The Bottom Line: Sweet facts about blueberries!
The Full Story:
- Blueberries grow in clusters on bushes.
- There are over 50 varieties of blueberries.
- Native Americans once called them "star berries," because the five points of blueberry blossoms make a star shape.
- Blueberry juice had medicinal value for Native Americans as well and was used to treat persistent coughs and other illnesses.
- Taking their cue from Native Americans, early settlers of America introduced blueberries into their diets when other food sources were scarce.
- Early colonists made gray paint out of blueberries by boiling them in milk.
- During the Civil War of the 1860s, blueberries were collected, packaged, and sent to Union troops for use as a food staple.
- America's favorite muffin is, of course, blueberry.
- It takes about 2-5 weeks for blueberries to ripen on a bush.
- Blueberries contain more antioxidants than most other fruits or vegetables and may help prevent damage caused by cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer's. And get this, a blueberry extract diet improves balance, coordination, and short-term memory in aging rats.
- The annual harvest of North American blueberries would cover a four lane highway from Chicago to New York if spread out in a single layer.
- Minnesota claims the blueberry muffin as its official state muffin and New Jersey claims the berry as its official state fruit.
- Blueberries are the official berries of Nova Scotia, Canada.