Blueberries are not my favorite fruits but I eat them with great pleasure whenever I buy some, especially in summer. They are really very tasty this period of the year. It is totally different with the “winter” blueberries. Tasteless, absolutely tasteless.
I spend a couple of hours per day on the Internet where I read on a lot of topics and, of course, I made some research about blueberries, too. I found out that these fruits were used in human nutrition since 3,000 years BC, due to the therapeutic effects they have. They bring many benefits in many areas of our health, regardless of how they are consumed.
More I read, more I realized I knew so little about these tiny fruits.
Blueberries are rich in antioxidants. However, the benefits of the blueberries go beyond the substances in their composition. Blueberries fight diseases at several levels and are a tool for maintaining good health but, unfortunately, they are insufficiently used. You probably know that blueberry juice is great for fighting bacterial infections of the urinary tract.
Blueberries have the highest antioxidant capacity of all fruits. Blueberries neutralize free radicals that can produce disease and aging in the body. The amount of vitamin C is another argument for the beneficial role of these fruits.
What retained my attention was the capacity of blueberries to slow vision loss and that’s due to the fact that this fruit contains high levels of compounds, called anthocyanins. These compounds can prevent or delay all problems related to aging, such as macular degeneration, cataracts, myopia and hyperopia, dry eyes and infections, especially those of the retina, due to their antioxidant properties.
Blueberries contain a special group of antioxidants called carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin, etc.), flavonoids (such as resveratrol, etc.), in addition to other important substances such as vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin A, selenium, zinc and phosphorus that arebeneficial and essential for eye health.
It is known that during the Second World War soldiers ate blueberries to enhance their visual acuity at night.
Studies have indicated that, if you eat three or more servings of fruit per day, you can reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (the leading cause of sight loss in the elderly).
A study published in the American journal “Archives of Ophthalmology” shows that people who eat berries, black or blue (which show the presence of certain pigments) of at least 5 times a week have a risk of doing macular degeneration by 36 % less than people who eat these fruits rarely or never.
This is the moment when I will talk about my mother. My mother is 84 years old and, useless to say, her visual acuity needs to be enhanced. After two weeks of blueberries diet she told me, “Look at this cute blueberry. It’s the last one I’ll eat’. We decided to find a supplement for eyes, a good one. There are not many supplements made especially for eyes on the market and quality supplements there are even less. I started a thorough research and found one that seemed great and … it contains extract of blueberries! My mother keeps taking it even after 5 months. Meanwhile she restarted her lifelong hobby: gobelins. She sews gobelins. Wow, I said to myself, it works, the supplement works. I was so happy when I saw my mother looking very preoccupied at me: “I’m afraid next year I’ll have to buy another pair of glasses, a less strong one…they are so expensie.”