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Raise your hand if you love blueberries! Us too!

They taste great, are packed with vitamins, and have a very low glycemic impact. They’re a perfect sweet fix for just about everyone, no matter what your health challenges… but that’s not all!

It seems those little blue superfood orbs of deliciousness may hold the key to treating wounds.

A recent study has found that an extract in the fruit can increase regeneration in hard-to-heal wounds.

Researchers from the University of Maine say that blueberries, which contain phenols, natural compounds that act as antioxidants to prevent or reverse some forms of cell damage, help blood vessels grow and cells migrate, which are crucial to healing wounds. They treated wounds on a group of mice with a phenolic extract from wild blueberries. The results proved promising. 

The researchers previously showed that the extract improved vascularization and cell migration in human umbilical cord cells. They presented their latest research on live wounds in Philadelphia at the American Physiological Society’s (APS) annual meeting at Experimental Biology 2022.

The study compared animals treated with a base gel that did not contain the phenolic extract to a control group that received no treatment. The researchers found that the group treated with the blueberry extract showed improved migration of endothelial cells to the wound site. They also experienced a 12% increase in wound closure.

Doctors frequently classify burns, diabetes-related sores, and pressure ulcers as “nonhealing” due to the reduced vascularization or development of nutrient-rich blood vessels.

In a media release, first author of the study and doctoral student Tolu Esther Adekeye said, “Wild blueberries have the potential to enhance cell migration, new blood vessel formation (angiogenesis), and vascularization and to speed up wound closure. This is especially important in conditions that require enhanced wound closure in patients with chronic wounds such as diabetic wounds, burns, and pressure ulcers.”  

Blueberries aren’t just good for healing wounds… They’re great! But, even if you don’t have to deal with wound care, you may want to grab a handful (or cupful) of blueberries anyway. Not only are they a delicious snack, but they could also help prevent heart disease, regulate blood sugar, improve vision, and soothe stomach discomfort

It’s good to be blue. Eat your rainbow!