Bilberry is a close cousin to the blueberry, but because of its slightly bitter taste, bilberries are generally reserved for pies, jams, or jellies instead of snacking. The leaves of the bilberry bush can be made into a tea and are rich in anthocyanosides, powerful antioxidants. Experience the health benefits of bilberry by using its extract in supplement or powdered form.
Bilberries can help boost eye health and even slow the advance of conditions such as night blindness and cataracts. The fruit can also increase the eye's ability to see with clarity, stimulate the eye to respond better to changes in light, and increase your ability to perceive smaller details. For those with chronic eye strain, a combination of lutein, anthocyanins, and DHA (an essential omega 3 fatty acid) can lead to significantly better eye health. The ability of bilberry to protect the ocular cells, reduce inflammation, and control blood sugar levels should all help maintain vision.
Bilberries help soothe the uncomfortable symptoms of gastrointestinal distress and irritable bowel syndrome. The fruit contains tannins, astringent and anti-inflammatory compounds that help tighten the walls of your intestines, reducing the effects of IBS. Bilberries can also help with nausea and indigestion.
Bilberries are rich in antioxidants, compounds that help balance free radicals and reduce inflammation in your organs and muscles. They are also thought to curb inflammation and protect against diseases associated with oxidative stress, including inflammatory bowel disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, gingivitis, and age-related cognitive decline. The anthocyanins in bilberries reduce inflammation and stabilize the cartilage, tendons, and ligaments that contain collagen.
Bilberry extract is commonly used to maintain a healthy heart and efficient blood vessels. Anthocyanins help support the lining of the blood vessels, reducing blood pressure, relaxing arterial stiffness, and contributing to healthy blood platelet formation. Anthocyanins also help regulate cholesterol levels. High LDL cholesterol increases the presence of atherosclerosis, the build-up of plaque inside the blood vessels. Atherosclerosis causes high blood pressure and increases the likelihood of stroke or heart attack.
Gingivitis is a condition that leaves the gums inflamed and tender. This leads to poor oral health, including gum infections and loosened teeth. The anti-inflammatory properties of bilberry help reduce swelling and inflammation in the gums. Bilberries also contain astringent and antibacterial compounds, both of which combat gingivitis. In studies, consumption of bilberries helped reduce gum inflammation and gingivitis symptoms.
Bilberries contain nutrients that help reduce blood glucose levels. Insulin resistance is a health condition that can lead to metabolic disorders, including pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes. When the body is resistant to insulin, glucose cannot efficiently diffuse into our cells, and blood sugar levels remain high. Chronic high blood sugar from diabetes can result in damage to the nerves, kidneys, eyes, and blood vessels. Not only can bilberry improve your cells' sensitivity to insulin, but it can also reduce the effects of diabetes on circulation and vision.
Chronic inflammation is thought to cause several types of cancer. The anti-inflammatory properties of bilberries can help reduce inflammation and lower the risk of colon and breast cancer. The antioxidants in bilberries help manage the amount of free radical molecules in the body that attack healthy cells, damaging them and inhibiting the creation of new cells. Free radicals are known to cause cancerous growths; choosing a diet with a lot of antioxidant-rich foods like bilberries can reduce your cancer risk.
Alzheimer's disease and dementia are exemplified by cognitive decline. Phenolic compounds in bilberries can reduce the risk of contracting these diseases, and slow progression and minimize the symptoms where they already exist. Bilberry extract may also improve your overall mental acuity, helping you to focus and clear a cloudy mind.
Bilberry contains properties that help strengthen the blood vessel walls. The extract is sometimes taken orally to reduce the size and soreness of varicose veins and hemorrhoids. It can treat chronic venous insufficiency, wherein the valves in the veins of the leg become damaged and unable to sufficiently carry blood back to the heart. This can cause itching, pain, and swelling in the leg, as well as skin ulcers. Anthocyanosides help boost the integrity of your vein's walls, reducing blockages and improving circulation.
When your liver contains too much nitric acid, damage can occur. The excess also prohibits the liver from extracting toxins. Fortunately, the inhibitory and free radical-balancing activity of bilberry extract enables the liver to function at a higher level. Bilberry also helps regulate the level of several chemicals in your kidneys, including creatinine, serum, blood, urea, nitrogen, and nitric oxide. It boosts the organ's ability to eliminate heavy metals -- toxins -- from the bloodstream.
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