Highbush blueberries belong to the same family as blueberries (blueberries). Highbush blueberries are not only larger and sweeter in taste than their cousins, but are also more effective in preventing certain types of cancer. What other properties does blueberry have?
Highbush blueberry is a fruit whose medicinal properties began to be appreciated only in the 20th century – then the cultivation of these fruits began.
Highbush blueberry – properties
- improves memory
Highbush blueberry can improve memory – argue scientists from two British universities – University of Reading and Penninsula Medical School – in the scientific journal “Free Radical Biology and Medicine” ¹. In their opinion, this is due to the flavonoids that reverse the memory loss with age. They came to such conclusions after a 12-week experiment, during which scientists supplemented the diet of the experiment participants with blueberries.
After only three weeks, they noticed an improvement in their memory, and with time it was getting better and better. The precise mechanisms of action of the substances in the fruit have not been established, but researchers believe that they improve existing connections in the brain, improve communication between cells, and stimulate the regeneration of neurons.
- can prevent hypertension
Blueberry can prevent arterial hypertension – report scientists from the University of East Anglia (UK) and Harvard University (USA) in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” ².
They observed that people who consume a portion of blueberries at least once a week by 10 percent. they are less likely to suffer from hypertension.
This is due to the anthocyanins contained in the berries, chemical compounds from the flavonoid group. The researchers studied 134,000 women and 47,000 men who participated in the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, which lasted for 14 years.
At the time the study began, none of the people involved had hypertension. Every two years health was assessed, and every four years – diet. 35,000 people developed hypertension.
- can prevent cancer
Highbush blueberry contains large amounts of phytoestrogen, a plant hormone that effectively blocks the activity of enzymes that contribute to the formation of the so-called hormone dependent tumors, e.g. certain breast tumors.
Ellagic acid contained in blueberries also has similar anti-cancer properties.
- can prevent cirrhosis of the liver
Research carried out by Japanese scientists³ shows that the fruits of the Highbush blueberry, and specifically one of its varieties – blueberry (V. ashei), inhibit the replication of the hepatitis C virus, and thus prevent the development of liver cirrhosis and protect hepatocytes (cells the liver).
Scientists from the University of Miyazaki concluded that proanthocyanidin found in the leaves of the bilberry bilberry may slow down the replication of HCV, which is located in the liver.
- supports the work of the eyes
Blueberry is also used to treat eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Apparently, during World War II, British Royal Air Force pilots ate blueberries to improve their night vision.
- supports the work of the digestive system
Highbush blueberry fruits contain tannins that have antibacterial properties – they destroy e.g. harmful strains of E. Coli.
In addition, the fiber and antioxidants contained in the Highbush blueberry are involved in the removal of toxins and harmful waste products from the body.
Highbush blueberries – selection and storage
Fresh blueberries should be intense blue, covered with a whitish, chalky wax coating. Check that the fruit is not damp, moldy or rotten.
Frozen blueberries should be loose. If they are packed together, it is very likely that they have already been thawed and re-frozen.
Blueberries can be stored in the refrigerator for up to seven days.
Blueberries that are not eaten immediately should not be washed.
To freeze Highbush blueberries, place unwashed on parchment paper, put in the freezer, and when frozen, place in a plastic bag. In this way, they can be stored for one year.
Highbush blueberry – use in the kitchen
Fresh blueberries should be rinsed with lukewarm water and gently dried.
Frozen blueberries do not need to be washed. It is enough to thaw them at room temperature and add them to uncooked dishes.
Before serving fresh blueberries to the dough, sprinkle them with flour first so that they do not fall to the bottom.
Blueberries can be added to salads or cereals, eaten by themselves or made into a cake.