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The benefits and harms of blueberries, its effect on the human body have been studied by scientists from different countries. Everyone agreed that the berry is incredibly useful in a reasonable amount. The properties of fruits and their effect on the human body will be discussed in the article.
Where do blueberries grow
A short shrub of blueberry with purple fruits grows practically throughout the northern hemisphere. The unpretentious culture has adapted to rocky soils, dry terrain, swamps, forests and even tundra.
The geography of blueberry growing areas is large:
- Altai region;
- Ural region;
- Far East;
- North America;
- Spain, etc.
The chemical composition and calorie content of blueberries
The popularity of the use of fruits in traditional medicine, cosmetology, as well as cooking is due to the valuable composition. The peculiarity of the berry is the ability to preserve vitamins and microelements useful for the body even after heat treatment.
100 g of fruit contains:
- 20 mg of ascorbic acid;
- 0.02 mg riboflavin;
- 0.01 mg thiamine;
- 0.4 mg vitamin E and niacin;
- 0.3 mg niacin.
Among other things, the berries are enriched with the following trace elements:
Reference! The fruits are enriched with a large amount of organic acids (acetic, citric, benzoic, oxalic, malic).
The calorie content of fresh blueberries meets the requirements of all diets. 100 g of berries contains only 39 kcal, as well as:
- 0.5 g fat;
- 1 g protein;
- 6.6 g carbohydrates;
- 2.5 g dietary fiber;
- 87.7 g of water.
Why blueberries are good for the body
The beneficial properties of berries are due to the effect on the human body of valuable amino acids, a large amount of pectin, polyphenols. The minerals that make up the fruit help to strengthen the immune system, which increases the body's resistance to viruses and infections.
The beneficial properties of blueberries were appreciated not only by doctors, but also by cosmetologists. The fruits contain substances that restore the strength of collagen fibers. Masks based on berries whiten the skin, remove toxins and excess water from the upper layers of the epidermis, which effectively eliminates problems with puffiness.
Other beneficial properties of fruits for the female body include:
- stabilization of the psycho-emotional background, the nervous system;
- normalization of the menstrual cycle;
- strengthening the work of the endocrine glands;
- stimulation of metabolic processes in the body.
The benefits of blueberries for the body are explained by the content of substances important for female organs in the composition of fruits: folic acid, antioxidants, iron, phosphorus, etc.
It is worth including blueberries in the diet for men. Useful, nutritious multivitamins and acids normalize the functioning of the genitourinary organs, increase potency, and support sexual function. The berry is an excellent remedy for prostatitis, is used to prevent diseases of the urinary tract, effectively strengthens the protective functions of the body.
Regular consumption of blueberries fills the male body with energy and improves vision. Means based on the healing fruit help stabilize the nervous system, get rid of a depressive mood. The content of rutin and esculin in the pulp of the fruit helps to cleanse the vessels and increase their elasticity.
Reference! You can learn more about the benefits of blueberry fruits by following the link:
At what age can blueberries be given to children
If the child's diet is replenished with a small amount of berries, it will be unnecessary to worry about a cold. Blueberry fruits contain most of the microelements and vitamins necessary for a growing body. Nutrients stimulate brain activity, strengthen tooth enamel, and protect the retina from the stress of reading books or working on a computer.
According to pediatricians, it is better to give berries to children from 2-3 years old and always in small portions. This precaution is due to the high risk of allergies and the effects on the digestive system. In babies, it is not formed thoroughly, so diarrhea, intestinal dysbiosis and other problems may occur.
Can blueberries be pregnant
The period of bearing a child is not a contraindication to the use of blueberries. However, the number of berries should be limited due to the fact that they can cause headaches, nausea or an allergic reaction.
The health benefits of blueberries for pregnant women are truly invaluable:
- beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system;
- helps to reduce blood pressure;
- prevents the development of varicose veins;
- cleansing the body of heavy metals and toxins;
- relaxation of the ciliary muscle, which relieves tension from the eyes.
Among other things, the berry enriches the body with useful trace elements necessary for the health of the expectant mother and baby.
Reference! Before consuming blueberry fruits during pregnancy, you should first consult with your doctor.
There are discussions about the introduction of berries into the diet during breastfeeding. On the one hand, doctors do not advise giving children fruits earlier than 2 years of age, which is due to the effect of the product on the fragile digestive system. On the other hand, there are no strict prohibitions on the use of blueberries by nursing women. The restriction is established by the pediatrician, taking into account the health condition and characteristics of the infant's body.
If a decision is made to introduce blueberries into the diet, then this should be done gradually, starting with a few berries. Each time after using them, you should observe the behavior of the baby, the state of the mucous membrane and skin.
Reference! New mothers are advised to consume 50-100 g of blueberries three times a week at least an hour before feeding their baby.
The healing properties of blueberry leaves
Blueberry leaves are no less valuable for medicine than berries. This is due to the unique composition that includes tannins and herbal steroids.
On the basis of the leaves of the culture, preparations are made that have the following effect:
- stabilize blood pressure;
- lower the temperature;
- normalize bowel function;
- relieve the inflammatory process;
- strengthen the walls of blood vessels.
