Bilberries contain flavenoids known as anthocyanosides, which are powerful anti-oxidants. In fact bilberries have a higher anti-oxidant content than any other fruit. These have been widely extolled for their role in counteracting cell damage from free radicals. They contain a range of micronutrients essential to the human body, such as manganese, and Vitamins B6, C and K.
Bilberries are important for maintaing healthy vision and have been reputed
Another benefit of improved blood flow in capillaries is in general circulatory improvement - a major cause of varicose veins, haemorrhoids and pre-menstrual discomfort. More recent studies have linked the consumption of bilberries with improvement in the cognitive deterioration associated with Alzheimer's disease. Studies in England found that supplementing the normal diet with bilberries over a 12 week period caused improvement in spatial awareness and memory within just three weeks!
Animal studies have found bilberry consumption to be beneficial in reducing brain damage in stroke, and lowering cholesterol and blood lipid levels, which are both major factors in heart disease and hypertension. yet more research is being conducted into their effects on inhibiting cancer cell development.
As if all this is not enough, a study involving rats at the University of Michigan suggested
Like cranberry juice, bilberry juice is also an internal cleanser. With its mild antibiotic properties, the juice can flush out bacteria in the urinary tract and help prevent infection. As bilberries contain good levels of fibre, they can also aid constipation and improve digestion when eaten daily with cereal, yoghurt, or just as they come.
Bilberries (or blueberries) are certainly one of natures true miracles and, on top of all their benefits, they taste wonderful! When buying them fresh, always go for the deeper-hued ones as these are richer in those health-giving anti-oxidants.