The Bilberry is also known as the huckleberry and bearberry. The Bilberry is the fruit of the Vaccinium Myrtillus plant. In the past honey was mixed with bilberries to make and Elizabeth tonic called “rob” that was used to treat issues of the digestive tract, constipation and diarrhoea. Although, rations were selective, soldiers of the WWII found that eating bilberry jam before a night attack vastly improved their ability to see in the dark.
Since 1945, France has prescribed eating bilberries as part of the healthy diet for people with type 2 diabetes. The pigment that gives bilberries its deep purple colour is anthocyanosides. The Bilberry is rich in Vitamin A, B1, B2, C, E, K and minerals Copper, Chromium, Manganese, Zinc and Iron.
Here are a few health benefits of bilberry :
- The bilberry is antibacterial especially against strains of Salmonella, Helicobacter Pylori, Clostridium and Staphylococcus Aureus.
- Bilberry is full of powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants have been linked with reduced risk of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, atherosclerosis and arthritis.
- Taking bilberries has been linked with a reduction in leukaemia, colon, breast cancer. Its active components have been shown to cause cell death in cancerous cells.
- One of the main reasons Bilberry is taken is to improve eye health, night blindness and reduce risk of glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataracts.
- Bilberries help to regulate blood glucose levels, thus helping to alleviate symptoms of Type 2 diabetes.