Thursday, April 21, 2016

Are blueberries the world's healthiest food?

Blueberries (family, Ericaceae; genus, Vaccinium) are indigenous to North America. The Vaccinium genus consists of many species, which have edible fruits.

Like bilberry (V. myrtillus), cranberry (V. macrocarpon), lingonberry (V. oxycoccus), and huckleberry (V. ovatum and V. vaccillans), blueberries are valued fruits.

Native American enjoyed fresh blueberries and also dried them for use with other foods. They are believed to use blueberry roots and leaves as medicine.

A tea made from blueberry leaves was considered good for blood and blueberry juice was used to treat cough.

These early insights and experiences about health benefits of blueberries are now being corroborated. Experts showed that blueberry leaves have higher phenolic and antioxidants values than the fruit tissues. In laboratory studies, dried extract of blueberries having high antioxidants reversed signs of aging.

Other studies have shown that specific wild blueberry extracts may have anti-adhesion and chemopreventive properties.

Thus, the blueberries are emerging as a functional fruit for improving health and quality of life.
Are blueberries the world's healthiest food?

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