Blueberry Extract vs Blueberry Powder: The True Health Benefits

It’s common knowledge that blueberries are a perfect addition to a healthy lifestyle.

With so many health benefits, we can only imagine how much you’d love to maximise this small, pigmented superfood.

Research has proven that blueberries have a superpower in preventing and treating cognitive degeneration, memory decline, cardiovascular and neurological problems, among many other health issues.

To maximise the full potential of blueberries, the food market is now flooded with blueberry juice, blueberry extract, blueberry leaf extract, blueberry powder, and whole blueberries —but, what is the true difference between all of these blueberry forms?

Average Concentration and Nutritional Content in Blueberries

Blueberries are well known for their dense nutrient content.

All forms of blueberry, whether as a whole blueberry fruit, juice, concentrate extracts, or powders, have some health benefits.

However, different sources of blueberries differ in their nutritional value, which also affects the potency of the superfood.

Blueberry extracts come from concentrated blueberry juice and are sold in the form of pills or capsules.

Blueberry powder, on the other hand, comes from freeze-dried blueberries which are then finely ground to make a powder.

These food supplements can be harvested and processed from either wild blueberries or cultivated blueberries.

Cultivated blueberries are bigger, sweeter, and have a higher water content compared to wild blueberries. However, they have a lower nutritional value.

According to research, organic fruits such as Nordic wild blueberries (bilberries) contain significantly more nutrients than cultivated varieties. For instance, they have much higher levels of important antioxidant phytochemicals like anthocyanin.

Nordic Wild Blueberries

If your tongue is stained after eating wild blueberry-rich food, then you’ve found the good kind.

Cultivated blueberries don’t stain the tongue.

Nordic wild blueberries, also known as Vaccinium myrtillus, take a big leg up compared to conventional blueberries.

These fruits are high in nutrients including;

  • Antioxidants (anthocyanins)
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Fibers
  • Micronutrients

Anthocyanins

Anthocyanins are the polyphenolic compounds found in blueberries that give them their characteristic blue colour. They are also responsible for blueberries’ anti-free-radical properties.

When found in excess, free radicals are like predators of molecules that promote good overall health.

Excess free radicals can potentially destabilise surrounding molecules, leading to a chain of reactions that can eventually result in disrupting and damaging your body’s cell function, your genetic DNA, and even the cognitive function of your brain.

Sometimes our bodies suffer from oxidative stress. This happens when the body loses the balance between free radicals and antioxidants. As a result, you’re left with an increased risk of diabetes, cancerous infections, heart diseases, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, and more.

With up to 33% more anthocyanins, Nordic wild blueberries are bursting with antioxidants. This is evident in the rich blue colour in their skin and inside the fruits. In contrast, Maine Blueberries and other cultivated varieties have light blue skins and are white on the inside.

Just half a cup of ripe blueberries can produce 200–400 mg of polyphenols.

The antioxidant properties in blueberries change in concentration according to the fruit’s ripeness or maturity.

This makes blueberry extracts and powders most potent when processed from the ripest blueberries.

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are also known to play the crucial role of antioxidants.

Organic Nordic bilberries are rich in vitamin C ,folic acid, vitamin A, E, and K, manganese, and dietary fibers.

These vitamins and minerals are all involved in your body’s metabolism, controlling infection and immune system deficiencies, the cognitive function of the brain, eyes, and even skin issues.

Potassium, manganese, and zinc promote a healthy gut by preventing bloating and facilitating the secretion of digestive enzymes which make digestion easier.

Since the body cannot make or store vitamin C, it’s important to incorporate it into our diet every day. This makes blueberry powder a great addition to your daily vitamin intake.

According to the U.S Department of Agriculture, 1 cup (148 g) of blueberries contains the following nutritional content:

Cup of Blueberries Nutrient Value % of your Daily Value
Vitamin C 14.4 mg 24%
Vitamin A 80 IU 1.6%
Vitamin E 0.84 mg 4.2%
Dietary Fiber 3.6 g 14.4%

Effects of Preservation Methods on Nutritional Value

bowl of frozen blueberries
Frozen blueberries

In order to reap all the numerous health benefits of blueberries, they must be preserved. This can be done by various methods such as freezing, dehydrating, or freeze-drying.

Blueberries are more concentrated in the form of a powder. Just one tablespoon of blueberry powder is equivalent to ½ cup of fresh berries.

Our natural wild blueberry powder conserves 97% of its nutritional value because its bilberries are harvested when they are fully ripe and immediately freeze-dried.

The freeze-drying process used to make our powdered blueberries preserves the whole fruit and ALL its nutrients. This results in higher levels of fiber, fructose, anthocyanins, polyphenols, and antioxidants in the blueberry powder.

In contrast, blueberry extract is made from concentrated blueberry juice. The juicing process removes most of the fibers and nutrients from the fruit pulp, skin, and seeds. Only what nutrients are left in the juice are preserved.

What Is the Freeze-Drying Method?

Drying, or dehydration, is an important step in preserving blueberries.

This step prevents spoilage from moisture and keeps nutrients intact. It even helps extend the shelf life of products for up to 10–15 years.

The most used drying methods include freeze-drying, oven drying, and sun drying.

Dehydrating the superfruit with extreme temperatures reduces the fruit’s nutritional value and limits its health benefits. Freeze-drying, on the other hand, preserves the berry’s nutrition, so it’s the best method.

After drying the blueberries, the next step is grinding. This allows the berries to be made into powder, pills, or capsules.

Natural wild blueberry powder contains 100% whole blueberries, free from gluten and all other additives.

The powder is made from the skin, flesh, and seeds of the blueberry fruit.

Blueberry extracts, on the other hand, are less nutrient-rich because they come from only part of the fruit.

There’s also an additional process involved in the making of extracts, which includes adding other ingredients such as preservatives, fillers, and sweeteners.

Pros and Cons of Blueberry Extract and Blueberry Powder

Pros

  • Blueberry powder is full of flavour and nutrients. Not only will you heal your body with the supplement powder, but you’ll also enjoy the rich taste of blueberries.
  • At prescribed doses, most healthy people safely enjoy the benefits of blueberry extract. The nutrient content in supplements are often standardised, unlike with fresh whole blueberries.
  • The antioxidant power in blueberry extracts and blueberry powder gives you a myriad of benefits. They have the power to help prevent neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and fight cancer.
  • Blueberry extracts and powders are convenient and also a good alternative to fresh seasonal berries.
  • Blueberry powder can be used in so many different recipes to spice up your diet.

Cons

  • Blueberry powders and extracts are concentrated, so dosage recommendations may be necessary.
  • Often, blueberry extract supplements come with additives such as herbal products, grapeseed, or marigold which can cause allergic reactions.
  • Some added ingredients may interact with certain medications. This can have a negative impact on your health, so consult your doctor beforehand.
  • Blueberry extract can lower blood sugar levels, so diabetic patients have to take caution.

How to Improve your Health With Blueberries

Freeze-Dried Organic Wild Blueberry Powder
Our organic wild blueberry powder

LOOV Food aims to bring natural medicine to your home, which is why our freeze-dried organic wild blueberry powder is your number one pick for your blueberry supplementation.

‘This is exactly what you’d expect of a powdered, freeze-dried fruit: a perfectly desiccated powder that dissolves easily in liquids and makes an excellent seasoning for things like oatmeal, plain yogurt, cottage cheese, or even ice cream’.

— CJ Verified buyer

Since it comes in powder form, there are so many ‘not so boring ways’ to incorporate this superfood into your diet.

Make sure to try out our recipes and let us know what you think.