(NaturalHealth365) Blueberries offer many health benefits. It is already known that highly pigmented vegetables and fruits offer powerful nutrition. These berries have one of the highest antioxidant content. The greatest nutritional benefits come from eating them raw.
Blueberries are native to North America, and were enjoyed by the Native Americans. From Asia to the Mediterranean blueberries have been cultivated, and enjoyed as part of the local cuisines. Some varieties were exported to Europe and Asia from North America, but they also have their own native varieties.
The difference in flavors depend if they are cultivated or wild. The cultivated variety is sweeter than the wild variety, which is tart and tangy.
Blueberries grow on a shrub, which belong to the heath (Ericaceae) family, the same family that includes cranberry, and bilberry. Blueberries grow in clusters and range is size from quite small to the size of a marble. The larger blueberries are the cultivated species, while the wild blueberries tend to be smaller.
The color is intense from a dark blue to purple hued, and some are maroon, but all have the deep dark pigmentation.
The most cultivated blueberries are known as highbush blueberries. This is what most people are familiar with, because they are sold in supermarkets across the country. Highbush blueberries usually are hybridized to produce a larger size. The American public prefers these because they tend to be sweeter.
Wild blueberries are really the lowbush variety. These are not commonly found in supermarkets. They tend to be smaller and have a tart taste. Rabbiteye blueberries are native to the southern U.S. They aren’t cultivated to the extent of the highbush blueberries.
The magic behind Blueberries
The benefits are universally recognized. Blueberries support critically important functions. Blueberries combat the factors that result in metabolic syndrome. This means it takes on insulin resistance, hypertension, abdominal obesity, and cholesterol. It is hard to imagine that such a small fruit can deliver such astonishing results.
Blueberries seem to boost insulin sensitivity, lower LDL cholesterol triglycerides, and improve leptin sensitivity. All these are associated with metabolic syndrome. It has the potential to halt the progression of type 2 diabetes.
Researchers at the Texas Women’s University (TWU) in Denton claim blueberries fight fat cells. The new research was presented at the Experimental Biology 2011 meeting for the American Society for Nutrition. It was found mice receiving the most blueberries had a 73 percent decrease in lipids and mice on a lower dose had a 27 percent decrease. The berries have high levels of polyphenols that fought “adipogenesis” in mice, stated Shiwani Moghe, MS, the graduate student at TWU who led the study. That means less tissue with the cells, which specialize in the synthesis and storage of fat.
Fat cells are stored in the spare tire, which is tied to the metabolic syndrome. Researchers still feel the need to test this dose in humans, to make sure there are no adverse effects. Moghe said “The promise is there for blueberries to help reduce adipose tissue from forming in the body.”
I know the experts don’t get it, if consumers ate healthier foods, which include blueberries, they will initiate the long awaited end to the metabolic syndrome.
About the author Blanche has been a student of natural healing modalities for the last 25 years. She had the privilege of working with some of the greatest minds in Natural Healing including Naturopaths, Scientist, and Energy Healers. Having seen people miraculously heal from all kinds of dis-ease through non-invasive methods, her passion now is to help people become aware of what it takes to be healthy