Superfoods are just that. They’re food that gives you an high amount of nutrients per gram, and assist in keeping your system able to fight of disease, and not many are as beneficial as a Huckleberry. The name of the game here is “What’s the best Antioxidant”.
Everyone knows that Blueberries are superior to many berries for Vitamin C, Vitamin E and manganese. Interestingly though, cultivated blueberries, which have always been promoted as one of the most beneficial fruits, is not considered a Super Fruit as there are many berries with higher Antioxidant properties. (but we still love them!!)
The new kid on the block is the Acai berry. This berry is from a type of Palm tree grown in South America. High in Vitamin C, B12 and B6 but most importantly it is a very powerful antioxidant and this is why it’s become so popular so fast.
However, living in the Northwest of North America, we live alongside one of the very best of all berries – the Huckleberry. Only the Lingonberry is higher on the Antioxidant scale.
Due to the high levels of Antioxidants, the benefits of the Huckleberry are:
- beneficial to the pancreas in digesting sugars and starches.
- are high in iron and help to build blood.
- are associated with lowering cholesterol; protecting against heart diseases, glaucoma, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and peptic ulcers.
- a good source vitamin B, huckleberry supports and speeds up the metabolism rate, keeps skin and muscle tone healthy.
- proven to improve immune system function, promote cell growth and division and helps in preventing pancreatic cancer.
- high in vitamin C, huckleberries protect the body against immune deficiencies, cardiovascular diseases, prenatal health problems, and eye diseases.
- high in potassium. Ensuring proper functioning of nerve and muscle tissues, such as the heart and skeletal muscles.
On the coast, we get the Red Huckleberry which grows wildly in almost any forested area. It likes soil that is wet and you’ll find them in areas that gets some sun through the dense canopy. These aren’t quite as antioxidant rich as their darker cousins but still pack a punch higher than a blueberry and will stand toe to toe against the Acai berry.
Although, all of the comparisons aside. What we love is that we can go wondering into our local forest and harvest these amazing berries for ourselves. Our kids LOVE eating them and we figure it has a lot to do with how they search them out like easter eggs.
They’re a special treat because they are VERY hard to grow commercially so you do not find them in the grocery stores or markets. They’re a lot like a Cacao Tree; take it away from its native environment and your yield will plummet, if you get anything at all.
So, into the forest we go every summer trying to pick enough to take back for jam or on our porridge. Fortunately our kids will eat every last one we pick before we even leave the trails. They’re sour and tangy with a pleasant sweet aftertaste, almost like some type of citrus.
So we’ll eat Acai berries as often as we can, all year round, to get vital nutrients and critical antioxidants. But also take advantage of our local harvest when we can, and the spectacular gift of Red Huckleberries from Mother Nature.