Bilberry (Vaccinium Myrtillus) is a small blueberry that is a close relative to cranberry, huckleberry, whortleberry, and blaeberry. Bilberries are native to Northern Europe but are now also widely cultivated in North Asia and North America.
Just like its close relatives, bilberry is rich in anthocyanin which is a potent antioxidant that gives bilberry its dark blue color. Bilberry is also rich in vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, B1, B2, C, E, and K as well as manganese, zinc, chromium, and iron. Bilberry is also rich in phytochemicals and phenolic constituents such as pectin, quercetin, catechins, and tannins,
Below are various health benefits of bilberry;
1. Helps To Minimize The Likelihood Of Contracting Colon Cancer
This is certainly one of the amazing benefits of bilberry. Scientists have made this observation in rats that consume bilberry. From this, they concluded that those rats that did not consume this berry had a high chance of getting colon cancer. The strength of bilberry in fighting colon cancer is attributed to the fact that it is rich in pterostilbene, an active ingredient that is responsible for minimizing the chances of contracting this type of cancer.
2. Helps To Regulate Blood Sugar Levels
This is supported by an experiment that was conducted on model rats. The rats that regularly consumed bilberry had a rise in insulin sensitivity. This led to an increased metabolic breakdown of sugar. A high sugar level in the bloodstream means that the chances of contracting diabetes would be high. As such, bilberry is an effective way for helping control ones blood sugar levels.
3. Helps In Improving Eyesight
The eyes are very important body organs. These parts require nourishment at all times for them to function properly. Continued use of bilberry is very good to the eyes because it helps in retaining the eyes health and also bettering its functionality (vision). The main reason that makes bilberry to be suitable for the eyes is the fact that they contain flavonoids (anthocyanosides) which play a very important role of maximizing the flow of blood to the tiniest of vessels spread across the eyes. This improves the eye’s vitality and its ability to see across a wide range/scope. This has made the bilberry to form an integral component in the manufacture of beauty products. Bilberry is also key in treating a series of eye-related complications like diabetic neuropathy and cataracts.
4. Helps In Maintaining The Functionality Of Blood Vessels
Of importance to the various circulatory vessels is the fact bilberry has numerous benefits to the heart and its related components. Key among this is ensuring the continued flow of blood (oxygenated) to all important parts and getting rid of deoxygenated blood as quickly as possible from various organs to increase the functionality of these organs.
Another important point is that with continued consumption of the bilberry, the concentration of plaque in the blood vessels especially the arteries is greatly reduced. This in itself helps the body combat any incidence of either varicose vein or arteriosclerosis.
5. Is A Very Active Agent In The Healing Of Chronic Venous Insufficiency
This has been adequately confirmed by research. Bilberry really helps in fighting this problem.
6. Helps To Inhibit Atherosclerosis
These are some of the benefits of the bilberry that makes it a deterrent to atherosclerosis; opening up and reinforcing various blood vessels, helps to curb the deposition of harmful cholesterol and also improves on the transmission of blood around the body.
7. Helps To Treat Diarrhea
Bilberry has tannins and phytochemicals that have anti-inflammatory and astringent characteristics; this helps to reduce the severity of diarrhea. It has been used in Europe as a treatment for diarrhea for over 1000 years in the past.
8. Helps To Improve Blood Circulation
Bilberry has a unique component, anthocyanins, that help contain blood flowing into the capillaries to move in slow pressure. This, in effect, helps to enhance the flow of blood in adequate proportions within a certain period of time. Proper flow of blood throughout the body reduces the likelihood of contracting cardiovascular diseases significantly.
9. Helps To Curb Blood Clots
The oxidation of low-density lipoprotein in the body increases the chances of plaque deposition in various blood vessels. This increases the probability of suffering from stroke and heart attacks. In general, taking bilberry would help reduce the chances of developing a blood clot and other cardiac impairments.
10. Helps To Reduce The Chances Of Gastric And Intestinal Diseases
This is put in check by the presence of tannins, in the bilberry, which has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce the probability of developing these diseases.
11. Helps To Treat Urinary Tract Infection
Just like cranberry, bilberry is a potent deterrent to the development of bacteria within the walls of the urinary tract. Bilberry is also rich in vitamin C which helps speed up recovery of any eventual urinary tract infection.
12. Beneficial To The Digestive System
Continued consumption of bilberry helps improve one’s digestive system as it keeps the following ailments in check; dysentery, indigestion and stomach pains.
13. For Improved Vascular Health
Flavonoids, in bilberry, improve the health of blood vessels and reduce the chances of high blood pressure. Bilberry is also a good remedy for treating complications of either angina or varicose vein.
14. Builds The Body’s Immunity
The body’s immune system is very key in determining the risk that an individual faces in terms of their attempt to fight pathogens. In this respect; a good immune system reduces the likelihood of getting various diseases like a cough and bacterial infections which would otherwise have been easily contracted.
Of importance under this topic is the fact that the bilberry is rich in antioxidants that are key in fighting harmful free radicals which are harmful compounds found in the body after various chemical reactions. Sufficient antioxidants in the body would help to inhibit these free radicals.
15. Strengthens The Health Of Women
This is amplified by the fact that bilberry helps to reduce the probability of having the following complications in women; ulcers, cystic fibrosis, breast cancer, and also pains that results during the menstrual cycle.
16. Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties That Are Key In Fighting Certain Complications
Inflammation results when the body suffers from any great impact causing it to result in swelling, bruising or pain. Bilberry has anti-inflammatory properties within it making it easier for injuries or swellings to heal.
