Why You Should Consider Adding Blueberries To Your Next Salad

Salads have come a long way since being relegated to pre-meal or side-salad status while awaiting your "real food." Now, elaborate unlimited options elevate salads from also-ran to stars of the culinary show. Ingredients run the gamut from sweet to savory, crunchy to creamy, and healthy to calorie-laden. Salads still hold a rep for being nutritious, but it takes a bit more effort these days to keep them that way. Fortunately, some superfood treasures happen to do the trick — including the fruit-favorite blueberry.

Reasons for popping blueberries into your salads abound, with benefits you can enjoy all year. The Philadelphia Sunday Sun explains that blueberries grow prolifically in the warm summer months of North America but also thrive in the winter and spring seasons of South America. The little blue beauties are easily transported and ready to freeze for up to 10 months, per the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council.

Blueberries transform an oridinary salad

An obvious motivation for infusing salads with blueberry goodness is mere convenience. It's one of the only fruits that need no preparation. Unlike stone or core fruits, there's nothing to remove, including skins or stems. And they're so tiny that slicing them would be pointless. The brilliant blue hue gives a dash of color to otherwise unimaginative salads and the subtle sweetness perks up the taste without overpowering savory ingredients.

Health benefits overflow with the spunky round blueberry, which carries a "super fruit" designation by numerous medical professionals, including Atrium Health. They can even aid in cancer treatments, according to the National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR), due to naturally occurring cancer-fighting agents. The presence of the antioxidant resveratrol in blueberry skins is already known for enhancing cardiovascular health, but the NFCR explains its ability to inhibit all the stages of carcinogenesis, which is when normal cells transform into cancer cells, per ScienceDirect. Those antioxidants can also improve cholesterol levels, notes WebMD, which states that blueberries have higher amounts of antioxidants than any other common fruit or vegetable.

It's easy to get incorporate blueberries into everyday salads, especially when thinking outside the culinary box. For example, a berry and watercress salad recipe highlights how watercress can complement and heighten the taste of blueberries in a salad. Instead of lettuce, watercress becomes a centerpiece of the salad as it evolves, with a tossed infusion of blueberries crowning a honey-sweetened yogurt mixture.