Blueberries are a unique berry that makes up one of the main riches of Russian forests, along with other edible plants and mushrooms. It possesses valuable nutritional properties, its role in human health is no less significant. The health benefits of blueberries will be covered in detail in this article. After all, it is no wonder that this plant in many countries of the world was included in the list of medicines. In addition to its widely publicized properties beneficial to influence the organs of vision, in this plant you can find many other healing properties.
The chemical composition of blueberries
Blueberry is a small shrub with berries of dark purple color, covered with a pronounced wax bloom. Such an attractive appearance of the berries gives the content of a large amount of essential oils. There is a shrub both in the swamps and in the forests, mainly in the northern regions of Russia, but there exists its southern species, which is widespread in the mountains of the Caucasus.
Breeders bred and successfully cultivated garden forms of blueberry ordinary. But if their taste qualities are not inferior to a wild relative, then the forest blueberries considerably surpass their garden counterparts in their health-friendly properties.
Of course, its vitamin composition is rich and varied:
- beta carotene or vitamin A;
- ascorbic acid or vitamin C;
- almost complete set of B vitamins;
- nicotinic acid or vitamin PP;
- tocopherol or vitamin E;
- phylloquinone or vitamin K.
A lot of berries and various micro-and macronutrients:
But most of the unique health properties of blueberries arise due to the diversity of organic acids, which make up about 7% of dry matter:
- acetic acid
After all, organic acids possess not only antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, but also are able to slow down the processes of cellular aging, prevent the formation of free radicals and normalize all types of metabolism.
Both berries and bilberry leaves contain a significant amount of pectins and tannins (more than 12%), which accelerate the recovery of cells and tissues and have antiseptic and antimicrobial properties.
And the essential oils, which have already been mentioned, are capable of destroying the pathogenic bacteria, and also have a sedative and anti-inflammatory effect.
In addition, flavonoids, mirtillin and neomirtillin, organic compounds that have an antioxidant effect and can reduce blood sugar levels, are found in its leaves and fruits.
At the same time, the blueberry glycemic index is quite low. He is 43 units.Attention! The glycemic index indicates the rate at which the use of certain foods increases the level of glucose in the blood.
Blueberry calories per 100 grams
Regardless of the rich composition, calorie blueberries can not be called very high. According to various sources, it ranges from 40 to 55 kcal. That in turn is only 2.5% of the average daily allowance.
How is blueberry useful for the human body?
Having examined in detail the richest composition of the plant called blueberries, it becomes clear that its beneficial effect on the health of the human body is unusually wide.
- Berries are an excellent natural antibiotic and antiseptic. Therefore, many colds are effectively treated, including sore throat, cough and sore throat.
- They are no less useful for curing diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. The substances in the berries have a disinfecting effect on the internal organs. As a result, the microflora in the intestine is significantly improved, and putrefactive processes are prevented.
- Anti-inflammatory effect, which have berries, is favorable for the treatment of all types of rheumatism, as well as diseases of the kidneys and bladder.
- Blueberries help to remove toxins from the body, which generally leads to slower aging and destruction.
- Their use can positively affect the pancreas, the normal functioning of which prevents the development of diabetes. Yes, and other unique substances contained in the berries, can positively influence the treatment of this disease.
- One of the most unique beneficial properties of blueberries is its beneficial effect in the course of eye diseases.
- Infusions of berries and leaves, in addition, are actively fighting radioactive compounds and are even able to remove them from the body.
- The astringent and disinfecting properties of berries and leaves help in the treatment of hemorrhoids, as well as in the healing of injuries in various skin diseases: eczema, ulcers, burns.
- Bilberry is equally good and its preparations affect the human body as a preventive measure. They enhance immunity, strengthen blood vessels, prevent the development of diseases of the cardiovascular system.
The honey obtained by bees during the flowering of blueberry bushes differs in a translucent color with a reddish-crimson hue, a pronounced blueberry flavor and berry aroma. The beneficial properties of blueberry honey and contraindications to its use do not fundamentally differ from the berries themselves.Important! All properties that are beneficial to health are only enhanced by the beneficial effects of honey, and allergies to bee products may be added to contraindications.
How is blueberry useful for the body of women?
For women, the berries and decoctions of blueberry leaves can be beneficial, primarily for cosmetic purposes, and when using them for the health of the female body should be taken into account and the possible harm that they can cause.
