US Highbush Blueberries – The Little Blue Champions
Kuala Lumpur – Blueberries might be small in size but definitely proof that great things come in small packages! These sweet and wildly popular berries are packed dense with nutrients and are known to fend off heart disease, cancer and brain aging. The US HIGHBUSH BLUEBERRY COUNCIL recently launched “The Little Blue Champion” campaign celebrating the amazing health properties of these little health powerhouses.
Native to North America, blueberries flourish from April to late September. The good news is, they are conveniently available frozen, all year round. Frozen blueberries available in retail are frozen straight from the farm, with all the good stuff locked in: nutrients, freshness and flavour. They can be kept in the freezer for at least 10 months and is a healthy shortcut, whether you’re grabbing a quick snack, packing lunches or cooking up a storm.
Malaysian fitness icon and health advocate, Linora Low took the lead on the campaign. “The blueberry is a very hard-working berry and truly a little champion when it comes to food that is good for you. For those leading an active lifestyle, it’s a great snack that keeps you feeling full and satiated, reduces inflammation and lowers blood pressure. It also has only 80 calories per cup, virtually no fat and is low in sodium,” said Linora, a former radio host and World Fitness Federation Asia Ms Bikini runner-up.
“Eating well is always my top priority but with my packed schedule, it’s sometimes hard to get hold of something quick and nutritious. Blueberries are my go-to on these occasions. I love the juicy sweetness which is a great fix for my sweet cravings, and I love adding it to my salads for an added pop of flavour,” she added.
Linora shared two easy recipes that are great for those on a journey to a healthier lifestyle and also for the whole family. The first recipe, a Blueberry Milk was a great twist to the usual milk. The blueberries added a deliciously unique flavour and a beautiful colour, sweetened further with honey. She recommended getting kids as young as toddlers to start snacking on blueberries to benefit from its ability to improve cognitive abilities. “This is a creative way to get your kids to drink their milk every day and can be prepared quickly with fresh or frozen blueberries.” Linora also demonstrated a Cauliflower Blueberry Muffin.
Present at the launch held at Village Grocer, MyTown Cheras, Mr Bill Verzani , the Agriculture Attache at USDA-Foreign Agricultural Service said US Highbush Blueberries are native to North America and are cultivated by around to 2,500 farmers in farms where climates are perfect for the best blueberries. “The US is the world’s largest producer of blueberries. Blueberries thrive in areas with sunny skies, cold nights and warm days. We work hard to produce the best quality cultivated blueberries which are shipped fresh to the rest of the world. Our farmers are happy knowing that we are creating a healthier world with our blueberries,” said Mr Verzani. He added that the world is witnessing a renaissance in the enjoyment of blueberries thanks to its powerful health benefits and its versatility in recipes.
The health benefits the Blueberries are amazing – its packed to the brim with Vitamin C and each cup provides 25% of daily Vitamin C needs, 5% of daily vitamin B6 and 36% of daily vitamin K. Blueberries intake from an early age could reduce levels of cholesterol, keep the heart healthy and prevent DNA damage which inevitably reduces the risk of cancer.
“When it comes to blueberries, we believe our Highbush Blueberries are the best in the world. Blueberries are best enjoyed when they are at their freshest and to make sure you’re choosing fresh blueberries, look out for the silvery sheen that’s known as bloom. The more bloom, the fresher the blueberry,” advised Ms Phornthip Polpraset, Regional Marketing Representative of the US Highbush Blueberry Council.
Whether you like them fresh, frozen, dried, freeze dried or canned, blueberries jump to the front of the line and truly are “Little Blue Champions” when it comes to convenience, versatility and good nutrition.