Blueberries: 6 Beneficial Effects of Blueberries

Unlike most other superfoods , the blueberry is also native to Germany and has long been an integral part of local eating habits. However, only very few people know how healthy the small berry really is. We will explain the effective berry to you.

Origin of the blueberry

Blueberries are particularly popular in summer, when they grow in the home garden and in the great outdoors. They are very suitable as a snack and are often used in cakes, jams or yoghurts. The sweet and fruity taste of the small berry is particularly convincing . After eating the forest blueberries native to this country, it can happen that the tongue is discolored blue. This is due to the intense plant pigments present in blueberries.

The heather plant , on which the berries grow, feels most comfortable in semi-shady places in deciduous and coniferous forests. Blueberries are in season in late summer. They arise from the pale pink flowers of the approximately 50 centimeters high shrub and can reach a diameter of one centimeter. Their skin is dark blue in color, while the flesh is rather light.

Is there a difference between blueberries and blueberries?

Blueberries are known by many names. Many refer to the dark blue berries as ” blueberries “, while others prefer ” wild berries “. All of these terms refer to the same fruit. While the term “blueberry” derives from the fruit’s origin in the heather family, the term “blueberry” refers to the fruit’s appearance. Since the blueberry mainly grows in forests, it is also known as “forest berries” or “forest bilberries”. Depending on the region, either one or the other designation is used. The commonly used term is ” blueberry “.

What makes blueberries so healthy?

Blueberries can provide many health benefits. They are best known for their antioxidant effects. Like many other berries, they have many plant pigments. Blueberries contain a particularly large amount of the plant pigment anthocyanin , which acts as an antioxidant in the body.

Antioxidants are radical scavengers that can inhibit harmful oxygen radicals in the body. The free radicals can damage body cells and thus promote serious diseases and premature skin aging. Free radicals are formed, for example, if you stay in the sun for too long or if you smoke.

Anthocyanins belong to the polyphenols . These are found in a variety of foods. Foods with a purple-red color such as aubergines, berries and red wine in particular contain many phenols. It is also found in leafy greens and whole grains. A diet high in phenols and anthocyanins has been shown to have some health benefits.

In general, blueberries are among the fruits with the highest antioxidant activity. This is also due to the relatively high vitamin C content found in the berry. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant. You can find out more about the important vitamin here. 100 grams of fresh blueberries cover about 12 percent of the daily vitamin C requirement of an adult man.

In addition, high levels of beta-carotene are also included. Beta-carotene is converted in the body to vitamin A, which supports the function of the eyes, among other things. You can find more information about vitamin A here.

Nutritional values ​​​​of blueberries per 100 grams
  • Calories 36 calories
  • Fat 1g
  • carbohydrates 1 g
  • minerals
    • Sodium 1 mg
    • Potassium 80 mg
    • Calcium 10 mg
    • Magnesium 2 mg
    • phosphate 15 mg
    • iron 0.7 mg
    • Zinc 0.1 mg
  • vitamins
    • Beta Carotene 35 µg
    • Vitamin E 2.1 mg
    • Vitamin B1 0.02 mg
    • Vitamin B2 0.02 mg
    • Vitamin B6 0.06 mg
    • Folic acid 10 µg
    • Vitamin C 20 mg

effect of blueberries

Due to the high-quality ingredients, the consumption of the tasty berries is accompanied by some health-promoting effects. The small berries can be eaten without a bad conscience. There are also no known risks or side effects.

anti-inflammatory

Blueberries have anti-inflammatory properties. This is due to the tannins it contains . These can reduce inflammation and have sealing and astringent properties . Blueberries can therefore be used to treat inflammation in the mouth. A tea made from dried blueberries or a diluted juice is particularly recommended. The application works best if you gargle the tea or juice.

Against premature skin aging

Due to the high antioxidant effect, blueberries can protect against skin aging. Vitamins C and E in particular have important functions in maintaining fresh and firm skin. That is why the two vitamins are also used in many skin care lines. But anti-aging does not only work from the outside, the body also has to be supplied with important nutrients internally so that it can work optimally and protect the cells.

Blueberries are the perfect food for glowing skin. They contain many important nutrients that are important for healthy skin and can optimally support the functioning of the body.

For digestion

Blueberries have been shown to help with indigestion. While fresh blueberries have a mild laxative effect, dried blueberries can help with diarrhea . The main reason for this is the tannins that can have an effect in concentrated form in the dried fruits. Sometimes treatment with blueberry extract is also said to improve chronic intestinal inflammation. This was determined by an uncontrolled pilot study that observed 13 subjects with mild to moderate chronic intestinal inflammation for 6 weeks.

Few calories

Blueberries are low in calories, making them suitable foods in a low-calorie, low-carb diet such as a low-carb diet . They can be perfectly combined with protein-rich foods such as yoghurt and quark, go well in smoothies and also taste great as a snack. In addition, they contain roughage , which ensures a long feeling of satiety and a healthy intestinal flora.

Since they contain many important vitamins and phytochemicals, they are suitable for both quick and healthy weight loss . Although they are low in calories, they can provide the body with essential nutrients. A successful diet also includes adequate fluid intake and exercise such as yoga and Pilates .

To support eyesight

Blueberries contain a relevant amount of beta-carotene, which becomes vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is involved in numerous metabolic processes. It is also involved in the formation of visual pigments . This ensures that the eye can distinguish between light, dark and the different colors. The vitamin is particularly essential for good night vision .

anticarcinogen

Some studies show that the anthocyanin contained in blueberries can have a cancer-preventing effect. The antioxidant effect of the plant pigment can inhibit free radicals, which damage cells and can thus promote cancer. Since blueberries contain a particularly high proportion of anthocyanins, their antioxidant effect is particularly high. Regular consumption of the small berries can therefore help to reduce the risk of cancer.

Cultivated blueberries as an alternative

The cultivated blueberry can be found in the supermarkets in this country, especially during the winter months. At that time, it was mostly imported from South America. It differs only slightly in appearance from the local blueberries, but it contains fewer high-quality ingredients.

You can recognize them by the more robust skin of the berry, which ensures that it survives the long import route to Germany. The flesh of the berry also differs from that of the local blueberry. It is almost white in color because the coloring anthocyanins in this variety are mainly found in the skin.

The cultivated blueberry was created by breeding from North American plant species and is not descended from the blueberry native to this country. You can also see that in the ingredients of the berry. Since the coloring anthocyanins in cultivated blueberries are mainly found in the skin, they have far fewer antioxidants than the wild blueberries native to this country. However, the antioxidant content is still high enough to produce a stress-relieving and beneficial effect on the body.

Plant blueberries

In this country, blueberries can easily be planted in the garden or picked from the wild. However, since the heather plant prefers moist soil, you should pay attention to the condition of the soil. This should be rich in humus and free of lime . You can do this by mixing some compost or sand under the soil.

The plants should not be placed too deep in the ground, but rather cover the upper end of the ball with some bark mulch. Shortly after planting and in summer, the plant should be watered well. Rainwater is best for this because it contains less lime. It is also advisable to fertilize the plant regularly. The months of April to June are particularly suitable for this, when the plant sprout and forms fruit buds. Mulch or compost made from coniferous wood, for example, is suitable as fertilizer .

In order to be able to bring in a good harvest for a long time, the shrub should be pruned regularly. This is especially important from the fourth year after planting. The best season is autumn. When cutting, you should remove the old shoots so that only strong shoots remain that can survive the winter well.

Pick or buy blueberries

Homegrown blueberries are particularly healthy because they are pesticide-free . There are also blueberries in the forest that are edible. There they often grow near coniferous trees, as this is where the soil often offers the best conditions for the blueberries.

Caution : Blueberries are similar to the possibly poisonous bog berries . They also have a bluish skin, but the flesh is white – similar to the cultivated blueberry. In addition, they are a lot larger than the forest blueberry and are more egg-shaped.

Wild-picked blueberries are also at risk of being infected with fox tapeworm eggs . That’s why wild blueberries should always be washed well before consumption. It is safest to boil the blueberries, as the eggs cannot withstand temperatures above 70 degrees Celsius. However, when frozen, the eggs do not die.

You can not only pick the sweet berries in your garden or in the forest, some farmers offer the berries in summer to pick them yourself . The price is usually charged there by the kilo. In addition to blueberries, you can often pick strawberries yourself. There are fields of this kind everywhere in Germany.

If you don’t have a green thumb and don’t have a field to pick yourself nearby, you can buy the berries in the supermarket all year round. Especially in the winter months, however, these are cultivated blueberries that are imported to Germany. In terms of price, these are usually between one and three euros.

In addition to conventional blueberries, you can also get various products made from blueberries in supermarkets. These include, for example, juices, bars and dried blueberries. Mueslis, pastries and bread can also sometimes contain dried blueberries as an ingredient. In addition, some supermarkets also offer frozen berries that can be rationed as needed and will keep in the freezer for a long time.

Healthy recipes with blueberries


The so-called nice
 cream is particularly popular – an ice cream that consists mainly of frozen fruit. It is sugar-free and is also suitable for people who suffer from lactose intolerance or are vegan. The preparation is quick and easy.Blueberries can be used in both cold and hot dishes. There are countless recipes in which blueberries provide the fruity note. For example, they are used in cakes, desserts and pancakes. There are also many healthy dishes in which blueberries play a role. They can be easily integrated into smoothies and other fruit dishes.

The ice cream is made using two to three bananas that are cut into slices and frozen. The frozen bananas are later placed in a blender with about 100 grams of blueberries and pureed into an ice cream mass. If you add two tablespoons of peanut or almond butter, the ice cream will be extra creamy. After mixing, the mass can now be filled into small bowls using an ice cream scoop. The finished ice cream can be decorated with some blueberries, chia seeds or chocolate sprinkles. The healthy alternative to conventional ice cream is ready.

 

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