Amazing Health Benefits Of Bilberry
Bilberry, a native to Europe, is a fruit which is closely related to blueberry. Bilberries are also known as huckleberries, or European blueberries and are often consumed as whole fruit, in powdered form, juice and as a supplement. In this article, we will discuss the health benefits of bilberries.
100 g of bilberries contain 44 calories, 0.7 g of protein, 11.5 g of carbohydrates, and 2.8 g of dietary fibre. It also contains other vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, beta-carotene, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese, and chromium.
Bilberries are packed with antioxidants like polyphenols and anthocyanins and have found uses in treating conditions ranging from diabetes to eye conditions like glaucoma, cataracts, age-related macular degeneration and dry eyes.
These antioxidants can curb inflammation and protect against diseases associated with oxidative stress such as inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and age-related cognitive declines like Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.
They also stabilize tissues containing collagen such as tendons, ligaments and cartilage in the muscles. They are known to strengthen the walls of the blood vessels and are effective in treating varicose veins and haemorrhoids.
1. Treats Eye Fatigue
2. Treats Gum Inflammation
3. Reduce LDL Levels
4. Manages Blood Sugar Levels
5. Treats Diarrhoea
6. Prevents Cancer
7. Prevents Kidney Failure
A study published in the Journal of Nutrition, Health and Ageing found that bilberry has potent antioxidant compounds that help in treating eye fatigue. Researchers found that the treatment with the help of bilberry extract may aid in improving both objective and subjective measures of eye fatigue (such as eye pain, heaviness, discomfort, and foreign body sensation).
Some studies also suggest that bilberry extract can help in the treatment of retinal disorders and other eye diseases.
Gum inflammation, also known as gingivitis, can be warded off with the help of bilberry, according to a study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences. This is due to the anti-inflammatory effects of the anthocyanins-rich extract of bilberry. Researchers have found that consuming 500 g of bilberries could reduce gum inflammation.
Another powerful antioxidant called polyphenols in bilberries may strengthen blood vessels and reduce the levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is a major risk factor for atherosclerosis, a cardiovascular disease that blocks blood vessels leading to heart attack and stroke.
Bilberry leaves have been used traditionally for controlling blood sugar levels in diabetic people. Research shows that bilberry extract may be effective in managing blood sugar levels, particularly when they are combined with oatmeal.
The bilberry fruit contains tannins, a substance that acts as both an anti-inflammatory agent and astringent. This aids in constricting and tightening the tissues which in turn reduces internal inflammation, thus reducing the symptoms of diarrhoea.
The antioxidants in bilberries inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells. These antioxidants are also effective against the development of various cancers such as breast cancer and leukaemia.
Bilberries are also effective in preventing kidney damage. Scientific research shows that bilberry extracts aid in excreting heavy metals from the body resulting in detoxification of the kidneys.
Bilberries can be consumed in various ways:
1. You can make yourself a bilberry tea.
2. Bilberry can be added to pies, tarts, and juices.
3. Add bilberries as topping in a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast.
4. You can prepare jam from bilberries and serve it with bread.
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