The wild blueberry skin contains the deep blue pigment of the most potent of the immune boosting antioxidants. Unlike cultivated high bush blueberries, wild blueberries contain more of the powerful antioxidant anthocyanin. Research indicates that compounds in wild blueberries may inhibit the initiation and promotion stages of (skin) cancer, according to researcher Mary Ann Lila Ph.D. Dept. of natural resources and environmental sciences, University of Illinois. Also, USDA researcher Ronald Prior, Ph.D. shows that wild blueberries have greater antioxidant value when compared with more than 20 other fruits and have a much greater ORAC value (a measure of antioxidant potency) than even cultivated blueberries. Antioxidants help protect and repair skin cell damage that comes from many factors such as sun exposure, smoke, stress, toxins in our environment, plus much more. (See risk factors for skin cancer and skin aging)
Wild blueberries are native to Maine and Canada and grow naturally in the glacial soil of our colder climate. Unlike cultivated high bush blueberries, wild blueberries are low bush and are spread primarily by the rhizomes or underground runners which give rise to new shoots and stems. The wild blueberry fields or barrens contain many different varieties of blueberries. These wild blueberries have grown for thousands of years and many are still harvested with hand held blueberry rakes.
In simple terms, antioxidants are nutrients found in plant based foods such as fruits, vegetables, and grains that help protect the body’s cells from damage. These nutrients also help prevent and repair skin damage and help to reduce skin aging.
In more scientific terms, these antioxidants help protect and repair cells from oxidative damage. As your body uses oxygen, it produces byproducts called free radicals that cause oxidative damage to cells. Antioxidants help neutralize these free radicals.
Risk factors for premature skin aging:
The Skin Cancer Foundation estimates that over 2 million people are diagnosed EACH YEAR with basil and squamous cell cancers. This is a conservative estimate as reporting of these two types of cancers is not required. Skin cancer is now described as an epidemic with all types (including melanoma) of skin cancers growing at a rate of 4-5% yearly.
Risk factors for Skin Cancer: