Why Are Blueberries Blue?

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graphic with text why are blueberries blue with a background of a bucket of blueberries closeup

graphic with text why are blueberries blue with a background of a bucket of blueberries closeup

We have all heard that blueberries are nutritious and full of antioxidants, but have you ever wondered why blueberries are blue? The blue shade of blueberries is attributable to plant compounds known as anthocyanins — the pigments responsible for the red, purple, and blue colors in plants. [1][3] Anthocyanins are high in plants like blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and even some colors of autumn leaves. [1]

baskets of blueberries blackberries raspberries in containers

Anthocyanins are also what facilitate the antioxidant effects that are linked to positive health outcomes and reduced risk of certain diseases. [1][3] 

Studies have shown that consistent, moderate intake of foods high in anthocyanins is linked to reduced risk of heart disease, mortality, type 2 diabetes, and urinary tract infections. [1][2] Research also suggests that consuming anthocyanins helps aid digestion by increasing the amounts of “good” bacteria known as probiotics and reducing the “bad” kids of bacteria. [4]

Though research is ongoing, there is compelling evidence to suggest that incorporating foods like blueberries into your diet can reduce your risk of certain diseases. [1]

hand extended with a giant juicy blueberry in background is bucket of blueberries attached to girl with a belt with blueberry bushes in the background

So, the next time you eat blueberries, take a moment to appreciate their deep blue tone. You can happily eat blueberries knowing that their beautiful blue color is the reason why blueberries are known for their health benefits. Blueberries really are full of love.

blueberries are love typography

Check out our special ‘Blueberries Are Love’ apparel and accessories on our online shop.

Citations:

[1] Kalt, Wilhelmina, Aedin Cassidy, Luke R. Howard, Robert Krikorian, April J. Stull, Francois Tremblay, and Raul Zamora-Ros. “Recent research on the health benefits of blueberries and their anthocyanins.” Advances in Nutrition 11, no. 2 (2020): 224-236.

[2] Mazza, G., Colin D. Kay, Tony Cottrell, and Bruce J. Holub. “Absorption of anthocyanins from blueberries and serum antioxidant status in human subjects.” Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 50, no. 26 (2002): 7731-7737.

[3] Tena, Noelia, Julia Martín, and Agustín G. Asuero. “State of the art of anthocyanins: Antioxidant activity, sources, bioavailability, and therapeutic effect in human health.” Antioxidants 9, no. 5 (2020): 451.

[4] Zhou, Li, Minhao Xie, Fu Yang, and Jikai Liu. “Antioxidant activity of high purity blueberry anthocyanins and the effects on human intestinal microbiota.” LWT 117 (2020): 108621.

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