What is Bilberry?
Author: Angela Fleming Date Posted:30 March 2017
All eyes on you Bilberry!
Eyestrain and visual fatigue is all too common in today’s world with the use of lighting, computers, smart screens, and close range activities.
Traditionally, our predecessors used bilberries for relieving eyestrain. Modern society has continued the use of bilberry for eye health as bilberries help to maintain and support eye health as well as healthy eye function.
Bilberries have been consumed for hundreds of years and are valued for their flavour. They are commonly added to pies and are used as a flavouring for preserves, syrups and beverages. But there is more to this humble berry than the flavour, it consists of valuable nutrients that assist the overall health of the eyes. Take a look-see below to see what makes bilberry so visually appealing.
Bilberries contain a cocktail of beneficial antioxidants and phytonutrients. Compounds include flavonols, tannins, phenolic acids and anthocyanins, particularly anthocyanosides. It is the anthocyanin component of bilberry that research has had considerable focus on.
Anthocyanins are responsible for splashing flowers, fruit and vegetables with beautiful rich red, blue and purple colourings. Bilberry has higher anthocyanin content compared to other types of berries for example, blueberries, strawberries and raspberries.
An antioxidant is a stable substance that donates an electron to neutralise oxidants/free radicals. Free radicals are highly unstable reactive oxygen fragments. They lack electrons and aim to regain balance by stealing them from other molecules, a process known as oxidation. Donating electrons stabilises free radicals denoting oxidation.
Bilberries are remarkably high in antioxidants. Anthocyanosides act as potent antioxidants. Bilberries may contribute to the following;
- Provide free radical scavenging activity reducing oxidation.
- Anthocyanosides specifically target and assist the regeneration of rhodopsin in the retina, which supports rod function and light adaptation.
- Provide nutritional support for healthy eyes.
- Improve collagen stability in capillaries.
- Strengthen capillaries.
- May enhance blood flow throughout the veins and capillaries.
Tannins exert an astringent action. They cause constriction of mucus membranes by precipitating proteins. This action produces a protective barrier over the mucus membranes in the eyes in order to prevent impairment.
With the power of all these nutrients combined, Bilberry may assist with the following;
- Visual clarity
- Night time visual acuity
- Maintaining visual sharpness
- Assists in light adaptation
Capillary health is vitally important when it comes to keeping your eyes in good shape. Choroid capillaries are responsible for the circulation of blood within the eye. Capillaries deliver oxygen and nutrients to the eye and retina as well as aid in the removal of disadvantageous waste products.
Optimum capillary function enables beneficial nutrients to feed the eyes sufficiently. The anthocyanoside component in bilberries has a direct affinity for the capillaries in the eyes. It is known to strengthen the smooth muscle that encompasses the capillary walls. This improves integrity of the capillaries, therefore improving nourishment for the eyes via blood flow.
How should I take it?
Vision is something we obviously want to keep well intact. By ensuring choroid capillary health with the right nutrients is a good place to start. Try doing it once daily with Bilberry 24,000mg One-A-Day. Just one capsule contains 86.40mg of anthocyanosides plus antioxidants and phytonutrients previously mentioned. After all, it has to be seen to be believed.
Always consult your General Health Practitioner before starting on a new supplement in order to avoid potential pharmaceutical interactions.
|Written by Angela Fleming|
Angela (BHSc Naturopathy) is a qualified naturopath who strongly believes in living a healthy and happy lifestyle. Angela believes being active, taking time out for yourself on a regular basis and consuming a balanced healthy diet (with the odd sneaky treat included now and then) is the fundamental key to keeping our minds and bodies in good health.
Angela loves to pass on her knowledge of healthy and happy living to her two young children, who love to experiment in the kitchen with her and train alongside her in Karate.