Blueberries are the latest `superfruits`

New Delhi: A new study has named a variety of fresh, antioxidant-rich blueberries as the latest "superfruit."

Researchers have found that two species of wild blueberries, native to the tropical regions of Central and South America-the New World tropics, or Neotropics-contain two to four times more antioxidants than the blueberries sold in U.S. markets.

This finding is the result of an analysis of the compounds contained in neotropical blueberries grown at The New York Botanical Garden.

Professor Edward Kennelly, a biologist at Lehman College in the Bronx who is an expert in medicinal plants, and Paola Pedraza, a botanist at The New York Botanical Garden whose specialties include South American blueberry species, conducted the study.

"No one had looked at this," said Pedraza.

"The results are very promising," added Pedraza.

For their study, the scientists examined five species of neotropical blueberries. The two species that had the highest amounts of antioxidants were Cavendishia grandifolia and Anthopterus wardii.

"We consider these two species of neotropical blueberries to be extreme superfruits with great potential to benefit human health," said Kennelly.

Although these blueberries are wild species that are not currently commercially available, the scientists believe that they have the potential to become a popular food item or health supplement if their high antioxidant content becomes better known.

The study has been published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.


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