Farm Fact: Florida Blueberries

Published: Mar. 31, 2020 at 7:33 AM EDT
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Blueberries have plenty of benefits, without even counting how good they taste.

Here to tell us more about blueberry production here in Florida is the Alachua County Farm Bureau with this week's Farm Fact.

Florida is the only state that grows fresh blueberries from late March through April with a limited number of blueberry varieties that are specially bred to survive and produce early fruit in Florida's climate.

Because of the limited varieties and hardiness of plants, Florida is not competitive in the processed fruit market which includes jams, jellies or muffins. Florida blueberries are found fresh packed in the spring and available in the best markets. In addition to being good to eat, fresh blueberries are good for you.

Current research has determined that blueberries seem to qualify as a superfood. Benefits established to date include cancer-fighting anti-oxidants and anti-aging/memory enhancement.

The pigment that makes blueberries blue makes them the number one source of anti-oxidants which consume cancer-causing free radicals. Blueberries have been demonstrated to improve memory and a reduction of cardiovascular disease and stroke. They are rich in compounds that reduce bad cholesterol and promote cardiovascular health.

Blueberries have been demonstrated to fight urinary infection and are being considered as a pharmaceutical.