The TODAY Show searched the world for the top superfoods that enhance and prolong longevity. They narrowed it down to three finalists and we were pretty excited to learn what they were. Olive oil from Cypress in the Eastern Mediterranean, rye from Scandinavia and Wild Blueberries from Maine and Eastern Canada.
Anyone who’s had the pleasure of picking Wild Blueberries knows they are a delicious amazing fruit with sweet and tart flavor profile. Savvy chefs and innovators across the U.S. are beginning to understand that Wild Blueberries provide extraordinary taste and health benefits to a variety of menus and packaged foods, from baked goods, to smoothies, to salads, to energy bars. In fact, the benefit of wild food, such as Wild Blueberries, is gaining prominence as restaurant chains and packaged food makers seek ingredients that fulfill the promise of great taste, superior nutrition, and that have a unique origin story. Wild Blueberries deliver on all of those fronts.
Telling the Wild Story
The TODAY Show recently sent a production crew to the Wild Blueberry barrens of Maine to unearth the story behind this amazing 10,000-year-old crop and its connection to longevity. The 4-minute segment is a must see for any chef or food service innovator interested in wild foods, from how they are grown to why they are so extraordinary for human health.
Dr. Mary Ann Lila, a foremost expert on the health benefits of Wild Blueberries, told TODAY: "When you break open a wild blueberry or eat it you'll get stains on your fingers. Those stains are pigments which are the health protective compounds which help with ... cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes ... memory [and] many forms of cancer."
These deep-blue pigments, known as anthocyanins, a subclass of phytonutrients called flavonoids, create stains that can be tough to get out, but research shows they're worth it.
Here’s a punch list of Wild Blueberry benefits:
- Wild Blueberries have antiviral characteristics that can boost immunity.
- Wild Blueberries are naturally low in fat, high in fiber (21% of your daily value – 2x that of regular blueberries).
- Wild Blueberries are an excellent source of manganese (170% of your daily value – 8x that of regular blueberries), which is important for bone development.
- Wild Blueberries have 32% less sugar than farmed varieties with just 10 grams of sugar per cup.
- Wild Blueberries are a low glycemic food, scoring 53 out of 100-point glycemic index.
All of this makes Wild Blueberries a naturally nutrient-rich choice, adding important dietary nutrients without adding “empty” calories, while the flavonoids cause the berries to be rich in antioxidants, which work to fight inflammation.
ingredient that stands out from the crowd when it comes to flavor and nutritionals.
Wild Blueberries are one of America's oldest indigenous crops, growing right where mother nature put them in the harsh northern landscape of Maine and Eastern Canada. The plant’s unique ability to survive in thin glacial soils and a harsh northern climate makes Wild Blueberries one the preferred fruits available with twice the antioxidants of ordinary blueberries.
Over the last two decades, scientific research has found that powerful phytonutrients in Wild Blueberries may help reduce inflammation, lower the risk of many chronic diseases, and contribute to healthy aging.
When Panera Bread Head Baker Tom Gumpel visited the Wild Blueberry barrens he noted: "Chefs and bakers have known for years that Wild Blueberries are the perfect ingredient for any real foods menu. I'm still amazed when a chain neglects to call out ‘Wild’ on their menu. If you're a baker like me, you should be sourcing frozen Wild Blueberries. If you're using wild, you should say so."
Wholesale Wild Blueberries are available in bulk year-round in virtually any format you need including; individually -quick-frozen (IQF), dried, concentrate, puree, and powder. New and innovative forms are continually emerging as part of the industry’s ongoing R&D efforts. Contact a Wild Blueberry supplier in the U.S or Canada to learn more.
Watch the TODAY Show story on Wild Blueberries: https://on.today.com/2I7zAqD