Are Wild Blueberries Better For You Than Cultivated Blueberries?

Packed with nutrients and a whole lot of flavour, this season’s littlest fruit now gives you more of a reason to indulge in their goodness.

Wild Blueberries photo credit: Angus Fergusson

What you need to know about wild blueberries

I know blueberries don’t sound that exciting but there are really cool nutritional benefits that most people don’t know about. Wild blueberries look much like their common blueberry cousins — the main difference is size. True wild blueberries are small, roughly the size of sultana raisins, and have the most blueberriest of flavours. (Just give this Wild Blueberry Sorbet a try and you’ll see for yourself.) Wild blueberries are the ones you’ll find at your local market for a short time each summer, often selling anywhere from $8-$12/quart. They grow in the wild, usually on rocky outcrops, and are labour-intensive and time-consuming to harvest. They are also worth every penny, when we consider the nutrient and flavour punch of each gem of goodness.

The health benefits of wild blueberries

We know berries are good for us — beyond being extraordinarily delicious. Generally speaking, there are differences in the nutrients of wild foods, simply because they have to be able to sustain themselves in their natural environment without the help of farmers or person-made fertilizers. When it comes to wild blueberries, they have a higher concentration of the antioxidant anthocyanin compared to their cultivated counterpart, and therefore have a greater antioxidant capacity per serving. These antioxidants, as part of the diet, possess anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. They are also noted for their benefit in preventing cardiovascular disease. My favourite benefit is the natural sun-protective nature of antioxidants. Eating wild blueberries in the summer can help protect against the damaging rays of the summer sun. Here are 5 more health benefits of blueberries you’ll wish you knew sooner.

And lastly, here’s how to enjoy one of summer’s tastiest fruit

I’m not sure anyone needs guidance on how to enjoy wild blueberries. They are truly one of summer’s greatest treats. Enjoy by the handful, pressed into juice, frozen and blended like a sorbet, in smoothies, on top of your granola or with coconut kefir. (Speaking of coconut kefir, read up on the benefits this probiotic powerhouse has to offer.)

Originally Published in Best Health Canada