Cooking Blueberries – Yay or Nay?

Don’t you just love blueberries?

How do you like them? Raw in cereal? Yum. What about cooking them into a filling of a pie? Woohoo! What about baked blueberries in your favourite muffin mix? Good, eh?

Unfortunately, if you said either of the last two, we’ve got a tiny bit of bad news to break.

Turns out that the cooking and baking process could affect the health benefits that blueberries offer, making them just a bit less super than you’d expect. The main issue comes in how high temperatures affect things called polyphenols.

Wait, what are polyphenols?

Polyphenols are tiny little nutrients that come, tucked away in every blueberry you eat. There’s a simple rule. The more polyphenols, the better the berry.

Recently, we’ve started to understand just how important these little guys are when it comes to preventing diabetes and heart disease. Researchers from universities around the world have found that cooking, baking, and proofing (the process and time in which dough rises) all seem to change the level of polyphenols in our fruit. The interesting thing is, different circumstances change the outcome. Sometimes it’s a bad impact, sometimes it’s good.

Let’s look at (and please bear with us here) one type of these polyphenols, called anthocyanins (this is the awesome stuff that gives blueberries their beautiful blue hue). After being baked, fried or cooked, anthocyanin levels in some berries dropped by a whole 10%.

Meanwhile (another good-guy nutrient) phenolic acid levels, went slightly up after going through the same test. Basically, while there are some positive effects that cooking has on your favourite fruit, we’re seeing more of a negative effect.

Look, blueberries aren’t the only fruits in question here. A lot of different fruit changes after being cooked. It turns out that tomatoes, for instance, actually become better for you after they’ve been cooked, while cooking broccoli too long can destroy the enzymes that give the vegetable its cancer-fighting abilities.

Here at Blueboost we choose blueberries just as they come – raw, fresh, natural and packed full of The Good Stuff.

Why not try out some of our favourite Blueberry Recipes:

  1. Blueberry Maple and Cinnamon Rolls (Perfect for a Sunday Treat)
  2. Vegan Berry Crunch (Every day goodness)