Bilberries on the branch.

Bilberries on the branch.

Believe it or not, blueberries and bilberries are better for your eyes than carrots! This is because dark blue and blac berries of all kinds contain compounds called anthocyanosides, which have been found to improve vision and slow the loss of vision due to aging.

In fact there is no other fruit that you can eat that is better for you than a blue berry. Recently a study at Tufts University analyzed the nutrient content of sixty fruits and vegetables and blueberries rated the highest in their capacity to destroy free radicals. A study published in the Archives of Opthamalogy also indicates that eating three or more servings of fruit a day can lower your risk of contracting age related macular degeneration (also known as ARMD.) ARMD is main cause of vision loss in adults. Eating blueberries every day might just cut your risk by more than 30%. However to receive the benefits of blueberries you have to eat at least a half a cup of any type of blue berry a day.

There are blueberries and then there are blue berries. As long as the berry is blue, navy or a purplish black you are liable to reap the benefits. True blueberries are the fruit of a shrub that is in the same plant genus as bilberries and cranberries.

Bilberries are in effect the most powerfully healing of all of the blue berries because they contain the most antioxidants. This is because anthoycins are contained in their flesh as well as the skin of the berry. Wild blueberries are also considered to be healthier than cultivated ones because they contain less water and more pigment.

If you are forgetful blueberries might also be of some benefit to you. In Boston a study done on rats showed that supplementation with blueberries helped offset damage done to their brains after they were subjected to two days of concentrated oxygen. This mimicked the effect of aging on the rat’s brains and it was found that the ones that had blueberries had better shorter term memories and were still able to be trained. This study is why scientists have concluded that blueberries may actually prevent the brain from degrading.

The good news is that it is blueberry season and the other good news are that phytonutrients in blueberries can also help minimize free radical damage to the circulation system in general. Problems that benefit from blueberries are glaucoma, cataracts, varicose veins, peptic ulcers and hemorrhoids. This is because the blue-red pigment in the blueberries helps improve the vascular ability and the support of the entire system. Blueberries also benefit the collagen matrix beneath the skin, which helps prevent wrinkles.

Bilberry extract has also been show to improve nighttime vision and help restore vision more quickly after the eye has been exposed to glare. If you drive at night a lot it is probably a good idea to spread a little bilberry jam on your crumpet in the morning. That is what jet fighter pilots do in the British Air Force!

If you are sick, eating blueberries is also a good idea. This is because the anthocyanide in blueberries enhances the healing abilities of Vitamin C.

As long as the berries are blue or black in color (blackberries will do the trick too!) you will reap the benefits of the antioxidants. You also don’t have to eat them fresh although fresh are the best sourced. Canned blueberries, jams, jellies and frozen blueberries are also good sources of these antioxidants.

Now if you add blueberries to your pancake mix or just put them on top of a stack of pancakes remember if you smoother them with the saturated fat of butter or a sugary syrup you’ll not have a healthy breakfast. Try blending frozen blueberries into your shakes in your blender or simply juicing them and drinking it it raw. You can also buy bilberry and blueberry juice in natural health food stores, just make sure it is unsweetened.

Are you having issues with your eyesight or any other part of your health and need to boost your general health in a safe and natural way? If so, feel free to contact us at the Pinewood Natural Healthcare website at, or you can call our Toronto Office a (416) 656-8100. We offer hCG shots, iv therapy, many types of naturopathic weight loss care. We also have an office in Pickering, Ontario at 905 427-0057. You can also email us at and we would be happy to answer any question that you have about our holistic health services.

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