Blueberries are used for diabetes, treatment of gastritis and enteritis, prevention of colds.
The use of blueberries in traditional medicine
For a long time, blueberry has been used for medicinal purposes by folk healers. On the basis of fresh or dry fruits, medicinal tinctures and decoctions were made, giving the body strength in the fight against diseases. Until now, in parallel with traditional therapy, recipes for homemade drugs that enhance the effect of pharmacological agents are used.
With the help of the juice of freshly squeezed berries, you can quickly tone the body, normalize the functioning of vital processes, and strengthen the immune system. Regular use of it effectively eliminates problems from the digestive system and intestines. The drink is recommended for people who have signs of gastritis or have low acidity. The unique properties of the berries help to reproduce gastric juice in a natural way.
Dried Blueberry Tea
With diabetes and for the prevention of the disease, tea based on dry blueberry fruits is used. The uniqueness of the product lies in the ability to lower blood sugar. Tea is prepared from 20 g of dried berries and 200 ml of water, brewed using a water bath (15 minutes). You need to drink cooled liquid.
Decoction of branches with leaves
To strengthen blood vessels and prevent varicose veins, it is recommended to take a decoction for a month, which is prepared from a twig with two leaves. They need to be poured with a glass of boiling water and left to brew for 30-40 minutes under a closed lid. They drink the remedy in three passes.
Face masks at home
Cosmetologists often use masks based on fresh berries in their work, and blueberries are no exception. The fruits have a beneficial effect on the skin due to the following properties:
- the presence of antioxidants in the composition that rejuvenate the epidermis;
- antimicrobial effect helps to eliminate blemishes such as acne and blackheads;
- the ability to remove excess water and toxins;
- enrichment of the skin cell layer with nutrients;
- restoration of the structure of collagen fibers.
Blueberries can be used at home to rejuvenate, nourish and tone the skin. A great variety of mask recipes have been developed on the basis of the berry.
Option number 1: for moisturizing
Liquid honey, fresh berries and cottage cheese, taken in equal amounts, are mixed well. Apply a thick layer to cleansed face skin. The duration of the components is 15 minutes. Repeat the procedure twice a week.
Option number 2: for skin rejuvenation
Mix a tablespoon of starch with 10 blueberries, a little lemon juice and the same amount of olive oil. With the ready-made composition, treat all areas of the skin of the face and décolleté (except for the area around the eyes). Spread a gauze cloth on top and saturate it with the remaining product. After 20 minutes, the mask can be washed off. The regularity of the procedure is 2 times a week.
Option number 3: for oily skin
Beat the egg white in a foam, add orange essential oil (5 drops), 3 drops of lemon oil, 10 crushed blueberries. Use the mask every other day for two weeks.
Option number 4: against acne
Wipe the face skin with a cotton pad moistened with blueberry juice. Soak a gauze napkin with berry nectar and apply to the treated area for 10 minutes. Repeat the procedure daily for 10 days.
What can be made from blueberries
Blueberries are also of interest to culinary experts. An incredible number of delicious and unusual dishes are prepared from the fruits, which are liked equally by adults and children. Among the popular ones:
- tartlets with berries;
- Berry pie;
- berry pudding;
- fruit drink;
- muffins and more dr.
In the cold season, it is useful to have a tea party with blueberry jam with your family or friends. The berry leaves a pleasant aftertaste, fills the body with energy, increases the level of serotonin - the hormone of happiness.
When to collect and how to store blueberries
The technical ripeness of blueberries falls in the period from August to September. Ripe berries retain a presentable appearance on the bush for a long time, so the harvest lasts until the very frost.
There are many ways to store blueberries, but the following technologies should be preferred:
- freezing (the fruits are pre-sorted, washed and dried);
- drying (clean berries are laid out in the compartments of the dryer or on a baking sheet and processed in the oven for about three hours at a temperature of 40 °);
- sprinkle with sugar (washed berries are sprinkled with sugar, mixed and poured into sterilized jars).
Dried fruits are folded in linen bags and kept in a room with a low humidity level. It is better to keep jars with "cold jam" in a cool place (refrigerator door, cellar, basement).
Blueberry harm and contraindications
Berries are not recommended for use in the following cases:
- during breastfeeding;
- if there are allergic reactions of the body;
- with stomach ulcers.
Don't eat a lot of blueberries at a time. In large quantities, the berry provokes a malfunction of the digestive system, as a result of which there are: bloating, diarrhea, increased gas formation in the intestines. In addition, the abuse of fruits provokes an increase in blood sugar levels.
You can harm the body by simultaneously taking black tea or coffee with fresh berries. Such a tandem is toxic. You can notice the consequences by the symptoms characteristic of poisoning:
- physical weakness;
Important! The collection of berries should be carried out exclusively in ecologically clean regions. Blueberries have the ability to absorb radionuclides and other harmful substances in the soil.
The benefits and harms of blueberries for the human body are balanced by the amount of berries consumed. The fruits of the culture are comparable to drugs that, in reasonable doses, help to overcome various diseases.