The Fit Life in Words
Tips on Nutrition, Workouts, and more. Because you can always improve.
You go hard. Day after day in the pool, on the bike, on the track, in the gym. Because you push the envelope, your body needs to recover from time to time. How often do you need to recover though? Do you take days off because it's a good idea for your muscles and joints, or is it because you feel sore? Soreness stems from inflammation. Inflammation happens when you put stress on your body. It's a normal response. But, that doesn't mean just let nature take its course and neglect helping your body battle against it. Most of us turn to a pill called Advil to help with the pain and inflammation. What if I told you there was a natural remedy that has proven to not only match Advil's anti-inflammatory effects, but that also had several other benefits? Bilberries look just like blueberries on the outside but are red on the inside and they pack a SERIOUS punch full of anthocyanins. Here are the 9 health benefits of the bilberry's anthocyanins:
The anthocyanins in bilberries are effective at helping reduce inflammation. They have the ability to strengthen the capillaries, thin the blood, and stimulate the release of vasodilators (agents that widen blood vessels). Improving blood flow is vital to reducing muscle inflammation. When inflammation goes away, soreness goes away (given there's no injury).
2. Digestive Health
Bilberries have been used to cure stomach issues like diarrhea, indigestion, and nausea. How? Bilberries also contain these things called tannins and pectin. They have a therapeutic effect on stomach inflammation.
3. Cardiovascular Health
The anthocyanins help improve the LDL and HDL cholesterol levels in your body. Research confirms the positive effects of bilberries on blood pressure and vascular health, preventing multiple cardiovascular diseases.
4. Vision Health
Studies have shown the effectiveness of bilberry extract in preventing age-related eye disorders, cataracts, and night-blindness. The anthocyanins stimulate the production or rhodopsin pigment which supports the eye to adapt to light changes.
Bilberry's anthocyanins have been found to exert anti-microbial activity. This action works against various human pathogens including Salmonella, Staph, and other bacterial infections. Recent findings suggest that bilberry extract might even fight against antibiotic-resistant organisms.
6. Kidney Health
Research has shown that bilberry extract helps your body to keep creatinine, serum blood urea nitrogen, and nitric oxide levels normal. This basically means that bilberry helps your kidneys obtain normal oxygen levels and protects them from oxidative damage.
7. Cancer Prevention
Bilberry extracts has been found to be effective against the development of various cancers including colon cancer, breast cancer, and leukemia. How? The anthocyanins prevent the rapid increase in malignant cells.
8. Liver Health
Endurance athletes, for example triathletes, put serious strain on their livers during competition. Bilberry protects against liver damage by enhancing the level of beneficial glutathione and vitamin C in the body. This reduces the concentration of nitric oxide in the liver.
9. Combats Diabetes
For a very long time now bilberry has been found effective in preventing and curing diabetes. The anthocyanins help regulate blood sugar levels. Studies have suggested that bilberry extract helps improve hyperglycemia and insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes.