The nutritional value of blueberry
The nutritional value of blueberry, according to the standardization of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States, summarizes it as between low and free of fat and sodium, free of cholesterol and rich in fiber, refreshing, tonic, astringent, diuretic and with vitamin C .; in addition to hippuric acid, which determines that it is a fruit with many desirable characteristics from the nutritional point of view.
Studies from Clemson University and the United States Department of Agriculture have placed the blueberry in the number one position for its antioxidant capacity, compared to all fruits and vegetables.
The pigment that gives the fruit its blue color (anthocyanin), intervenes in human cell metabolism by reducing the action of free radicals, associated with aging, cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer's.
These qualities are appreciable in markets with high purchasing power, where the purchase decision is mainly influenced by non-economic factors. For this reason the advertising campaigns highlight this goodness of the fruit among its nutritional and beneficial properties for health.
The blueberry in the pharmaceutical industry
The pharmaceutical industry also uses it as a component of antibiotics, drugs to combat diabetes and diarrhea, extraction of dyes and vision pathologies. Its image of a traditional product together with the recently discovered nutraceutical characteristics establish that the consumption of blueberries is on the rise in the developed countries of the northern hemisphere. Its consumption is recommended in numerous traditional publications (The Journal Food Science, Parents, Time, ABC News) and also on the internet:
Blueberries are considered the "superfruits" and are even called the "fruits of the 21st century" by many for their proven health benefits, including antibiotic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. In addition, they are used as fresh food without the need to be washed or peeled, they do not have palpable seeds and can be used in sweet and savory dishes, hot and cold, in juices and ice creams, in pastries and even in salads. * (Source): http.:// www.nutrar.com
Blueberry as an antioxidant
One of its characteristics is the abundance of natural pigments (anthocyanins and carotenoids) with antioxidant action. They neutralize the action of free radicals that are harmful to the body, giving rise to very diverse physiological effects: anti-inflammatory and antibacterial.
It also includes a significant contribution of vitamin C, which enhances the body's immune or defense system and helps reduce the risk of degenerative, cardiovascular and even cancer diseases.
Likewise, vitamin C has the ability to promote the absorption of iron from food, thus improving or preventing iron deficiency anemia. Fiber is a very abundant component in these fruits, so its regular consumption can be beneficial to treat constipation and intestinal atony.
Source of minerals, tannins and organic acids
They are also a good source of potassium, iron, calcium, astringent tannins, and various organic acids. Finally, they have a low caloric value due to their low carbohydrate intake.
Prevention of urinary infections
As for urinary tract infections, proven to be one of its greatest benefits, cranberry juice is used extensively to prevent urinary tract infections. It was previously believed that when drinking the juice, the urine became more acidic, so that the bacteria had less chance of multiplying. However, the mechanism is now thought to inhibit the adhesion of bacteria to uroepithelial cells, thus reducing the risk of infections.
Most of the evidence has focused on the effects against Escherichia coli, despite the fact that in vitro investigations indicate activity against other bacteria such as Proteus, Pseudomonas and other species. "Research also shows that drinking the juice can help reduce: bad smell in urine, burning when urinating, number of blocked catheters, calcium in urine and damage to the skin around suprapubic catheters. considers that cranberry juice is a preventive measure and not a treatment for urinary infections ", highlights the survey of two studies on the subject published by Arizona State University.
However, a study published by the University of Oxford is very optimistic about the potential of cranberry juice and clarifies that this does not "imply that it should displace antibiotics as the option therapy when necessary, but it could be a useful addition to treatment. in high risk groups ".
Others, despite being in full experimental stage, give him more credit. For example, a work by the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, in England, suggests that cranberry could provide an alternative to antibiotics, particularly to combat Escherichias coli that have become resistant to conventional treatment. The results of this research were presented at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society.
Cholesterol, heart and antioxidant effect
Cholesterol and heart is another advantage of blueberry is that due to its great antioxidant power it also increases HDL cholesterol, popularly known as "good cholesterol", which would be associated with a decrease in the probability of heart disease. The USDA (US Department of Agriculture), measured the antioxidant properties of more than 40 fruits and vegetables, which determined that the blueberry is the fruit with the highest antioxidant value.
Regarding the papers presented on the subject; a group of researchers led by chemistry professor Joseph Vinson, from the University of Scranton, USA; found that drinking three glasses of cranberry juice per day significantly increased HDL by an average of 10%. Which would mean, according to epidemiological data, Vinson says, "an approximate 40% reduction in the risk of heart disease." It would also improve vascular function, according to another study.
In turn, the consumption of cranberry juice helped reduce gastrointestinal problems, to the point that the neutralization of viruses was determined in several studies, according to Patrice Cohen, of Saint Francis University in New York.
The researchers confirmed this new property of cranberry in tests carried out with intestinal rotaviruses of monkeys and goats, and determined that the juice of the berry prevented the virus from attaching itself to red blood cells or other types of cells. However, he warned that further research in humans is still necessary.
For its part, studies conducted by the US Center of Disease Control and Prevention, 80% of gastric ulcers are caused by a bacterium (Helicobacter Pylori) that currently affects two thirds of the world's population.
A study carried out by scientists from the Institute of Technology, Haifa and the University of Tel Aviv (Israel), found in 2000 that cranberry juice contains non-stick properties that prevent this and other bacteria from settling on the stomach walls.
A 2005 study, conducted by professional members of the Beijing Institute for Cancer Research and the University of Peking, China; he confirmed it again.
With regard to cancer, recent studies from the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Western Ontario showed that mice injected with human breast cancer cells showed minimal tumor development when fed cranberry. In addition, the study showed that its consumption slowed the development of carcinoma and reduced its spread in the lungs and lymphatic system.
This fruit also contains high amounts of "quercetin", famous for reducing the risk of prostate, colon and breast cancer. The benefits of this fruit seem infinite; as many as the number of studies on it.
Other benefits of blueberry
In addition to checking its effects on urinary and gastrointestinal infections, cholesterol, heart and cancer; It should also be mentioned that it protects the teeth from any bacterial adherence by 58%, preventing the development of cavities and helps to strengthen collagen. Collagen is a protein that is an important part of ligaments, tendons, and cartilage.
There is still no reliable scientific evidence to treat arteriosclerosis, cataracts, diabetes, retinopathy, and dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation).
Finally, like all natural products, it is not regulated; therefore, it is necessary to consult the doctor about the dose that would need to be consumed, interactions with medications, their benefits and possible side effects; although in general terms it is considered safe based on the history it has as an edible product (it is commonly used as jam, in fruit cakes, syrups and drinks).
Properties of blueberries, new discoveries:
Since my previous report to this one, almost ten years have passed, in this period, research on this prodigious fruit has advanced notably on all fronts.- It is incredible that there was not a year in which scientists did not discover a new property of this noble berrie. - There are so many, that for a greater order, they are separated into different functions, for a better understanding for all of you, hopefully you find it interesting, and it will serve you something.- What I honestly believe is that there is no other food in this world as beneficial to our health as the blueberry, and especially now that its effects on the different types of cancer are being investigated, with plenty of hope, I know that the main laboratories in the world are dedicated to this subject as important to the human race.