What is bilberry? It sounds a lot like blueberry, and rightfully so, as it’s relative to the benefit-rich blueberry and is most commonly used to make jams and pies. But did you know it’s also been used for centuries in medicine and food?
Historically, bilberry fruit was used to treat diarrhea, scurvy and other conditions. Today, the fruit is used as a traditional remedy for diarrhea, eye problems, varicose veins, poor circulation and even cancer prevention.
The bilberry leaf, in addition to the fruit, is used for other conditions, including diabetes. The fruit of the bilberry plant can be eaten just like a blueberry or made into extracts. Similarly, the leaves of the bilberry plant can be made into extracts or used to make bilberry tea.
Bilberry consists of many essential nutrients like; vitamins A, B1, B2, C, and E and minerals like; iron, copper, chromium and manganese. It is also a rich source of carbonic acids, tannins, and catechins.
Bilberry contains the chemicals called anthocyanosis dies which are a plant pigment and has potent antioxidant properties. These antioxidant fights against free radicals and helps the regeneration of damaged cells.
Here are 7 benefits of bilberry extract everyone must know about:
1. Improved Vision
Because of the antioxidant anthocyanosides mentioned earlier, bilberry has a variety of medicinal uses. One of the most significant effects of the powerful antioxidants is on the vision. Bilberry is known to improve a person’s night vision and eyesight in low light conditions. It also enhances capillary strength and decreases vascular permeability.
According to reports, allied fighter pilots ate bilberry jam and experienced improved vision during night time flights.
Bilberry may also have applications when it comes to treating retinopathy or retinal damage. It has also demonstrated protective properties against various other eye conditions including macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma.
2. Improve Bad Cholesterol
The amazing anthocyanosides found in bilberries may strengthen blood vessels and prevent the oxidation of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, a major risk factor for atherosclerosis that is the plaque that blocks blood vessels leading to heart attack and stroke.
A study reported that bilberry enrichment, when compared to black currants, reduced total and LDL-cholesterol levels. In fact, the total anthocyanin content was four times higher in bilberries than in black currants, possibly making it a better choice for reducing LDL cholesterol levels.
3. Improves Blood Circulation
Bilberry is considered to improve the blood flow issue in cases of venous insufficiency. Studies state that it happens when valves in the vein which carries blood from the legs to the heart is damaged. Bilberry consumption is also sufficient to cure bruising, pain, swelling and burning caused by chronic venous insufficiency.
4. For Diarrhea
In various parts of Europe, bilberry has traditionally been used to help treat diarrhea. The fruit itself contains tannins which are substances that have both astringent and anti-inflammatory properties. Because of their tanning content, bilberries can help tighten and constrict the intestinal tissues. By reducing inflammation in the intestines, the bilberry fruit may help relieve and clear up bouts of diarrhea.
5. Helps Prevent Cancer
In vitro work and tumorigenic animal models have demonstrated that bilberry anthocyanins have cancer-preventive qualities and suppressive activity due to antioxidants; the berries also have anti-inflammatory effects. A commercial anthocyanin-rich extract from bilberry was shown to inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells. In a DNA study, an anti-inflammatory profile was seen in macrophages treated with a bilberry extract, and since inflammation is an important risk factor for cancer, bilberry may be very useful in its prevention.
6. Prevents Diabetes
Bilberry leaves are considered to maintain blood sugar levels, and it decreases your glucose response when you eat high sugar food. Bilberry combined with oats can be very useful to prevent diabetes. Research and studies also state that it can cure the symptoms of insulin sensitivity and hyperglycemia in the patient having type 2 diabetes.
7. Reduce Alzheimer’s Disease
There is some evidence that fruit juice and vegetable juices rich in certain phenolic compounds may help to reduce the chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease. According to some studies, the risk of Alzheimer’s was significantly reduced when mice were treated with quercetin or myricetin extracts which are found in bilberry. Researchers have also found that behavioral abnormality may be alleviated with the extract.
Bilberry is a fruit and is safe to eat, and it has a lot of benefits for the body. In this post, I shared with you 7 benefits of bilberry extract everyone must know about.
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