Blueberries have a relatively brief history having only been cultivated in their native North America for a little over a 100 year. Native Americans were very fond of wild blueberries eating them fresh and using to make pemmican – a mixture of ground air-dried meat, fat and berries. The oldest blueberry plantation in the UK dates back to 1959.
In recent years popularity for blueberries has surged as people learn more about their health-giving properties. In fact, not only are blueberries a rich source of fibre, calcium and vitamins A and C, but US studies have shown these berries have more antioxidants than most other fruit and vegetables! Studies have also suggested that blueberries can help to strengthen eyesight and reduce cholesterol.
Strawberries have been eaten since Roman times, when they were also used medicinally to help with digestive ailments, discoloured teeth and skin irritations. The strawberries available today are derived from varieties that were originally developed in the seventeenth century. Strawberries are best when served with a simple dressing such as fresh cream, the perfect addition to a warm summer’s day!
Strawberries are rich in vitamin C, manganese and folic acid. They are a good source of ellagic acid (a phytochemical thought to combat carcinogens) and contain antioxidant flavonoids (linked with protecting against heart disease, stroke and cancers).