Dark berries, such as blueberries, black currants and bilberries, are a super rich source of vitamins and minerals. In particular, dark berries contain antioxidants known as anthrocyanins, which may have significant eye health benefits.
Firstly, anthrocyanins may benefit those with cataracts. A 2001 Japanese study showed evidence that cataract progression could be potentially slowed via anthrocyanin supplementation. Also, anthrocyanins can help protect the retina from damage due to ageing and light, according to a 2012 study in the British Journal of Nutrition.
Ageing, light and inflammation can all lead to oxidative damage, and in the eye the retina is particularly susceptible - damage here can lead to macular degeneration (age related macular degeneration, leading to central vision loss, is the leading cause of blindness in those aged over 50). The anthrocyanins in dark berries can protect against oxidative damage, and may therefore protect against macular degeneration. Dark berries are also rich in vitamin C, which is also thought to protect against cataracts and macular degeneration.
There are endless ways to incorporate dark berries in your diet, but for a new twist why not try this blueberry-basil smoothie recipe!