Most of us are already aware that organic berries are incredibly good for our overall health. The vitamins and antioxidants that they contain provide a number of benefits for our bodies, but is it possible to make them even more healthy? Apparently, yes!
Graduate student Marin Plumb, a food science major at South Dakota State University, found that frozen blueberries are equally nutritious as fresh blueberries, even after six months of freezing.
What’s more interesting, the ice crystals that form during freezing disrupt the structure of the plant tissue, making the anthocyanins more available. In case you don’t know, Anthocyanins are a group of antioxidant compounds that provide various systems in the human body with protection.
What does freezing do?
When you freeze blueberries (for short or long periods of time), the low temperatures penetrate deep within the fruit and disrupt the tissue structure. This makes the anthocyanins more available and absorbable.
The berries actually have their sharp, blue color because of the anthocyanin in the tissue. Organic berries already have higher nutritional content than alternatives, but freezing them can actually improve on these 5 benefits:
Improving heart health
Consuming blueberries significantly lowers your risk of developing heart disease by regulating and relaxing arterial elasticity in the vascular wall. They also improve blood flow, giving you a healthy blood pressure.
Reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease/Dementia
The anthocyanin in the berries can actually improve your memory functions, and protect your brain against cell damage and loss. The protection makes your encoding and retrieval processes more fluid, making it easier to recall information. The berries can also improve your nerve cell growth, and make communication easier between nerve cell processes. This actually slows down the rate that they age, and ultimately, die.
Improved nervous system health
Blueberries contain a range of different antioxidants, all of which are beneficial to the human body. This range of nutrients provides nerve cells with protection from oxidative damage. Nerve cells are persistently at risk for oxidative damage, thus requiring continuous protection.
Improved motor function
Older adults, who suffer from impaired movements above the age of 70+ years, generally perform and behave more functionally after consuming frozen blueberries. They have heightened cognitive ability, which shows improved motor ability in comparison to other men and women in the same age group.
Blueberries offer antioxidant protection of the digestive tract by combating free radicals, some of which can cause cancer. This superfood plays a significant role in combating colon cancer. Hence, people at risk of developing colon cancer should definitely bring more frozen blueberries into their diets.
Blueberries are already so healthy, but freezing them allows for you to get the benefits in such a higher concentration than refrigerated ones. They will taste just as good but will be so much healthier without even showing it.
Try them out next time you pick up a batch. Grab a few extra ones to pack into the freezer for a few weeks, and make them a regular start to your mornings.