Now that it is the season, there is nothing better than enjoying a tasty and healthy snack based on ... blueberries. Blueberries can be eaten alone, added to a plant based yogurt, fruit salad or, why not, even salads. But the important thing is to eat blueberries, because, as we will see, blueberries counteract depression and protect vision, even being able, if taken for long periods, to block the progression of myopia. This is what emerges from two recent scientific researches, the first published in the Journal of Food biochemistry by a Brazilian team (Custodio et al, J Food Biochem, 2021), the second in the Clinical Ophthalmology journal thanks to the work of an Egyptian group (Omar et al, Clin Ophthalmol, 2018).
Blueberries against depression
The first research took place in the laboratory on a population of mice. The mice were divided into two groups, the first group received only a placebo, the second group blueberry extracts for a week. Later, the scientists recreated a depressive condition in the mice. Well, what emerged was that the mice that had taken the blueberry did not show any signs of depression, unlike those who had not taken the extracts. Not only that, blueberries also acted by increasing HDL good cholesterol. The observed effects are due to the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties of the blueberry.
Blueberries can slow the progression of myopia
The second study involved a group of 64 children, all with a high degree of myopia. The young volunteers were divided into two groups. The first group was asked to take a supplement containing 100 mg blueberry extracts for 20 days every month for 1 year, while the second group was used as a comparison. The children were then subjected to eye examinations at the beginning, at the end of the experiment and after one year from the interruption of the supplement administration. What emerged was that after a year of taking blueberry extracts, this supplement actually helped slow, if not stop, the progression of myopia. The gap with those who had not taken the blueberry became significant as the months passed, reaching its peak one year after the start of the experiment and, very interestingly, remaining significant even after the interruption of the administration of the supplement. In fact, the beneficial effects on the progression of myopia were observed even after one year from the interruption of the intake of the extracts. It is important to underline that all the children at the beginning of the experiment presented an optimal correction of myopia, as under correction accelerates the progression of this visual defect.