Blueberries - The king of antioxidants
Our blueberries, or as we like to call them, our kings of antioxidants are fruits with several beneficial properties for our organism. They are small fruits with a five-pointed star at the top of the fruit, have a firm skin with an aromatic, juicy flesh and a bittersweet taste.
Blueberries are more common fruit in northern Europe than in the south, and blueberry culture was introduced in Portugal in the 1990s. The first blueberry plantations appeared in the municipality of Sever do Vouga, becoming a foodstuff that has been gaining more relevance over the years, with 95% of the production being exported. One of the competitive advantages of the blueberry market in Portugal is related to the status of the fruit in the European market. The blueberry production in Portugal includes a production during the months of May/June of each year, i.e., it is a production that is ahead of the other competitors in the European domestic market.
But why are these little berries such great fruits? Let's go in parts.
Blueberries are considered the kings of antioxidants and why?
They have the highest antioxidant capacity of all fruits and vegetables. In other words, eating blueberries empowers our body with a powerful fight against free radicals. A high level of free radicals is linked to diseases such as diabetes, cancer or cardiovascular problems.
As well as having an important chemical for burning saturated fats, resveratrol, blueberries are low in calories and highly nutritious. They can boast of being rich in vitamins B and C, and manganese. They are high in iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, zinc, copper and folic acid. They are foods rich in fibre and with anti-inflammatory effects.
Blueberries can fight bad cholesterol (LDL) and protect good cholesterol (HDL). Thanks to their antioxidant properties, blueberries reduce LDL oxidation levels, meaning they help keep your heart healthy. In addition, blueberries can help lower blood pressure, thus preventing heart disease.
Oxidative stress can have an accelerating effect on brain ageing, and this is where the antioxidant superpowers of blueberries can come in, improving ageing neurons and improving mental function.
Let's not forget that these magical blue berries may have effects on diabetes. They contain substances that appear to help glucose processing and insulin sensitivity, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
These are several reasons we think it's important to let you know for consuming blueberries.
But where do our blueberries come from anyway?
Jorge is our blueberry grower. He worked for many years in Angola and in 2020 he started a new life away from finance. His first production was around 220 tons, the highest production of his farm. Part of Jorge's production has been channelled through Equal Food, due to defects in the size and shape of his blueberries. The blueberries from Jorge's production are sweet and tasty, and our mission is to continue helping Jorge in his production with your help, as we all fight together against food waste.
And how can you eat these small fruits?
On our page you can find different recipes like Blueberry Muffins, but if you don't want to go to that trouble there are always simple options. Just wash the blueberries and eat them plain, or add them to yogurt, ice cream, accompany desserts, or in waffles and pancakes.
We also remind you of the best parts of these fruits. Our blueberries are (im)perfect, because they do not fit into the demanding levels of the market, which is governed by standards of beauty that are too strict and do not allow them to be sold to traditional markets. In addition, we want to support the surplus production of our Jorge, whose production is not able to be sold to the conventional market.
Regardless of the context in which our fruit is harvested, our blueberries retain their antioxidant power. At Equal Food we want to get you our blueberries at a lower value, fighting together against the food waste of tons of surplus blueberries that would end up going to waste without the help of all of us.
Blueberries are small, and easy to eat, with no need to cut or peel them. Together with their nutritional characteristics, blueberries can be considered an incredible fruit for the lazy ones, always delicious and healthy.