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Functional, Dietetic and Therapeutic Qualities

Originating in North America, Asia and Central Europe, blueberries have been consumed by humans since prehistoric times. In Portugal, we can find it in regions where winter is very strict, such as the area of medium Vouga.
There are over 30 species growing in different regions and hundreds of different varieties. Cultivated blueberries have a slightly sweet taste and the wild are more astringent.

Excellent source of flavonoids, especially anthocyanins, which give them the typical bluish color, vitamin C, soluble and insoluble fiber, such as pectin. Also very rich in tannins, vitamin E, riboflavin and manganese.

The blueberry is the fruit which has more anti-oxidants, a high amount of polyphenols in both the film and in the pulp, vitamins and minerals.
Blueberry is rich in vitamins A, B, C, E and K, it has a diverse range of minerals, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, Selenium, Magnesium, pectin, tannin, citric, malic and tartaric acids. It should be highlighted it's high levels of magnesium, an essential mineral in the human diet. When fruit ripening occurs, it gives a decrease in chlorophyll content and increases sugar and anthocyanins content, causing the color to change from green to blue. Anthocyanins are natural pigments that have antioxidant properties and which are assigned a number of health benefits, giving the blueberry designations such as "King of Antioxidants", "fruit of life", "health fruit" or "fruit of longevity ".
Blueberry has antiseptic, anti-diarrheal and anti-bleeding properties.
Anti-aging: it fights free radicals.
Vasodilator: it improves blood circulation and is indicated for cases of varicose veins, hemorrhoids and other circulatory problems.
Anti-Inflammatory: indicated for the treatment of edema, arthritis and arthrosis. Blueberry has compounds that help prevent and treat urinary tract infections (Rutgers University NJ).
Digestive Tract: Blueberry is rich in fiber, its consumption helps regulate intestinal transit and reduces inflammation in the digestive tract.
Reduces the Blood Sugar Rate: suitable for diabetics.
Acts in cases of severe diarrhea.
Suitable for local action in relieving inflammation in the mouth and colds.
It has been widely used against fevers. The antibacterial action is attributed to mirtilina.
Works well in restoring small circulation and therefore is used in diabetic retinopathy, poor renal perfusion, diabetic foot, etc.
Anti-oxidant: Blueberry exceeds vegetables, it's the fruit that contains more antioxidants, a group consisting of vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals that attack and damage our immune system leading to many diseases. Free radicals appear when we are exposed to a variety of substances such as radiation, chemicals, pollution, smoking, drugs, alcohol and unbalanced diet. Antioxidants prevent cardiovascular diseases, various cancers, mitigate the processes associated with aging, such as cataracts, Alzheimer's disease and other disorders of the central nervous system.
Reduces Cholesterol: we can't find sodium or cholesterol in Blueberry, it has low-calorie and sugar content ir is high in fiber, benefiting the intestinal regulation. Because of the absence of sodium and cholesterol it is recommended in diets for the prevention of hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. Its skin contains, such as red grapes, significant levels of resveratrol (polyphenols) and Anthocyanins, a polyphenol that can help lower the level of bad cholesterol (LDL), this polyphenol is more efficient than many drugs prescribed by doctors. Prevents strokes and heart ailments, cancers, urinary tract, larynx and mouth, forming Glaucomas, eyestrain and night blindness.
Neurology: In a symposium in 2007 on benefits of blueberries for health, reports show that consumption of blueberries may alleviate the cognitive decline occurring in Alzheimer's disease and other aging conditions (npicenter.com). Laboratory studies led to the conclusion that blueberries improve memory and motor coordination affected by degenerative diseases, protecting the brain from the effects of brain deterioration associated with Alzheimer's disease and by aging, such as loss of short term memory. They are excellent antidotes to depression.
Vision: Blueberry improves vision, several studies have documented that the blueberries have very high concentrations of anthocyanin, a compound linked to services that typically enhance night vision and reduce eye fatigue. Blueberries protect against age-related degeneration of the view, they are excellent for preventing cataracts and retinopathy in diabetics. They have an undisputed nutritional value used in marmalades, perhaps this is why they help improve night vision - due to the presence of these vitamins.
Its leaves can also be used to make blueberry tea, rich in medicinal properties.

Blueberries can be eaten fresh or mixed with milk, cereal or sugar which stimulates the gastric and intestinal segregation, mainly the pancreas. The abundance of blueberry anthocyanin causes them to have a salutary effect against diarrhea, and act as anti-inflammatory and antiseptic, and therefore are useful against certain gastrointestinal disorders.

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