Dried blueberries: uses and nutritional benefits

The blueberry is a small shrub of 50 cm belonging to the family of the Heather: Ericaceae. This large family has more than 3500 species. Each of these species evolves in different latitudes and regions. We find, for example, the Cranberry, the Gaultheria, the Lingonberry or the Bearberry. The wild blueberry requires specific climatic conditions to grow, notably a well-drained and acidic soil. It is mostly cultivated for its berries, the blueberries. These small berries have a royal blue color, which indicates the presence of a pigment: anthocyanins. It is mainly this compound that is involved in the therapeutic effects of blueberries: antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, etc. A series of scientific studies has also shown their benefits for the brain and eyes, blueberries can thus claim to fight against depression, prevent certain cancers, improve memory and night vision ... Many health virtues that justify the addition of dried blueberries in a varied and balanced diet. Especially since their slightly sweet and acidic taste goes well with many dishes. Latin name: Vaccinum myrtillus L. Botanical family: Ericaceae. Part used: Fruit.

Recommended consumption

The dried Blueberry is a dry fruit. It therefore contains more sugar than a fresh blueberry, the recommendations for daily consumption are defined :

  • In classic cure: 20 to 30 g, or a 4 to 6 teaspoons of dried Bilberries per day.
  • Beneficial for memory: half a cup of dried Blueberries a day shows cognitive benefits.
In what form?

To make the most of their benefits, you can use them :

  • Whole
At what time of day?

We advise you to use them during the following meal(s) to take full advantage of their benefits:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Snacks
  • Dinner
What modes of use?

You can incorporate them into the following preparations to make them easier to take:

  • Dessert
  • Yoghurt, dairy
  • Dish
  • Only
  • Mixed with other dried fruits
  • Infusion
  • Muesli

Health Nutrition Benefits

Dried Blueberries can complement your healthy and varied diet.

Ocular system

Blueberries are widely used to improve night vision and protect retinal capillaries. By their antioxidant power, they show a real preventive effect against age-related eye diseases, such as AMD and cataract.

Circulatory system

Dried blueberries are a superfood often used in the treatment of chronic venous insufficiency.

Nervous system, well-being

By their richness in phenolic compounds, Bilberries stimulate neuroplasticity. This benefit improves memory, cognitive performance and also emotions. In fact, studies show a preventive potential of blueberry flavonoids on depression and dysphoria. Finally, by their richness in sugars, the dried bilberries will fill the energy needs of the neurons, glucodependent cells, thus fighting against fatigue.

Immune system

The flavonoids in dried blueberries are powerful antimicrobials, their action is more visible on bacteria and parasites.

Urogenital system

The dried bilberries are vectors of anthocyanidins. They limit the fixation of bacteria responsible for urinary infections.


Dried blueberries have a low level of saturated fatty acids and a high concentration of anthocyanosides: powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. This combination prevents and fights against cardiovascular pathologies. In addition, anthocyanosides are very effective in preventing diabetic retinopathy, an impairment of the retinal vessels, a complication of diabetes.

Digestive system

Dried Blueberries are traditionally used to treat diarrhea (see our diarrhea and food guide). Be careful, in excess or fresh, they have the opposite effect. In addition, dried Blueberries would decrease the development of Helicobacter Pylori. They would protect, thus, the walls of the stomach. Finally, Bilberries would potentially be prebiotic superfoods: they positively influence the intestinal flora. All these nutrients reinforce the benefits of a varied and balanced diet.

Cardiac system

Blueberries are naturally low in sodium. Therefore, they would prevent hypervolemia. This disorder favors the rise of the blood pressure.

Muscles and joints

A study has examined the effects of blueberry consumption in cases of knee osteoarthritis. It concludes on an improvement of the walking by the increase of the cadence, the speed, the stride and the length of the steps on the group supplemented with Blueberries. Thus, Blueberries may have positive effects on pain management and contribute to better physical functionality for osteoarthritis patients (see our arthritis and diet guide).

