Blueberries could be the perfect food. Certainly we, at Merrill Blueberry Farms family would agree -- we've known blueberries were exceptional since 1925. Here's why this diminutive but dynamic gem of nature is just now in the limelight:

Are you eating more blueberries?
You probably are. The growing visibility of blueberries follows the increased demand for food that is healthy and combative to disease.We know blueberries are flavorful and pleasing to the eye, but the berry's star quality relies on its health benefits. The David of fruit Goliaths, the tiny blue berry packs a nutritional wallop.

According to a USDA study conducted by the Human Nutrition Center on Aging at Tuft's University in 1998, the blueberry is #1 in antioxidant activity. It surpassed 40 other fruits and vegetables in its ability to neutralize free radicals -- particles that damage your cells in ways that lead to cancer, heart disease and the effects of aging.

Blueberries also contain vitamins A and C, zinc, potassium, iron, calcium and magnesium, and are high in fiber and low in calories.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration confirms the preservation of nutrients for frozen fruits. In fact, frozen fruits equal and sometimes surpass fresh fruit in its nutritional value, and no other fruit freezes more perfectly than the wild blueberry. Harvested in the field at the peak of ripeness, wild blueberries like those at Merrill Blueberry Farms are sorted, cleaned and individually quick-frozen within hours. In doing so, all their health benefits and all their advantages, including taste and usability are retained.

Recommendations are that each person get 5-10 servings of fruit and vegetables every day to help prevent cancer and diseases associated with aging. With yogurt or by the handful, blueberries satisfy myriad dietary desires. The versatility of the blueberry has made that easy for us to get a start on reaching those requirements -- through crisps, cereal, salad, pancakes, muffins, smoothies, shakes, yogurt, sauces, chutney, and toppings for ice cream and chicken -- is your pantry stocked?