17. Beneficial To Mucous Membranes
Mucous membranes are found in the mouth, throat, and nose. When they wear out they always need replacing. Bilberry facilitates the removal of the old membranes to be replaced with new and more productive ones.
18. Helps In Treating Mouth And Throat Inflammations
Bilberry helps reduce the severity of a sore throat inflammation and this sufficiently gives people freedom especially in terms of speech and expression. It also improves an individuals’ mood.
19. It Is A Good Relaxing Agent
Herbal tea made from bilberries that have been dehydrated is really a good beverage as it helps calm down emotions of fear or anxiety.
20. It Is Heart-Friendly
Bilberry is a good regulator of blood pressure; be it high or low. Bilberry also enhances the transmission of blood to various body parts as it helps maintain strong and open vessels. This helps ensure the reach of blood to all capillaries, nerves and to the very small cell membranes.
21. Helps Maintain The Skin’s Beauty
The skin needs to be maintained for it to look younger and beautiful. Bilberry is a good skin care remedy as it has resveratrol and quercetin that helps replenish the skin with nutrients and helps inhibit skin aging symptoms. Bilberry also contains a good quantity of vitamins C, B and E together with minerals that play an active role in skin growth and development. It also contains antioxidants that are important in protecting the skin against ultraviolet-ray damage.
22. Helps Prevent Menstrual Complications
Bilberry is enriched with anti-inflammatory constituents that are effective in reducing the effects of menstrual cramps. It is also advisable to take any beverage enriched with bilberry supplements in advance to reduce the severity of menstrual symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and discomfort.
23. It’s A Good Weight Loss Agent
Bilberry is also good for weight loss as it helps speed up the body’s metabolism.
24. Helps Curb The Development Of Oral Maladies
Bilberry is rich in vitamin C which is really good for preventing scurvy. Bilberry also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory components within its structure that help in minimizing bleeding and swelling.
25. Helps Improve The Nervous System
Bilberry contains flavonoids, polyphenols, and anthocyanin that are important for nerve health. Bilberry has antioxidants within them that inhibit harmful free radicals in the nerves, thus, improving the nerve’s overall functionalities. These are some of the accrued benefits that would result from the continued consumption of bilberry; prevent Alzheimer’s disease, reduce behavioral abnormalities and boost a person’s overall cognition.
26. Helps Prevent Cancer
Bilberry has a wide range of antioxidants that reduce the chances of one developing cancer; be it breast cancer, colon cancer, or leukemia. Bilberry also helps inhibit the spread of cancer cells when they occur.
27. Helps To Minimize The Side Effects Of Chemotherapy Treatment
Chemotherapy although good, as it is aimed at killing cancerous cells, has its own side effects. These side effects include the inactivation of the bone marrow which impacts the manufacture of red blood cells. There is also the issue of reducing cell development; this could affect the ability to transport oxygen around the body as well as inhibiting the body’s ability to fight diseases. All these side effects can be reduced through anthocyanins found in bilberry.
28. Helps To Minimize The Effects Related To Diabetes
Bilberry helps to boost the metabolism of glucose as well as lipids. It is also rich in dietary fiber that helps control blood sugar spikes.
29. Antiviral Properties
It contains antiviral properties with great benefits against diseases such as influenza.
30. Helps In Keeping Pneumonia At Bay
According to a study published in Phytotherapy Research, bilberry (as well as crowberry and cranberry) has potential against pneumococcal infections. the antimicrobial juice fractions of these berries were able to inhibit Streptococcus pneumoniae which is the most common pathological cause of pneumonia.
31. Helps Relieve Stomach Aches
Bilberry has a dietary fiber known as pectin that helps relieve numerous complications of the digestive tract such as constipation and nausea.
32. It Is Good For The Liver
Bilberry is rich in antioxidants that play an active role in inhibiting harmful free radicals and also keeping in check lipid oxidation that might result in producing harmful free radicals.
33. Has Anti-Aging Properties
Polyphenols, in the bilberry, are very good at inhibiting the growth of wrinkles, actively combating acne, as well as protecting the skin from harmful free radicals. All these help keep your skin younger for longer.
34. For Acne Outbreak
Bilberry is a great addition to your skincare regime as it contains vitamins K, C, E and A which are great for rejuvenating the skin whenever there is an acne outbreak. For better results, it is recommended to use bilberry syrup for the skin.
35. Protects The Skin From The Effects Of UV Rays
Even though the sunlight has vitamin D, exposing your skin directly to harsh sun rays could cause skin damage because of the presence of harmful UV rays. For better results against the UV rays ensure that you frequently eat the bilberry.
36. Helps In The Removal Of Spots And Blemishes On The Skin
The juice from the bilberry can be effectively used to solve this menace. It can be applied directly to the skin for a period of time to get the best results.
37. Reduces The Likelihood Of Rapid Hair Loss
Hair loss is usually a result of clamping of the hair follicle which in this case leads to poor hair growth and eventual baldness. With its anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to improve blood circulation, bilberry helps avert this by effectively opening up bound follicles, thus, making the hair more firm. This helps mitigate the likelihood of rapid hair loss.
38. Helps Relieve Itchy Scalps
It is no debate that bilberry is revered and well-studied in the field of cosmetics. This is because it has numerous benefits. On scalps that have a high tendency of being itchy, bilberry products are used since they contain tannins that have anti-inflammatory properties. In this case, applying bilberry extracts on such scalp make heightens the scalp’s circulation of blood and reduces the itchiness.
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