If you pick up any health and beauty magazine and read an article written about the health benefits of a certain food, the likelihood is that you will see a specific term – “superfood”. This is a term that has been coined by health experts in the last five years or so to describe any of the raw foods on the market that have great essential health benefits. High vitamin, antioxidant and omega 3 foods are the ones commonly referred to as superfoods. This is not a scientific term, but is extremely apt considering that all of the food that the tag has been given to can be of immense benefit to your health. The blueberry is one of the foods that the tag has been given to, but is that really an accurate perception of the little berry?
Many health experts that are not affiliated with health magazines dispute that there are such superfoods, stating that the term is commercialised and has no factual basis. They argue that it has been designated to foods to denote potentially unhealthy crazes or fads. However, you only have to look at the actual health benefits of the blueberry to see that their argument does not hold. The term is definitely used to identify health crazes, but this does not mean that foods tarred with it will simply be short-lived fads. The blueberry is as far from a super fad as you could possibly get when you consider its illustrious history.
The blueberry is native to the United States and has been used for centuries as a source of medicine and food by Native Americans. They swore by the properties of the blueberry for curing coughs and colds, but its uses were seemingly limitless. Blueberry tonics were used to relax expectant mothers in childbirth and many Natives believed that it had the ability to cleanse the blood and sustain good health beyond their expected years of life. They consumed blueberries every day, recognising their nutritional value as well as their medicinal value. As a result, the blueberry was a staple of their diet for both medicinal and nutritional reasons.
Blueberries have not suddenly become popular overnight. They can be traced back at least four hundred years and have been popular in society throughout that period. The only difference there is between the way we perceive the blueberry today and the way that the Natives perceived it is that we actually have laboratory research to back up the health benefits of the blueberry. It is packed full of antioxidants that are proven to prevent disease, improve the memory and boost the immune system, amongst other things, and also has 30% of our recommended daily dose of vitamin C in every portion. As a zero fat, low calorie and high fibre food, the blueberry ticks all of the necessary boxes and should receive the praise it fully deserves.
Blueberries are definitely more superfood than super fad. Fads do not have the longevity that the blueberry has enjoyed. The label of superfood has only served to alert people to the health benefits of the blueberry and highlight the fact that we are not eating enough of them in our daily diet. This can only be a good thing in terms of the future. Why not make the most of its healthy goodness and see how it can improve your inner and outer beauty?