Bilberry for eyes has been often in the headlines and for a good reason! Bilberries are associated with many health benefits, including eye health. This blog will cover what you need to know about bilberry for eyes, bilberry benefits for eyes and the lutein benefits for eyes!
What is Bilberry?
Bilberry is the European cousin of American wild low bush blueberry. It grows in Nordic countries (e.g., Finland, Sweden, Estonia) and other Northern European countries (e.g., Russia, Poland, Lithuania, etc.). For those who are more familiar with the North American low-bush blueberries, bilberries are the cousin from Europe.
Bilberries and blueberries come from the same family (Vaccinium) and they share a lot of similarities. However, they have a few differences as well. The main ones are size, color, and nutritional value. We have explained their similarities and differences in one of our previous blog post: Blueberry vs Bilberry – What is the Difference?
Is Bilberry Good for Your Eye Health?
There has been a lot of interest recently in the health benefits of bilberry with a special focus on eyes. Before we go to the scientific findings about whether bilberry is good for your eyes, let’s review its nutritional information.
Bilberries are a great source of vitamins, healthy fibers and essential minerals. In addition, bilberries are one of the best plant-based sources of lutein, flavonoids and anthocyanins (chemical compounds with super antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties), which seem to improve the overall eye health in people who consume bilberries. More specifically, regular consumption of bilberries may help alleviate specific eye conditions such as night vision, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, eye pressure and eye fatigue among others.
It’s worth noting that the amount of lutein and other antioxidants in bilberries or wild blueberries may vary depending on factors such as the specific type of blueberry, how it is grown and harvested, and how it is prepared. The nutritional content of blueberries may also vary depending on these factors. In fact, wild blueberries (bilberries) are the most nutrient-rich option.
Where Can I Find Bilberry for Eyes?
Bilberries do not grow in the US or UK. Therefore, the best way to get it is in the form of bilberry powder. This way, you can use it in any way you want in your daily diet. You can also find it as a bilberry jam, but because of its extremely high sugar content, we do not recommend it if bilberry powder is available to you. Because there are many products out there, it is important to be able to distinguish blueberry from bilberry products, but also good bilberry from bad bilberry products. Below we provide a rule of thumb for both categories:
- Most of the products go with the general term “Wild Blueberry” instead of “Bilberry”. However, if the product comes from countries like Finland, or other Northern European countries, and is wild, it is bilberry.
- If it comes from Chile, Peru, Canada, USA, or other non-European countries, and is wild or cultivated, it is NOT bilberry. You can also check if the ingredient list provides the scientific Latin name of bilberry (vaccinium myrtillus) or blueberry (vaccinium XXX).
Once you confirm that the product is from bilberries, then you can find out whether it is of good quality. This is no trivial task, but we gathered some tips for you below:
- What is the country of origin? Does it say the specific country, or does it use a generic term such as “EU” or “non-EU” country? We suggest buying bilberry products that provide the specific country of origin.
- Once you know the country of origin, ask yourself whether you trust that nature is clean in this country. We suggest you go for countries with large areas of clean forests such as Finland and other Nordic countries.
- If available, read the review of the bilberry product and see what other people say about the quality of the product
- Go for a natural bilberry product that has no other ingredients than the bilberries themselves. Companies sell many types of bilberry supplements and bilberry extract for the eyes. We highly recommend you check the ingredient list as well. Many products that come in pills and tinctures contain other chemicals and preservatives that we don’t recommend.
- If you bought a product that is 100% natural, check for its color, smell, and taste and you should be able to tell immediately about its quality.
- A deep purple color is always a good sign. If the product is in a powder format, you can also do the “staining test” by adding a very small quantity of the bilberry powder on a wet paper and seeing how it stains it. A good quality bilberry powder should stain the paper into a deep purple instantly. For more details, check out our guide: 10 Tips for Finding the Best Blueberry Powder.
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Final Words about Bilberry for Eye Health
At Arctic Flavors, we are passionate about the unique health benefits, including eye health benefits, of bilberries. Thus, we are committed to making these super healthy bilberries available to people around the world.
Our bilberry powder comes from the best quality bilberries from the cleanest forests of Finland. To make this possible, we collaborate with local people who pick the freshest bilberries, immediately process them to maintain their amazing nutritional characteristics, and package them for you as delicious bilberry powder.
We hope you enjoyed this blog post about Bilberry for eyes – Is Bilberry Good For Eye Health?