Some of the nutritious health benefits of bilberry include it’s ability to reduce high eye pressure, preventing eye from mascular degradation, cataract, glaucoma and has therapeutic effect on myopia. It act as anti-inflammatory, useful in cancer prevention and diabetes, breast health, promote blood circulation, boost oral health, helps to maintain heart, liver and stomach healthy.
Nutritional value of Bilberry
The biological name of bilbery is Vaccinium myrtillus L. It is also known as Neelabadari in many households.
A 100 gram of bilberry contain about 44 calories. It has many nutritional benefits. It contain proteins, water, dietary fiber, sugar, vitamins (Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, ß-carotene) and minerals (Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Copper, Manganese).
Health Benefits of Bilberries
Bilberry is rich in some of the powerful antioxidants which not only helps to reduce the oxidative stress damage to a larger extent.
2. Good for eyes
Bilberries contain high amount of polyphenols like anthocyanins, resveratrol, and proanthocyanidins that has protective effect on eye cells, nerves, retina which prevent various eye related disorders.
According a study, eating fermented bilberry has therapeutic effects in human subjects for myopia.
Studies has found combination of bilberry helps to reduces high eye pressure, may lower the risk of symptomatic glaucoma and improve blood circulation of the eye.
It also has protective effects against blue LED light-induced retinal photoreceptor cell damage.
Cataracts and macular degeneration are the major cause of blindness and vision deterioration in the elderly. One of the major reason behind that is damage from free radicals. According to another study, bilberry supplementation may be effective in preventing macular degeneration and cataract.
In another study, bilberry extract has a protective effect on visual function during retinal inflammation.
3. Breast health
Studies indicate that anthocyanins found in billbery improve the symptoms of fibrocystic breast disease andalso eases mammary tension.
Bilberries are rich in polyphenols and flavonoids that has anti-inflammatory activities, which may modulate the inflammation processes. Bilberry supplementation can help in prevention and treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.
5. Oral health
Bilberries are rich in many bioactives ingredients that help to reduce the risk of oral diseases. Studies has found that intake of bilberries has an ameliorating effect on inflammation and bleeding to a similar extent compared to standard of care.
6. Good for nerve system- Brain and spinal cord
Bilberries are rich in different polyphenols and flavonoids like anthocyanin which act as neuroprotective agent. They help to protect nerves system from stress and free radical toxicity. Including bilberries in diet helps to improve spatial working memory and alleviate behavioral abnormalities. Also it helps to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
The anthocyanin-rich extracts from bilberry has cancer prevention properties. Studies says that bilberry diets demonstrated a protective role in colon cancer and reduces sudden growth of the cancer cells.
Bilberry exhibits anti-cancer activity against human breast cancer cells. In another study, Bilberry has inhibitory effect against the growth of colon carcinoma and human leukemia cells.
Studies has found an anthocyanin-rich dietary bilberry extract has therapeutic effect on chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.
8. Reduces the sideeffects of chemotherapy drugs
One of the sideeffects of chemotherapy drugs are bone marrow suppression or myelotoxicity in which there is decrease in production of cells responsible for providing immunity, carrying oxygen, and/or those responsible for normal blood clotting. Studies has found that anthocyanin-rich extract from bilberry enhances the effects and reduces the side effects of the chemothearaphy drugs.
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disorder that is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Before the discovery of insulin, bilberry was one of the other several plant which was used to treat diabetes.
Recent study concluded that dietary supplementation with bilberry fruits may protect against impaired glucose and lipid metabolism in Diabetes mellitus.
In another study, bilberry dietary supplementation may prevent or delay the onset of early diabetic eye disease which is the leading cause of blindness in the world.
Bilberry are rich in many substances that exhibit antiviral activity and can be useful in treating viral infection. In vitro study has shown anthocyanin fractions of wild berries strongly inhibit the replication of many virus like influenza.
11. Prevent pneumonia infection
Studies has found cranberry, bilberry and crowberry juices have potential against pneumococcal infections.
12. Heart health
Bilberries are quite rich in anthocyanins, and other substances which helps to provide strength to capillaries, promote blood circulation around the body, useful in preventing atherosclerosis and other heart related diseases.
13. Stomach disorder
Bilberry contains pectin as dietary fiber which is highly effective in various digestion-related issues. The bilberry tea helps to sooth digestive track, provides great relief from nausea and stomach disorders.
14. Liver health
Study has suggest that bilberry extract plays an important role in protecting liver against damage by both scavenging free radicals activity and lipid peroxidation inhibitory effect. This study showed the beneficial health effects of bilberry extract through its antioxidative action.
15. Boost immune system
Bilberries are rich in various antioxidants, which help to improve overall immune system of the body, diseases prevention and promote longevity.
Bilberries are rich in many polyphenols that helps to prevent wrinkles, protect skin from free radical damage, helps to deal with inflammation related skin problems like acne, breakout and promote anti-aging effect.