Fruits

Health Benefits of Blueberry

The blueberry is a small shrub, native to Asia and Europe, where it is abundant in the cities and also in the fields. It is a plant that resists the harsh winter, with ice and snow, and in the spring it fills with dark blue fruits. Blueberry, also known as blueberry, is extremely nutritious, medicinal and very tasty.

There are many species of Vaccinium that are known as blueberry, they are: Vaccinium ashei, a well known species that is red in color; we also have Vaccinium myrtillus, of European origin, resistant to harsh winters, and Vaccinium corymbosum, known by the name of Rabbit’s Eye.

BLUEBERRY PROPERTIES

Blueberries are low in calories, on average 59 per 100 grams of fresh fruit. Contains carbohydrates, sugars and dietary fiber. It is an excellent source of vitamins K, A, B, C and E. Its minerals are iron, zinc, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, selenium and manganese.

Most blueberries are rich in antioxidants, phenolic compounds and flavonoids, and blueberries are an example of a fruit that contains the main vitamins and minerals.

Because it is one of the fruits with the highest concentration of antioxidants, and also because it is a fruit that is not very difficult to find, it can be consumed in physiological doses.

With great potential, the blueberry has been associated with the prevention of pathologies such as type II diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and various types of cancer. It also helps to reduce cognitive decline, which is associated with aging and thus decreases brain damage in stroke victims.

BLUEBERRY BENEFITS

1. It helps the brain

Blueberry is a wonderful food for brain health, as the fruit has selenium, B-Complex Vitamins, anthocyanin and minerals such as magnesium, copper and zinc, which are very important nutrients to keep the brain healthy throughout of years. They help maintain the central nervous system and thus prevent brain and nerve cell damage.

2.Beneficial for the eyes

Blueberry is rich in resveratrol, rutin and quercetin. These three compounds help prevent macular degeneration and other problems related to eye health. The anthocyanins and carotenoids that are part of the properties of the blueberry improve night blindness. For this, the fruit is rich in antioxidants that protect the eyes from damage caused by free radicals.

3. Acts against Cancer

To inhibit the possible growth of cancer cells, we use some antioxidants present in the fruit, they are: resveratrol, pro-anthocyanidins, flavonols and tannin, which prevent the growth of cancer cells. Pterostilbene has been shown to be very effective in preventing colon and liver cancer. These antioxidants inhibit the oxidation process of cells caused by free radicals.

4. Good for the heart

For the heart, anthocyanins are used, which are also antioxidants and can reduce the level of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. They prevent the formation of plaque in the arteries and therefore prevent a reduction in blood flow throughout the body.

5. Aid in digestion

High in vitamin C, blueberries help stimulate various digestive enzymes that break up small food particles, thus helping to clean the digestive tract.

6. Protects the urinary tract

By consumables the blueberry, you will restrict the possible growth of b-coli-type bacteria in the lining of the urinary tract. Therefore, there will be no sensation of inflammation or burning in the urinary tract.

7. Aids in weight loss

Some studies have found that the properties contained in the fruit help in burning belly fat. All this thanks to the Vitamin C present in the blueberry, which also helps in reducing excess fat present in the arteries and also in the body. It helps to reduce the body’s triglycerides and cholesterol due to its high content of antioxidants.

8. Good for the skin

Vitamin C and anthocyanin are two important antioxidants and are present in blueberries. They help the body to protect the skin against the most violent rays of the sun, preventing cell oxidation. Thus, there are no blemishes or wrinkles. In addition, blueberry has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce blackheads, acne and boils.

DIFFERENT USES OF BLUEBERRY IN EVERYDAY LIFE

BLUEBERRY IN COOKING

  1. blueberry ice cream
  2. blueberry jam
  3. blueberry juice
  4. Blueberry Tea
  5. Blueberry Yogurt

You can consume blueberries for breakfast, along with other fruits, with milk, yogurt and also in the form of juice, smoothie, cake and even jams.

New fruits can be frozen or beaten into a pulp to be consumed later. Another alternative is to dry the fruit, as it does not lose its properties or flavor.

BLUEBERRY IN MEDICINE

The fruit has been used in medicine and human food since the 16th century, precisely for its antibacterial and antioxidant properties. Blueberries act mainly in the tonification of blood vessels, referring to the recovery of vascularization of the feet in diabetics, of vision, varicose veins and hemorrhoids. It is for these properties that the fruit is known to be a curative food.

Blueberry is important because it acts as an antibacterial, anti-diarrheal, anti-infective, febrile, vasodilator, helps in the lack of night vision, regulates blood pressure, controls diabetes, is anticancer, helps reduce symptoms related to kidney problems, prevents coronary problems and prevents varicose veins and hemorrhoids.

BLUEBERRY CULTIVATION

The plant is a shrubby species, which has delicate white or pink flowers in winter, and can reach 1.5 to 3 meters in height.

The planting place should be a place with direct sunlight and protected from strong winds. Try to avoid low areas that might have poor drainage.

Blueberries like a sandy soil, very well drained and rich in organic matter. Before placing the seedling in the chosen place, check that there is no weed in the place. What should be avoided are clayey soils.

For maintenance it is necessary to make a protective barrier to avoid competition from other plants, all this because the blueberry is a small plant with short roots. Pruning is recommended, as it stimulates flowering and increases berry production. Watering has to be done with a drop by drop system, as the roots are fragile and superficial. Fertilization must be done at the end of winter, bearing in mind that excessive fertilization can damage the blueberry and compromise the harvest.

The best way to propagate blueberries is using the cutting method, made from selected varieties and healthy plants. The plant should be planted as is, without leaves, dormant, in autumn and early winter.

There are some pests and diseases that commonly attack blueberries, such as blight, agaric rot, root rot, Botrytis, and other fungal diseases. A very recurrent pest is the fruit fly, but rodents and birds can also harm the plant.

The soil should be acidic, so the blueberry will grow in a reasonable and healthy way. The ph must be between 4 and 5.

IS IT POSSIBLE TO GROW BLUEBERRIES IN BRAZIL?

If you are going to cultivate the blueberry in some state in southern Brazil, you will be successful, as the temperatures there are very low, compared to other states, even more so if it is the blueberries of the Vaccinium aschei species .

“RED BLUEBERRY” OR CRANBERRY

Cranberry in Portuguese is cranberry, but few people know the cranberry by its Brazilian name. Fruit is a bit unusual around here, but fruit juice is quite popular, especially among people who are after healthy eating. The fruit slows down aging and is rich in antioxidants, preventing cardiovascular disease and urinary infections. It helps control the blood fat content and is a source of vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin D.

HOW TO EAT BLUEBERRY

Blueberries can be consumed in the form that comes from the market or straight from the tree. It can be added to different foods. It can also be used in sauces, juices, fillings and sweets. They can be dehydrated so they will last much longer. Inside the blueberry there is a seed, which is very small, similar to a grape seed, so you don’t need to remove it, just taste it.

 

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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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