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Bilberries – the natures free “super food”

by Marika Walker

Bilberries – the natures free “super food”

This is the time of the year for bilberries. Did you know that they are distinct from blueberries but closely related to them? Bilberries grow in Scandinavia in the forests and here in the UK in the moors, and are smaller than blueberries but so much tastier! I went bilberry picking the other day, and it took me only 1,5 hours to pick up a full bucket of bilberries, and that is almost 10 liters.

Bilberries, just like blueberries are nature’s wonders and a true super food. Bilberries contain a chemical called anthocyanin. These are plant pigments that give coloring agents for fruit juices, wine, and other beverages that render them vivid red to blue. They also contain an array of health-promoting benefits. Eaten in large amounts by humans, anthocyanins are antioxidant flavonoids that protect many body systems. Based upon many cell-line studies, animal models, and human clinical trials, it has been suggested that anthocyanins possess anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic activity, cardiovascular disease prevention, obesity control, and diabetes alleviation properties, all of which are more or less associated with their potent antioxidant property.

My childhood favorite is a bowl of fresh bilberries with cold milk. Try adding bilberries to yoghurt and muesli in the morning, on top of porridge, in your smoothie or just the way they are.