- Berries have long been widely used for skin rejuvenation. They make anti-inflammatory and moisturizing masks and creams.
- Antioxidants in fruits accelerate blood circulation, have a positive effect on cell regeneration, do not allow tissues to grow old prematurely.
- Both in folk and official medicine, the use of blueberries in critical women's days is advised. She will be able to remove unpleasant and pain syndromes, relieve muscle spasms, help regulate the menstrual cycle.
- The usefulness of blueberries is also manifested in the treatment of diseases of the kidneys, urinary tract and gynecological problems.
- The rich composition of berries favorably affects the condition of the hair. After a month of regular use, both inside and outside, dandruff will disappear, and the hair will become thick and shiny.
- Relevant to women and help in the treatment of varicose veins. Due to the normalization of blood flow and improvement of circulation in the blood channels, the use of blueberries can facilitate the flow of this disease.
The benefits of blueberries for men
Blueberries can be useful in matters of men's health. As a result of many years of research, the presence of flavonoids in berries, special substances that provide many of the functions of the body, including sexual health, has been proven. Reproductive function is improved by improving the performance of the testicles and improving the quality of spermatozoa.
The healthy properties of the berries help in curing the inflammation of the prostate gland and solve problems with the work of the heart, which is increasingly becoming relevant for middle-aged men.
The benefits of blueberries for pregnant women
Blueberries can be a real salvation for many women during pregnancy. Indeed, during this period, treatment with antibiotics and other strong drugs is contraindicated. But, thanks to its strong anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, the berry will help to cope with most colds and infectious diseases.
So, in case of sore throat, the following recipe will be very effective: in a glass of warm water, dissolve 2 tablespoons of blueberry juice and regularly gargle with the resulting composition throat.
During pregnancy, any female body works for two, so it just needs a double dose of minerals and vitamins. Lack of calcium, iron, potassium, low hemoglobin levels can lead not only to deterioration of the teeth and hair, but also to more serious health problems. All of this may well provide blueberries, if used in small quantities, but regularly. In addition, they can serve as an excellent prevention of exacerbation of chronic diseases.
Help the fruits and for any problems with digestion. It should only be aware of the main contraindications in the use of this berry and eat it in small quantities, preferably after meals.
And, of course, any pregnant woman wants, in spite of everything, to remain beautiful. And in this, blueberry will also help her effectively. By incorporating it into your daily diet and complementing the action from time to time using masks with its presence, you can ensure the beauty of your skin, hair and nails. And before and after the birth of the child, when there is no longer enough time to care for themselves.
Can blueberries be breastfed
Even in the period of childbearing a substance in blueberries, contribute to the formation of its central nervous system and skeleton. Therefore, later, after birth, it is difficult to call the consumption of blueberries by a nursing mom harmful. Of course, in the absence of general contraindications to eating this berry, universal for all.
After all, blueberries with HB will help the mother's body to recover faster after gestation and childbirth, and the child in its natural form will get all the possible beneficial substances for life.Attention! Although blueberries are not considered to be a hypoallergenic berry, it is necessary to observe moderation when it is first consumed.
It is better to start with just a few berries and carefully monitor the reactions of the infant, in order to identify cases of individual intolerance in a timely manner.
Useful properties of blueberries for children
If the baby has already become acquainted with blueberries when breastfeeding, even at an older age this berry will be able to bring him a lot of health benefits.
It contains a lot of calcium, so the formation of the bone and muscle apparatus in a child will occur faster and more fully. Especially willingly children drink milk with blueberries, and this drink is not capable of bringing anything but benefits for an actively growing children's organism.
In periods of the spread of colds, regular eating fresh, grated berries with sugar can have a serious preventive effect. After all, blueberries well strengthens the immune system.
It can also be of considerable importance for imparting additional strength during active physical and mental exercises.
For both small and large children, it will be the best helper in the normalization of digestion. After all, for any disorders, especially non-infectious nature, the berries normalize digestion, and in the necessary direction. You should not only abuse the fruits of chronic constipation - it is better to find a more suitable therapeutic product.
At what age can you give blueberries to a child
Blueberries are more like a sweet berry and should be enjoyed by any child. Unlike many other useful berries, pediatricians recommend blueberries to give at the very tender age, up to a year, from seven months old. Of course, the berries must be crushed and introduced into the diet of the child in the form of mashed potatoes. Perhaps in a mixture with other hypoallergenic berries and fruits, such as apples.Important! Already from one and a half years the child’s body is ready to digest whole berries fresh. And he can be given daily up to 50 g of healthy berries.
From the age of three, children can eat blueberries and in large quantities - up to 1-2 glasses a day.
It is hard to imagine that such a useful berry as blueberries can have any harmful effect on the health of the body. However, it is quite likely if it was collected in areas unfavorable for environmental factors. After all, blueberries have the ability to accumulate in their fruits a variety of toxins and radioactive substances. Therefore, one should be careful not to eat berries brought from Belarus, Ryazan and Bryansk regions.
Bilberry strengthens or weakens the stool
Many discrepancies exist in connection with the ability of blueberries, one way or another, to influence the body during intestinal disorders. Many sources claim her ability to relax a chair. On the other hand, there is also a lot of information about its fixing properties.
It turns out that the situation is quite simple. Dried berries are an excellent remedy for liquid stools, and for these purposes they can also be consumed in the form of decoctions and compotes. But in order to cope with constipation (only not of a chronic nature), fresh blueberries or squeezed juice from them in a necessarily raw form will do well.
Blueberries with diarrhea
As already mentioned, the best way to treat diarrhea or loose stools is to use dried blueberries. It is enough to eat about 5-6 berries, so that after a few hours the swelling stops, diarrhea passes, and strength begins to recover.
The similar effect of blueberries in diarrhea is explained by the presence of a large amount of tannins, the concentration of which only increases with drying. By the way, a decoction of blueberry leaves has a similar effect. It contains a lot of tannins, which have a beneficial effect on the intestinal mucosa and remove harmful compounds from it.
For treatment, you can use the following recipe:
- 1 tbsp. l dry berries or dried blueberry leaves;
- 2 cups boiling water.
- Mix the necessary ingredients and evaporate the liquid on the water vapor to reduce its volume by half.
- Strain and allow to cool.
- Take ¼ cup of broth before meals several times a day.
The tool will help reduce acidity, eliminate heartburn and relieve inflammation of the mucous membrane of the stomach and intestines.
There is also a recipe for tincture of alcohol, which, unlike a decoction, can be stored for a long time. 100 g of dry berries pour 1 liter of 70% alcohol and insist in a dark place for 21 days. Accepted by diluting with water (1 tablespoon per 100 ml of liquid), several times with an interval between doses of about 6 hours. Tincture can significantly alleviate the condition and with gastrointestinal infections, and food poisoning.
Blueberries for constipation
But the fresh fruits of blueberries or the juice of them may have a completely opposite effect. The fact is that in fresh berries there is a large amount of fiber. And it contributes to the rapid cleansing of the intestinal tract from stagnant food. In addition, blueberries contain substances that are very useful for intestinal microflora.Attention! In order to get a visible effect of relaxing the stool, you need to eat a sufficient amount of fresh fruit. From several berries of the effect of purification can not get.
It should be remembered that an absolutely harmless daily dose when eating fresh blueberries is about 100 g.
Blueberry health benefits
A lot has been said about the beneficial effects of blueberry properties on the body. This chapter provides specific recipes that use blueberries or leaves.
Blueberry for sight
Not so long ago it was believed that the unique composition of the substances contained in blueberries, can serve as a panacea for almost all eye diseases. But the scientists could not completely refute or prove this fact. As part of the berries was only detected glucoside, which can resist the formation of glaucoma and cataracts. However, in practice, cases of improvement in night vision as a result of regular consumption of blueberries have been confirmed.
Therefore, there are specific recipes for using blueberries to prevent and help with the following eye problems.
- To restore and improve visual acuity 1-2 Art. l dry berries pour cold water so that they are completely hidden under water. Soak for 10-12 hours. Berries are eaten half an hour before meals.
- Exactly the same effect has the so-called "raw" jam, that is, berries, ground with sugar in a 1: 1 ratio.
- To help with conjunctivitis, simply eat 1 tbsp. l dry blueberries a day.
- For the treatment of myopia from fresh berries, squeeze the juice, diluted with boiled water in a ratio of 1: 2 and instilled 5 drops in each eye once a day in the morning.
Blueberry for weight loss
Both berries and bilberry leaves are actively used in various diets due to their rich composition and at the same time low calorie content.
For example, you can arrange fasting days on which to eat exclusively blueberry products. You can alternate fresh berries with dairy products. (Черничное пюре смешивают с кефиром в соотношении 1:2 и добавляют 1 ч. л. меда.) Правда, не стоит продлевать такой разгрузочный период более чем на 3 дня без предварительной консультации со специалистом.