Nutritional properties

Main properties

  • Cardiovascular protector (anthocyanin): anthocyanins are anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. These powers give dried blueberries an interest in preventing cardiovascular pathologies. In addition, a 2001 study suggests that the anthocyanins in blueberries inhibit smooth muscle contraction and platelet aggregation. These are potentially antithrombotic and antihypertensive effects. Note that bilberries are naturally low in saturated fatty acids. In excess, they increase cholesterol levels.
  • Neurotonic: Dried Blueberries show beneficial effects for brain health. They are thought to simulate neuronal plasticity, a factor in optimizing cognitive performance, including short- and long-term memory, spatial memories, and prevention of neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Circulatory: Dried Blueberries improve blood microcirculation. The mechanisms by which they may positively affect blood circulation are still unknown. Also in the bloodstream, a 2009 study shows that Bilberry extracts inhibit the conversion of angiotensin activation. Angiotensin is a hormone secreted by the liver, which increases blood volume. Thus, Bilberries would influence the blood volume of the body.
  • Antioxidant (polyphenol): phenolic compounds (anthocyanins, flavonols, tannins, ellagins, phenolic acids) neutralize free radicals. Excessive free radicals amplify premature cell aging.
  • Photoprotective (flavonoid): blueberries are flavonoid carriers. This one confers to Bilberries benefits on the vision. It would be hemeralope, that is to say that they improve the sensitivity to contrasts. They would also stabilize the vision and would intervene in the regeneration of the retinal pigments.
  • Positive (flavonoid): polyphenols in dried Bilberries show beneficial effects on moods. Regular consumption of flavonoids, a phytonutrient found in large quantities in Bilberries, is associated with a decreased risk of developing depression.
  • Anti-inflammatory (anthocyanin): numerous studies suggest that anthocyanins, the predominant phenolic compounds in Bilberry, have anti-inflammatory effects. Indeed, an improvement of the markers of the endothelial function (C-reactive protein or CRP) is observed after regular consumption of Bilberry. CRP is THE biological marker of inflammation.
  • Contributing to energy metabolism (carbohydrate): half of the composition of dried Blueberries is represented by carbohydrates, the majority of which are simple sugars. This carbohydrate energy is the primary fuel for the body.

Secondary properties

  • Neuroprotective (anthocyanin): generally speaking, berry polyphenols are considered neuroprotective. Bilberries are vectors of many polyphenols, particularly anthocyanin.
  • Antibacterial (pro-anthocyanidin): the phenolic compounds in Bilberries exhibit antimicrobial effects, particularly on Salmonella and Staphylococcus aureus. Dried Bilberries are said to have more of a bacteriostatic power: stopping the growth of bacteria. Bilberries also seem to limit the development of Helicobacter pylori. Finally, they also fight against recurrent cystitis, as dried Bilberries are rich in pro-anthocyanidin.
  • Antiparasitic: A study shows that Bilberry extracts impact the "morphology" of Giarda duodenalis and Cryptosporidium parvum, two parasites. The parasites would become unable to feed, leading to their losses. These two parasites are responsible for intestinal parasitosis in several species: humans, dogs, cats, etc.
  • Prebiotic: a study performed on rats describes an influence on the gut microbiota when Blueberries were introduced into their diet. They observed a decrease in Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes, and an increase in Proteobacteria, Fusobacteria, Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria. This modulation of the microbiota is positive for health.
  • Anti-diarrheal (tannin, fiber): dried Blueberries are traditionally used to fight diarrhea. This property comes from their richness in tannins: astringent phytonutrients. On the other hand, in excess or fresh, Bilberries accelerate the transit.

Nutritional values

*Recommended Daily Allowance

To know more about the plant : The bilberry tree

In the Ericaceae family is a small shrub called blueberry. It is native to Europe and has spread to Asia. The wild blueberry can live up to 30 years, it reaches an adult age of 50 cm. Like its roots, its branches are numerous and angular. The deciduous, oval and alternate leaves are only found on the upper branches. The flowers look like bells, their colors vary from green to pink, passing by the white. They bloom from April to June, before offering a fleshy, bluish, globular fruit, measuring 1 to 2 cm: the Wild Blueberry. The Blueberries contain several brown seeds, their blue-purple juice has a strong coloring power, and they are covered with a light sweet white dust. The wild blueberry, like most Ericaceae, thrives on acidic soils. It also requires a humus-rich, sandy soil, where limestone is inexistent. Very demanding, it is difficult to grow wild blueberry outside its preferred habitat.

The blueberry tree is mostly cultivated for its fruits: the Blueberries. These are picked by hand or with a comb. They are then sold fresh, frozen, dried, canned, in juice or in jam. Moreover, they can be found in food supplements, in powder or liquid concentrate. Indeed, the berries of the blueberry have therapeutic properties. Like the leaves, which help fight against urinary infections and diabetes. The roots are also known to relieve diarrhea.

Be careful not to confuse Blueberries and Bilberries. Blueberries (Vaccinum angustifolium) are native to North America, the shrub is about 30 cm tall and offers larger fruits than the wild Blueberry (Vaccinum myrtillus).

Fun fact: the genus Vaccinum, from the Latin vaccinus means "cow", as cattle would appreciate these berries.

Wild blueberries or commercial blueberries?

The wild Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) is difficult to cultivate outside its native environment, because it requires specific and demanding agro-climatic conditions. Commercial Bilberries are Bilberries resulting from crosses between different species of Bilberries, they are less demanding which makes their cultivation and marketing easier.

The blueberry market is growing strongly. As a result, the cultivation of blueberries is changing: blueberries from intensive agriculture are in the majority. Intensively cultivated blueberries have a white to yellow pulp. Wild blueberries have a blue to red pulp. This loss of color indicates a decrease in the concentration of anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are responsible for the bluish color. Anthocyanins are responsible for many of the health benefits of blueberries: antimicrobial, antioxidant, antiparasitic, anti-inflammatory, etc.
Therefore, wild blueberries have more health benefits than those from intensive cultivation.

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