Blueberries are known botanically as Vaccinium of which there are several species. Blueberries belong to the Ericaceae family. The Cranberry and Bilberry are also from the Vaccinium Genus. The blueberry is a Perennial with dark blue berries.

Blueberries are Native to North America and Northern and Eastern Europe. They require extremes in cold temperatures to set fruit resulting in their lacking in popularity in Australia, though they can be seen in colder southern parts of Australia.

Depending on the species, Blueberries can range in height from a few inches to a few metres. The plants may drop their leaves or can also be Evergreen. The fruit is born of bell-shaped flowers that can be white, pale pink or red.

The Berries range in size from half a centimetre (0.5cm) to one and a half centimetres (1.5cm). The pale greenish premature fruit ripen through a stage of reddish colouring to the final purple like blueberry we recognise on the table.

Blueberries are rich in B Group Vitamins, vitamin C, Vitamin E and Vitamin A. They also contain Selenium, Copper, zinc and iron, Potassium, Phosphorous and Magnesium. Also a rich source of Manganese and Vitamin K.

The high Antioxidant and Mineral content has many benefits to our health. They can aid in the repair and symptoms relating to Overall brain health, Memory loss and may be useful for use in treating patients with Alzheimer’s.

Blueberries are good for overall heart health and preventative maintenance. They are also ideal for calming the symptoms associated with Depression.

Regular ongoing consumption of Blueberries and other berry fruits can see reduce bouts of constipation and digestive and bowel related disorders.

Blueberries can be eaten fresh on their own or with cereal or a scoop of ice cream. They can be cooked in Pies and puddings and my personal favourite, Blueberry Muffins. Blueberries can be purchased Fresh from the Supermarket or Vegetable shop, they are available individually frozen or mixed with other berries. Blueberry powder is also available which can be used in cooking or mixed into drinks or smoothies.

Eating sufficient quantities of berry fruit especially out of growing season may not be achievable. Antioxidant and Vitamin Supplements may be a viable alternative to maintain health levels and keep on top of illness.

Any health related topics have been included based on a long-term research into this area. None of the medical information listed should be considered a cure for any illness. Nothing listed here should take the place of advice given to you by your family Doctor.

Author's Bio: 

Eric J. Smith is an Experienced Horticulturalist with a keen interest in Organic Gardening. Eric's interest in Organics also shows in his interest in Organic Nutrition and Organic Skincare. More information can be found on these by visiting his websites or Subscribe to Eric's FREE Health and Organic Newsletters via these websites.