Blueberry leaves might be a smarter snack than berries, says pharmacy student
You may enjoy eating blueberries, but what about blueberry leaves?
While they certainly don't taste as good, a pharmacy student at Memorial University says blueberry leaves are actually much higher in antioxidants than the fruit itself.
"Everybody looks at the fruit and are like, this is the brain food. This is so cool. But the leaves are actually way higher in antioxidants," said Michelle Debnath-Canning, who is doing her masters project on blueberry health benefits.
Debnath-Canning was one of a group of graduate students taking part in the Snappy Synopsis competition on Wednesday, in which students had five minutes or less to explain their research in everyday language.
She said that the antioxidants in blueberry leaves could have a positive effect on conditions like Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's.
But, she said, there's just one problem:
"Leaves just don't taste that good right now," she said.
"It's just a matter of getting consumers to actually like it. Maybe grind it up, put it in smoothies, make it a tea."
Taking them as a pill would also be an option, she said.
Picking the berries could have its own health benefit.
Debnath-Canning said she hiked 10 trails around St. John's to collect blueberries for her project, which was the most fun part of her work.