Bilberry Fruit Facts and Health Benefits 101

Facts about Bilberry Fruit


The Bilberry is actually a short shrub, a family member of the genus Vaccinium which has over 450 varieties. The species usually known to be Vaccinium myrtillus L., or else referred to as European blueberry. Some other names include whortleberry, myrtle blueberry or whinberry.

It features a greenish, branched, anguated and inflexible stem. The foliage is oviform, and coarsely serrate. The pinkish, waxy flowers blossom during spring and early summer.

The bilberry fruit is smaller compared to the blueberry and they are almost similar in flavor. The simplest way to distinguish the whortleberry is it grows solitary or paired berries instead of clusters, like the blueberry does.

Bilberries are deeper in color, and usually look near black along with a little blue tone. Furthermore, the blueberry's flesh is light green in color, while the whortleberry is purplish or red.

Whinberry is often eaten fresh or made into jam, juices pies and fruit fools. It can also be used as a base to produce liqueurs, sherbet flavoring and various other desserts.

Bilberries 

Health Benefits of Eating Bilberries
 

Eye Health
Flavonoids contain strong antioxidant properties that defend body cells and membranes from the harmful free radicals. The flavonoid, anthocyanins, present in this antioxidant berry gives the blue hue of the fruit and is the primary active substance of this plant.

Whortleberries contain high anthrocyanin as the pigment is seen in both the flesh and the skin. This antioxidant could benefit the eyes as well as the blood circulation system.
Anthocyanin is definitely an antioxidant that provide the effect of:

  • building up blood-vessel walls,

  • enhancing circulation of blood and

  • improving oxygen supply

to the very small blood vessels to keep eyes in good shape, and making an effort to keep good blood flow. Due to this, bilberry is always included into eyesight improving supplements along with lutein and zeaxanthin.
 

Antidiarrheal Properties
The tannins found in this berry after it is dried become an astringent. It influences the gastrointestinal system by tightening the mucus membrane layer and helps ease the irritation.
 

Antibacterial benefits
Bilberry are powerful antioxidants -- they have high levels of flavanoids known as anthocyanosides that helps prevent the effects of the harmful free radicals that lead to inflammation, aging, cancer and even degenerative disorders such as macular degeneration.
 

Bilberry Nutrition and Calories
 

Nutritional Value of 100 g Fresh Bilberries
Calories 30
Total Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 6 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 0 g

Bilberry Recipe

Acai and Bilberry Juice

Ingredients:
A small handful of bilberries
100 g acai pulp
100 ml fresh orange juice
2 1/2 tablespoons yogurt

Preparation:
Blend all ingredients in an electronic blender and serve.
 

Side Effects of Bilberry


As bilberry features a blood thinning effect, anybody on blood-thinning drugs need to seek advice from a doctor prior to consuming bilberry or its supplements.

There have not been any known negative effects documented. However, just like any health supplements or medications you must remain careful with any adverse reactions that could pertain to you. Should you detect any whortleberry side effects, stop use and speak to your doctor.
 

Related Fruit Articles:

 

Blueberry Health Benefits Cranberry Health Benefits Elderberry Health Benefits
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