Blueberries, Raw

ORAC Value:
μ mol TE/100g.

The antioxidant value of Blueberries, Raw described in ORAC units is: 4,669 μ mol TE/100g.


Some say blueberries are overrated and to a degree, they're right. Are blueberries good for your skin, brain, eyes, and overall health as you've heard? The answer is "yes" for all of those things, that's not the issue. Rather, the problem with blueberries is that their antioxidant content, although high, is not really superfood status as some perceive them to be. For example, raw strawberries have an ORAC value that is almost the exact same, but you don't hear people hyping those up. Or how about golden raisins which have a value over twice as high. It's not that blueberries aren't healthy for you to eat, it's just that grocery stores and restaurants seem to take advantage of their superfood status by overcharging you for them.

Need more evidence that you have better options? Compare antioxidants in blueberries vs. blackberries, with the latter you're getting 26% more. But what really blows away blackberries are black raspberries, which have an ORAC of over 19,000 (that's over 3x the amount). There's good news though if you prefer the taste of blueberries... buy the wild variety which have an ORAC of over 9,000. That's over double the antioxidants for the same amount of berries.

Of course as we all know, grocery stores often charge outrageous prices for fresh fruit like the ones mentioned. This makes is near impossible to eat them frequently, unless you want to go broke. The good news is that you can enjoy them daily for a fraction of the cost. Are frozen blueberries as good for you as fresh? Nope, frozen are actually healthier! Yep that's right, because they pick and freeze intermediately - typically within 24 hours - more of the antioxidants are preserved.

When they have to ship them to the store fresh, days go buy and the nutrients degrade from the light and oxidation by the air. Another benefit of buying them frozen is you have more options, such as the wild varieties which are never sold fresh at supermarkets. In order to get the maximum nutrition out of frozen, don't dethaw them in your microwave as that destroys many of the nutrients, especially vitamin C. Instead, place the frozen berries in a bowl and leave them in your fridge overnight. By the next morning, they will be ready to eat for breakfast on your oatmeal or cereal.

ORAC Source

USDA Database for the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of Selected Foods, Release 2 - Prepared by Nutrient Data Laboratory, Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center (BHNRC), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - May 2010