Power of Blueberries

've planted three varieties of blueberries in my herb garden, and just like last year, the type that produces the biggest berries has been the first to bear fruit this year.  


I've been enjoying them every morning mixed into my soy milk yoghurt - delicious.


Most of you are probably aware that blueberries are good for your eyes. The antioxidant anthocyanin found in blueberries helps regenerate rhodopsin, the visual pigment present in the retina, which can improve vision, reduce eye strain and is thought to particularly enhance night vision.


But blueberries don't just benefit the eyes - they also impact one of the body's most crucial functions: the blood.  

We've discussed many times how the quantity and quality of our blood is a major determinant of our overall health.

Poor blood flow can lead to swelling, fatigue and a buildup of toxins, while thick, sluggish blood increases the risk of blocked and ruptured vessels. If the heart stops pumping, we die.


Isn't it great that we can easily grow blueberries at home and harvest them annually to help care for our health while being in touch with the seasons? Blueberries require little maintenance yet produce abundantly, making them an ideal plant for beginners.

If you've been thinking of trying your hand at growing something, I'd certainly recommend giving them a go.


Here are some of the ways blueberries can benefit our cardiovascular system:


Lowering high blood pressure 

The polyphenols in blueberries aid production of nitric oxide (NO), which dilates blood vessels, improves flow and lowers blood pressure. Since high blood pressure raises the risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease, blueberry consumption helps keep blood pressure within a healthy range to promote vascular health.


Cholesterol management 

The fibre in blueberries inhibits cholesterol absorption in the gut and promotes its excretion, reducing blood cholesterol levels and risk of atherosclerosis. The polyphenols also prevent oxidation of LDL cholesterol and increase HDL, improving the cholesterol balance in the blood to maintain vascular health.


Blood sugar regulation 

The fibre slows absorption of sugars after meals to prevent blood sugar spikes. This enhances insulin sensitivity and promotes blood health, as high blood sugar damages vessels and raises cardiovascular disease risk.


Improved platelet function

The polyphenols influence platelet activity critical for blood clotting; excessive activation increases thrombosis risk, while blueberries reduce this overactivation to prevent clots and maintain healthy blood flow.


Anti-inflammatory effects

Chronic inflammation damages blood vessels and can lead to atherosclerosis and other vascular conditions. Blueberries reduce inflammatory markers in the blood to protect vascular health.


Enhancing iron absorption

The vitamin C in blueberries improves absorption of non-heme (plant-based) iron to prevent anaemia. Iron is vital for red blood cell production.


While I grow my own to enjoy the freshest produce, blueberries are also readily available frozen or as jam year-round. They're incredibly versatile - try them in salads, as a flavouring, in dressings and so on to keep things interesting.