Scientific Name: – Vaccinium angustifolium X Vaccinium corymbosum
“Nutrition information studies suggest that wild blueberries help keep us healthy and may even thwart the effects of aging, particularly with respect to loss of memory and motor skills. The possible health benefits of blueberries may be related to the antioxidant capacity of the blue pigments (anthocyanins), as well as other natural compounds. Blueberries have more antioxidant capacity than 40 other fruits and vegetables tested. There is evidence that the blue in the berries may have cancer-fighting properties and protect against heart disease. Blueberries contain a number of phytochemicals that may make a positive contribution to human health. These include: antioxidants, anthocyanins, bacterial inhibitors, folic acid, vitamins A and C, carotenoids, ellagic acid, and dietary fibers. Their caloric value is low and they contain no fat.
The wild lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Ait.) is an important successional species of cleared woodland and abandoned farmland of northeastern North America where commercial, managed blueberry fields have been developed. Lowbush blueberries are a widely-grown fruit crop in the USA and Canada. These berries are noted for their small size and sweet taste.
The cultivated highbush blueberry (V. corymbosum L.) is a multiseed berry, with small, soft seeds. The dark blue berries are three times larger than lowbush blueberry. Highbush blueberries are cultivated mainly in USA, Canada, Australia, Argentine, Chile, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Poland, Japan, Spain and France.
In North European countries such as Norway, Sweden, Finland and Estonia, the cultivation of blueberries is being considered. The climate conditions of North Europe are suitable for the lowbush and half-highbush (Vaccinium corymbosum L. x Vaccinium angustifolium Ait.) blueberry cultivation. Bilberry (V. myrtillus L.) is widespread in Estonian nature and historical traditions use the fresh berries, plant leaves and dried berries as a herbal plant.” (Starast M, Karp K, Vool E, Moor U, Tonutare T, Paal T. Chemical Composition and Quality of Cultivated and Natural Blueberry Fruit in Estonia. Vegetable crops research bulletin. 2007 Sep 7;66(1):143äóń53)