Amazing Health Benefits of Blueberries
OriginThe Blueberries are known to have a circumpolar distribution in Asia, North America and Europe.
- Kingdom - Plantae
- Order - Ericales
- Family - Ericaceae
- Genus - Vaccinium
English name - Cow itch, Cow-hage, Velvet beans, Cow berry, Lowbush blueberry, Vaccinium pallidum, Vaccinium virgatum.
The leaves can be ovate to lanceolate, 1–8 cm long either deciduous or evergreen, flowers are white, red or pale pink, bell-shaped, fruit is a berry, tastes sweet when mature with little acidic taste, pale greenish at first, finally turning to dark purple, enclosed in a protective coating known as the "bloom".
CompositionBlueberries are a good source of fiber, have the highest antioxidant capacity due to presence of flavonoids and phytochemicals. They contain very less amounts of micronutrients and moderate amounts of essential dietary minerals like - Manganese, vitamin C, K and dietary fiber. They also contain anthocyanins which play an important role in diabetes, insulin sensitivity and weight loss.
According to Ayurveda, these fall under the Pitta pacifying diet and are highly nutritious, perfect for summer because summer is known to be a Pitta season and blueberries cool the body and their medicinal properties are listed below -
- Bahumala - Increases the production of faeces.
- Brahmani - Provides nourishment to the body.
- Balya - Helps to increase immunity and strength of an individual.
- Vrushya - Shows aphrodisiac nature.
- Vatahara - Useful in all types of neurological disorders.
- Anti-Parkinson's disease
- Nervine tonic
Blueberries are enriched with antioxidant properties. These support the intellect and overall nervous system, maintain posture, physical balance, help to maintain libido, have the ability to reduce stress and anxiety, help to improve immunity, energy levels and endurance, revitalize overall male and female reproductive system, help in Alzheimer’s disease, high blood cholesterol, cancer, decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, combat insulin resistance linked to obesity and diabetes and genetic-material-protection capabilities. Blueberries act as an excellent anti-inflammatory agents, helpful in allergies, decrease free radicals levels, helping to fight with the signs of aging, act as blood thinner, reduce pain, help in activating fat-burning genes in abdominal fat cells and reversing some age-related memory loss, help to protect the brain against damage from some environmental toxins, increase the production dopamine, thus helping in feeling good, used for ailments like impotency, sexual debility, infertility, aphrodisiac activities, and neurological disorders etc.
Action of Blueberries on various systems
Blueberries are a rich source of antioxidants and have multiple effects on various systems of the body. These are listed below
Help in Bodybuilding - These increase the production of Human growth hormone, due to the presence of amino acid L-Dopa that increases muscle mass and strengthens the body.
Improve Digestive System - These are beneficial in all types of digestive disorders.
Improve Function of Nervous System - These contain levodopa (precursor of the neurotransmitter dopamine) which plays an important role in cognition, sleep disorders, involuntary movement, mood, learning, and working memory.These contain various compounds like harmin alkaloids, nicotine, gallic acid, bufotenin, agenistein, lecithin, unsaturated acids, etc. These compounds give good results in Parkinson's disease due to their neuroprotective activities.
Improve Reproductive Health - These act as a tonic, support the Skhura dhatu (the reproductive tissue), are an aphrodisiac, maintain sexual energy and libido, maintain normal fertility, causes proper functioning of a reproductive organ and helps to maintain the health of ova and sperm.