The benefits of the berry are starting to seem endless. Blueberries have been shown to be helpful with protecting blood vessels in diabetics. Cranberries have been used for years to effectively treat urinary tract infections. And raspberries have eye-protective antioxidants called lutein. Eating berries in general may also help ward off certain types of cancers.
Berries are an amazing group of fruits. The berry came up with an amazing assortment of plant chemicals called polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants, to help neutralize the sun’s radiation to avoid damage to its tender flesh. A type of polyphenol called flavonoids give berries their dark coloring and confer health benefits on us when we eat them.
One of new berries on the block that science is seriously looking into is the lingonberry; it appears to have higher concentrations of plant polyphenols and may confer even greater health benefits. Well known in Scandinavia, the lingonberry’s Latin name is vaccinium vitis-idaea, and is also known as the cowberry. As a member of the vaccinium species, it is related to the cranberry, bilberry and blueberry. Today, scientists are showing its value in both human and animal studies that are proving to have positive results.
Lingonberry Animal Studies
Animal studies have shown how the lingonberry can lower inflammatory molecules, block oxidants from destroying tissue, and also help the body replace important antioxidants, like glutathione, which is a master antioxidant in our body. Lingonberry has also been shown to increase red blood cell and liver enzymes needed for antioxidant protection. We need antioxidants to protect vessels and nerve tissue, and also to help decrease the damage from inflammation. Proanthocyanidin extracts from lingonberries were also found to be effective against the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, which can cause a wide variety of infections.