Although blueberry season is upon us, frozen berries may be the way to go year-round. New research from South Dakota State University suggests that frozen blueberries deliver a bigger dose of disease-fighting antioxidants than fresh.
These antioxidants come from compounds called anthocyanins, which give blueberries their purple hue. The ice crystals that form when the berries are frozen disrupt the structure of the plant tissue and make anthocyanins more available.
Frozen or not, blueberries have one of the highest antioxidant capacities among all fruits and may boost memory, cardiovascular system, and eyesight. The fruit also encourages a process called authophagy, or cell clean-up.
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When your cells age, damaged proteins and lipids collect inside them, releasing free radicals into the body, increasing your risk for disease, and hindering your ability to bounce back from illness. But another new study from the University of Florida suggests that the antioxidant resveratrol, found in blueberries, red grapes, and dark chocolate, can help jumpstart cells' "housekeeping" process when combined with a calorie-restricted diet.