I can’t resist popping a tub or two of blueberries in the trolley when I’m doing my weekly shop.

My other half loves them, too. Although his are usually in a muffin!

I’m not alone in my love of this little berry. According to Love Fresh Berries, UK shoppers have spent more than £400m on them in one year alone (up to June this year), consuming 41,000 tonnes.

And British blueberry growing has expanded in a bid to meet demand.

A new collection of articles published in “The Journal Of Gerontology” puts this surge in interest down to the blueberry’s antioxidant qualities, and its ability to help us to age well.

The studies show that consuming blueberries has been linked to reducing oxidative stress, a process strongly linked to ageing related diseases.

Dr Emma Derbyshire. Photograph by British Summer Fruits.

“This is a very interesting collection of work,” Dr Emma Derbyshire, Public Health Nutritionist and adviser to British Summer Fruits said.

“We know that blueberries are mini nutritional powerhouses. They provide vitamin C, calcium, potassium, magnesium, folate and manganese, as well as anthocyanins — and a diverse range of polyphenolic compounds such as quercetin. So it makes good sense to eat them regularly as we age.

“Since the 1990s, research relating to blueberries and their health benefits has grown exponentially.”

Help with ageing

The latest research findings from “The Journal of Gerontology” indicate a number of ways blueberries can help with ageing:

  • Blueberries have “anti-inflammatory” mechanisms, which can help promote healthy ageing.
  • Emerging clinical trials suggest that blueberry-supplemented diets could improve arterial blood flow. This is attributed to blueberry anthocyanins which give them their distinct colour.
  • Other research suggests that blueberries could benefit memory in older populations, possibly due to their polyphenol profile.

Emma adds, “Eating blueberries is one of the easiest ways to add nutrients to your diet and give your immune system a boost. There is also a growing body of evidence around how blueberries can contribute to cognitive function and also anti-ageing.”

The blueberry season is still in full swing, why not grab them when they are at their seasonal best?

For more advice from our experts, visit our Health pages.

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Yvonne McKenzie

Yvonne works on the Features team and admits to being nosy, so loves looking after the Between Friends letters and finding out all about our lovely readers. She also looks after our health copy and enjoys writing about inspiring people that help make the articles in the magazine so interesting.