July 5:July 5, 2012
July 5: National Blueberry Month
July was proclaimed National Blueberry Month by the United States Department of Agriculture on May 8th, 1999. Blueberries are grown in 35 states in the US, and the United States produces over 90% of all of the blueberries in the world. They have been used in soups, stews and more, for centuries. According to Ark-LA-Tex, the Native Americans taught the pilgrims to use blueberries in many ways. Blueberries were dried in the sun and ground into a powder. The powder was used to make a pudding called Sautauthig, and it was used to season meat as a “spice rub.”
The Native Americans also believed that these little blue berries were good for your health. Blueberry tea is supposed to help relax women during childbirth, leaves from the blueberry bush were used to make a blood purifier that was good for the kidneys, and blueberry juice was supposed to be good for coughs. Modern medicine also identifies the health benefits of blueberries. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the Rutgers Blueberry Cranberry Research Center in Chatsworth, N.J. found that blueberries help prevent infections in the urinary tract in much the same way that cranberries do. They may also help to prevent macular degeneration according to Ronald L. Prior, Ph.D., director of the USDA.
Did you know that eating blueberries could also be one of the keys to living to a ripe old age? Well, if you take a look at the research, foods that are rich in antioxidants are supposed to help reduce your chance of getting cancer and heart disease, and blueberries are loaded with them. Out of 40 different fruits, juices and vegetables, the blueberry comes in with the highest antioxidant level, according to the North American Blueberry Council. Just three and a half ounces of blueberries are equivalent to over 1700 International Units of vitamin E.
Which two states grow the most blueberries?
How many pounds make a bushel of blueberries?