Toxicity, side effects and contraindications of blueberries

Dangers of blueberries

What are blueberries and what are they used for?

Blueberries (Vaccinum spp.) are the fruit (in the form of a berry) of a series of plants of the Ericaceae family. These are edible foods, which are healthy mainly because of their vitamin C content and, above all, because they are extraordinarily rich in components that are powerful antioxidants (anthocyanidins, resveratrol, lutein, among other bioflavonoids).

arandano rojoThe extract of cranberries is one of the most used remedies to fight against cystitis, even as a prophylactic when they are recurrent.

What are blueberries good for?

European blueberries or bilberries (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) are used mainly in food like any other fruit.

Red cranberries or bearberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon A.), in addition to being eaten as food, are used in the form of a supplement and juice for their powerful antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. The properties attributed to these cranberry products are the following:

  • Coadjuvants in genitourinary infections (cystitis, nephritis, candidiasis, etc.).
  • Vision health (eyestrain, eye surgery, glaucoma, cataracts, etc.)
  • Improve circulation (varicose veins, arteriosclerosis, hemorrhoids, high sugar, high triglycerides, cholesterol problems, etc.).

Contraindications of blueberries as fruit

As an edible food, blueberries do not present important contraindications. The most urgent thing is to avoid the ingestion of these foods in case of people who have an allergy.

BlueberriesBlueberries are excellent fruits, with very few calories, which also top the lists of foods richer in numerous antioxidants. For example, it far exceeds the resveratrol content of wine.

Side effects of eating blueberries

The greatest side effect that the consumption of these fruits can produce is a slight increase in diuresis, since they are very diuretic and depurative foods.

Red cranberry to cure cystitis?

There is research that supports the antibiotic properties of cranberries against certain bacteria causing urinary tract infections, which is why it is recommended in case of recurrent cystitis, as a prophylactic.

However, the properties of blueberries may be insufficient as the only treatment for urinary infections, once they have occurred. For this reason it is advised as a coadjuvant, along with medical treatment. It is not recommended to treat urine infections with only red cranberries because it may be an insufficient remedy.

Not to buy a bad quality blueberry supplement

Although it is not exactly a contraindication, it is a danger to buy blueberry products that do not contain enough active ingredients, because in that case any treatment will be ineffective.

When you buy a blueberry supplement, you should read on the labels and look for those that contain an extract of the fruit, which contains between 25 and 35% of proanthocyanidins. In juice, this amount is translated into 2 liters of juice and in fresh berries, it would be approximately 100-150 mg of blueberries.

In case of infections, it is advisable to accompany other antibiotics and natural diuretics such as onions, garlic, rosemary and ginger.

* Related information: The best blueberries

Is cranberry juice recommended?

It is not the most advisable way to take it, although it is not wrong either. The only drawback of the juice is that they usually have added sugars and contain mostly water, diluting the fruit to 25% so that the final product does not have as much acidity and roughness.

punto rojo More information on blueberries.

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

22 December, 2020

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