Thursday, 18 April 2013

Why Blueberries are good for you

Blueberries are known among other things as whortleberry, bilberry and huckleberry depending on the continent. The Latin name is Vaccinium myrtillus. The plant grows typically in regions with mountains or Heather, and it is found wild in Northern European countries and in North America. Most people know the blueberries as a wild delicacy that is used in cooking, but the plant as well as its Berry has for many centuries been used for medicinal purposes. Traditionally, leaves and berries, in the form of a strong tea, has been used against diarrhea, inflammation in the mouth and throat, bladder inflammation, ulcers and kidney stones.

Active compounds in blueberries
The active compounds in blueberries is tannin, flavonglykosid and anthocyanin. The latter provides for the pigment a very special dark blue color. Anthocyanin is, however, more than one kind of dye, as it also acts as a very powerful antioxidant. Blueberries have a very high, and some say the highest antioxidant capacity (Protestant). This can also be seen in relation to a high content of vitamins A and C.

Anthocyanin helps fight inflammation and strengthens the connective tissue. Inflammation occurs when harmful enzymes destroy the connective tissue in the capillaries so blood can drain out in the surrounding connective tissue. Anthocyanin can, however, help to neutralise these enzymes and thus reduce the risk of inflammation. In addition, anthocyanin prevent free radicals (unstable oxygen molecules des.) from harming the connective tissue. In this way helps to stabilise the bilberry with collagen-a protein which forms the "backbone" of the healthy connective tissue.

Anthocyanin also helps to improve the blood flow in the weak capillaries, as well as in the larger veins. nthocyanin strengthens the capillaries by protecting them against the free radicals harmful effect, whereby the capillaries walls stabilize. Blueberries can in this way be instrumental in helping people with peripheral disruption in blood circulation.

Bilberry extract
Within the therapeutic category used blueberries today as an extract containing a highly concentrated amount of active substances out of anthocyanin. It is possible to standardize the Blueberry extract with a anthocyanin content of 25% at a concentration which is 100-250 times larger than that found in fresh blueberries. The content of the active substance may vary considerably depending on the method of analysis used. UV method can incorrectly show a higher content of anthocyanin, which is why the HPLC method is recommended for determining the anthocyanin content in bilberry extract.

Did you know
-that according to rumors, was Blueberry jam given to pilots by the British Royal Air Force during the second world war in order to improve their vision, including night vision, in order to sharpen the pilots ' navigation ability in the air.

One of the explanations behind this phenomenon is anthocyanins ability to protect the eye against free radicals caused by UV radiation and pollution. Protection against free radicals attack on the blood vessels in the eye improves blood circulation and the eye's connective tissue is stabilized.


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