Local energy boosters in blue
Superfoods, they’re on everybody’s mind. Small nutritional wonders like Chia seeds, açaí berries or cocoa beans promise us great effects on body and well-being and conquer our recipe books and food plans in time. Their handicap: those miracle beans travel long distances. They create a deep ecological footprint in the environmental balance sheet until we as end consumers actually put them in our shopping cart. In addition to a healthy lifestyle, a sustainable environment is becoming increasingly important in our society. It is therefore particularly recommended to take a closer look when walking through the local pine forest. One of the most popular “local superfoods” is the blueberry. We took a closer look at the little blue superhero.
Blueberries and its colour
Due to their low sugar and calorie content of just 42 kcal per 100g, blueberries are not only particularly friendly to the figure. They are also among the most health-promoting fruits of all. They have an inflammatory effect and are rich in fibre, vitamins, minerals and fruit acids. Wrapped in a deep blue coat, the blueberry truly honors its name. The fruit owes its colour to the richness of the antioxidants it contains. However, these chemical compounds not only provide the compelling colour, but also show many amazing facets in terms of our health:
Blueberries for the Memory
A pilot study published by the University of Cincinnati (Ohio) in 2016 tested the impact of blueberries on the memory performance of older people. 47 seniors aged 68 and over combined with first signs of Alzheimer’s were treated for 16 weeks with a powder mixture corresponding to about a handful of blueberries. One control group, on the other hand, was given a placebo powder. After the test weeks, the seniors supplied with blueberries showed a significantly improved mental performance and brain activity then before. In the group of controls, on the other hand, no noticeable change could be observed. The plant colorant is again suspected of triggering this effect, since antioxidants have already shown to have brain-protecting effects in Parkinson’s patients in earlier studies.
Blueberries with diabetes
Across Europe, about 60,000 people suffer from diabetes, of which about 90% are affected by type 2 diabetes. The disease is due to a disturbed insulin metabolism, which is encouraged by an unhealthy lifestyle, lack of exercise and overweight. The blue berry can have a preventive effect against diabetes by promoting the release of insulin, regulating blood sugar levels and stimulating the burning of belly fat. A study carried out by nearly 400,000 US citizens over several decades concluded that blueberries can reduce the risk of diabetes by up to 26%.
Blueberries for a healthy gut
Our gut has gained a lot of attention in recent years. Several studies have revealed the influence of a healthy intestinal flora on our health and well-being, but also on our external skin. The sensitive organ is responsible, among other things, for the defense of germs. Factors such as stress, medication or a bad eating habits can quickly upset the sensitive intestinal tract. Already the ancient Greeks discovered the potential of blueberries and used the fruit against infections of the intestines. The Swedish University in Lund has now officially proven that the anti-inflammatory effect of blueberries can be attributed to their colour pigments. These block the enzyme lipoxygenase, which is considered to play a central role in the development of inflammations in the body. Blueberries additionally contain tannins. These interact with proteins and create a protective layer through insoluble compounds which makes it difficult for dangerous germs to intrude.
Blueberries against cancer?
Blueberries perform true arts as “radical catchers” in the fight against free radicals: Free radicals are incomplete molecules which aggressively and randomly search for a suitable molecule in the body. On their journey, they use the next best molecule, for example from our cell membrane or DNA. This way they disturb the normal cell process and the genetic information. In the worst case, chain reactions accelerate the aging process and increase the risk of cancer. The antioxidants contained in blueberries prevent these dangerous reactions by releasing incomplete radicals willingly from one of their electrons, thus neutralizing them. Although it has not yet been scientifically proven, it is believed that a cup of blueberry a day can reduce the risk of cancer cells developing.
What we take along…
Almost the pie in the sky promises us the healthy fruit- and it keeps its promises! Thus we continue to eat many blue berries constantly not only for the sake of our figure, our gut and our memories, but also for the benefit of our environment.
Enjoy and while at it, why don’t you try our Blueberry Cheeseshake!