They’re a sweet, small treat by themselves, or a great way to dress up any meal. Blueberries are low in fat, sodium and calories and are packed with vitamins, fiber, antioxidants and manganese.

Blueberries are often regarded as a summertime treat, making the perfect addition to celebrations with their bright blue coloring and refreshing taste. However, this fabulous superfruit can be enjoyed year-round.

While delicious when fresh, blueberries can also be enjoyed dried, freeze-dried or canned, and will last frozen for about six months. With only about 80 calories per cup, there’s no need to feel guilty about indulging, or even occasionally over-indulging with this naturally sweet treat.

Fiber

One handful of blueberries will contribute 4 grams toward your recommended daily fiber intake. Besides promoting gut health and warding off constipation, there is evidence that suggests getting the proper amount of dietary fiber may reduce the risk of heart disease. Additionally, eating a fiber-rich diet can also keep your cholesterol in check.

Antioxidant properties

Scientists have discovered that berries have some of the highest antioxidant levels of any fresh fruits and many vegetables. Antioxidants are substances that protect the body by neutralizing free radicals (unstable oxygen molecules) that damage the body, causing various diseases and aging.

Vitamin C

This colorful fruit is also packed with vitamin C, which acts as an antioxidant, helping to protect cells and promote the growth of healthy tissue. One serving of blueberries will supply you with 25 percent of the daily recommendation for vitamin C.

Manganese

Blueberries are also an excellent source of manganese, which is important for bone development. Manganese also helps the body process cholesterol and nutrients such as carbohydrates and protein.

Blueberries are a sweet addition that can color your family’s diet all year long. Grab a handful for a snack, decorate a salad or build a delicious dessert around them. Enjoy them on the warm summer days this year and freeze your leftovers to enjoy into the winter months.

Need a Superfood recipe? Try one of these:

Blueberry parfait

Blueberry muffins

Blueberry smoothie