Blueberries are small berries rich in active components compatible with our body, able to counteract various forms of inflammation
- Properties and benefits
- Contraindications of blueberries
Properties and benefits
Vaccinum myrtillus, this is the botanical name of blueberries; these are the so-called wild berries, especially typical of mountain areas. The blueberry plant is about 60 cm tall, the leaves are oval and serrated, the flowers are white or pink, and the berries can be blue, black or red. Blueberries, in addition to being a pleasant fruit, also have many nutritional properties that bring benefits to our body. Rich in anthocyanins and antioxidants, they are useful for slowing down degenerative processes and preventing cardiovascular diseases.
Blueberries are natural antioxidants. They contain vitamins A, C, E, and K. Anthocyanins, including mirtillin, stimulate the production of collagen and help keep the capillary walls elastic. Precisely anthocyanins give blueberries particular antioxidant properties useful for protecting the body from attack by free radicals, from Alzheimer's, from premature aging, from all degenerative forms related to physiological aging of the organism. Blueberries also reverberate their beneficial effects on cognitive faculties, especially on memory, and can be used in synergy with Ginkgo biloba.
They support the immune system: thanks to their vitamin supply, blueberries are useful for fighting inflammatory disorders, respiratory tract infections. The leaves of the blueberry plant in decoction can be used to carry out fumigations against colds and sinusitis.
Functional to the cardiovascular system: blueberries are useful for the well-being of blood circulation, support the heart, preventing cardiovascular diseases. They help keep triglyceride and cholesterol values under control, reducing the risk of heart attack
Functional to glycemic values: blueberry leaves, thanks to the contribution of mirtillin, help to lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
However, not all blueberries are the same. Let's see in detail the characteristics of black and red blueberries.
Bilberries are renowned for their phlebotonic action, recommended for those suffering from venous insufficiency. Thanks to the anthocyanin component, they are able to improve the elasticity of the vessels, counteract the weakness of the capillaries, improve microcirculation, assist in the treatment of damage to the retina and the fragility and capillary permeability of the eyes. The tannin component with astringent properties helps to maintain skin tone and elasticity and to counteract free radicals. Bilberries are also useful for those suffering from cellulite, swollen legs, cramps because they have an anti-edemic and diuretic action. The bilberry is also indicated for various intestinal disorders thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties ascribable to the component of pectins that perform a prebiotic action; associated with aloe gel it helps to de-inflammation the colon and to promote transit.
Cranberries are rich in iron, flavonoids, anthocyanidins, vitamin C and fiber which help fight problems related to the intestine, such as constipation, diarrhea, abdominal swelling and hemorrhoids. American cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon), known as cranberries, stimulate diuresis and are able to counteract the appearance of cystitis, candida and inflammation of the urinary tract, thanks to the property of creating an anti-adhesive film against bacteria. They have an effective anti-inflammatory action and can be useful for combating gingivitis and arthritic inflammation.
Cranberries can then alleviate small skin imperfections such as couperose, creating a DIY beauty remedy: we can crush some blueberries to combine with pomegranate pulp to obtain a face mask to be applied to the affected areas: the mixture helps to turn off redness and to stimulate a tightening effect. This remedy is also useful in case of acne, to de-inflammation the epidermis and tighten the pores.
Contraindications of blueberries
Blueberries do not present particular contraindications or side effects although abusing them can cause intestinal disorders, diarrhea, migraines, stomach pain and nausea. The recommended daily dose is 60 grams. It is not recommended for use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Blueberry extracts thanks to anthocyanin glycosides possess antiplatelet properties and could interfere with anticoagulant and antidiabetic drugs, so it is not recommended to take them in these cases. Prolonged use of the leaves could reduce the absorption of iron. Blueberries contain oxalates, and are therefore not recommended for those suffering from kidney or gallbladder stones because they could stimulate their formation.