Также благотворную роль по снижению аппетита окажут листья черники, если смешать их в одинаковой пропорции с листьями зеленого чая и заварить в виде чая.
You can take a special powder from natural herbs to reduce appetite. Its composition in equal proportions includes:
- blueberry leaves
- horsetail grass;
- valerian root;
- bean flaps.
All herbs are ground in a dry form, mixed and taken in ½ tsp. a quarter of an hour after meals 2 times a day.
Bilberry with type 2 diabetes
Since organic compounds similar in structure to insulin were found in the blueberry fruit, the berries are quite capable of benefiting and play the role of a real remedy, especially in type 2 diabetes.
Herbal preparations prepared according to the following recipes can help:
- On 35 g of leaves of bilberry, nettle and dandelion roots pour 250 ml of boiling water. Heat in a water bath for about 40 minutes and, divided into 3 parts, drink during the day.
- Blueberry leaves and burdock roots are mixed in equal parts. 1 tsp the mixture is poured 250 ml of boiling water, insist 1 hour. Take 2 tbsp. l 3-4 times a day.
Blueberries for gout
Gout blueberries, like some other berries, plays the role of a diuretic and anti-inflammatory agent.
Use the following recipes:
- 4 tbsp. l blueberries are poured with a liter of water, heated for an hour in a water bath, the same amount is drawn and filtered. Take 4-5 times a day and 1 tablespoon.
- 1 tbsp. l bilberry leaves pour 500 ml of boiling water, insist half an hour and take during the day.
For the cardiovascular system
The unique composition of blueberries allows you to:
- Reduce blood pressure with its long-term use.
- Beneficial effect on the walls of blood vessels and reduce the fragility and permeability of capillaries.
To lower high blood pressure 5 tsp. dried berries pour a glass of boiling water and insist 8 hours. After filtering, evenly distribute the infusion to use throughout the day.
As for the effects on the immune system, no other berry can compare with blueberries. Indeed, besides a rich set of vitamins and minerals, it contains anthocyanins (powerful antioxidants), and even in the maximum possible concentration.
It is best to brew for 1 tsp. berries and leaves of blueberries in a glass of boiling water, insist and regularly take 3 tbsp. l infusion about 4 times a day.
In what form is better to use the berry
For treatment and prevention it is best to use fresh berries or juice squeezed out of them.
Of course, for the winter berries, you can make a lot of delicious things. But most of the healthy properties of the berries disappear during heat treatment, especially long.
Best of all, beneficial properties are preserved in dried berries. Dried blueberries in two stages: first, at a temperature of + 35-40 ° C, they are slightly dried for about 2 hours, and then finally allowed to dry out at a temperature of + 55-60 ° in an oven or electric dryer.
To a greater extent, beneficial properties are retained in frozen berries, especially since this method of preservation is one of the simplest.
One of the most popular ways to harvest berries for the winter is to mop them with sugar, using a 1: 1 ratio. Store this natural medicine should be in the refrigerator.
Why blueberries are bitter
Fresh blueberries are hardly able to taste bitter, but after 3-4 days of storage they may have a slight bitterness. This usually means that the fruits are spoiled both for food and, moreover, for treatment, they are unsuitable.
Another common reason that the berries allegedly bitter, is an ordinary deception. If you look closely you can see that some berries differ in shape and, possibly, in size from others. Simply, when selling blueberries, an unscrupulous seller replaced some of the berries with cheaper and sometimes containing bitterness with edible honeysuckle fruits. These berries are similar in color but differ in shape.
In this case, blueberries (along with honeysuckle) may well be eaten, although the therapeutic effect can be reduced.
In addition to a large number of useful properties, blueberries have some contraindications to use.
- First of all, like all edible products, blueberries can cause individual intolerance with a concomitant allergic reaction.
- Berries are not recommended for use in the form of oxalic urolithiasis.
- Caution should be taken when eating berries in acute forms of duodenal and pancreatic diseases.
- Do not eat dried berries for constipation.
- There are also contraindications to its use with low blood clotting.
Both the benefits and harms of blueberries are quite obvious to health. Useful recommendations and recipes outlined in the article can help many people become healthier with the help of a truly Russian and seemingly very unpretentious, but surprisingly healing berries - blueberries.