Blueberries Help Prevent Mental Decline

 

That’s a neat little video. Makes you want to run out and get some blueberries! Dr. Fuhrman is all about blueberries, he says, “Blueberries are among the best foods you can eat, and I recommend eating them everyday.” He explains they also having amazing anti-cancer properties.

One cup of blueberries contain 80 calories and a whole pint gives you about 225 calories. Like all other foods, the calories in blueberries come from its macro nutrients - 56 grams of carbohydrate, 1.5 grams of fat and 2.7 grams of protein. But it is blueberries' micro nutrient content that packs the most impressive wallop. Blueberries are packed with tannins, anthocyanins that have been linked to prevention - and even reversal - of age related mental decline and anti-cancer effects.

In February, researchers discovered consuming blueberries may reduce the size of cancer tumors found in young children, and improve survival rate.

Berry Nutrient Helps Improve Cholesterol

I love berries. I eat a bunch of blueberries everyday. Good thing a new study in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition claims consuming a lot anthocyanins—a nutrient found in blueberries—may improve both HDL and LDL cholesterol, i.e. raise good cholesterol and lower bad.

Using a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial design, the Chinese researchers studied the effects of a twice daily dose of 160 mg anthocyanins on the lipid levels of the participants.

After 12 weeks of supplementation, HDL cholesterol levels increased by almost 14 per cent in the anthocyanin group, compared to a rise of only 2.8 per cent in the placebo group. Furthermore, LDL cholesterol levels decreased by 13.6 per cent in the anthocyanin group, compared to an increase of 0.6 per cent in the placebo group.

The removal of cholesterol from cells, the so-called cellular cholesterol efflux, was found to increase by 20 per cent in the anthocyanin group, compared to a 0.2 per cent in the placebo group.

Listen, fruits and vegetables are loaded with all sorts of nutrients. Anthocyanins are just the tip of the iceberg. Other foods like concord grapes and prunes are good sources of anthocyanins too.

Via Nutra Ingredients.

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Fruit and Veggie Antioxidants Improve Exercise Endurance

New findings in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism reveal quercetin—a nutrient in red apples, berries and broccoli—boosts oxygen uptake and exercise endurance. Study participants followed their regular routines and diet for 7 days and then did the same thing for another 7 days, but this time they consumed 500 milligrams of quercetin. While on quercetin people had nearly 4% more oxygen uptake and took longer to become fatigued during exercise. However, participants got quercetin from Tang, which stinks; Reuters reports.

But still, quercetin is great mojo! According to Dr. Fuhrman, blueberries are packed with quercetin and other healthful flavanoids. He recommends eating blueberries everyday. That’s why you’ll find quercetin in Dr. Fuhrman’s Pixie-Vites, along with other nutrients found in watermelon, cantaloupe, papaya, broccoli, cauliflower, beets and many other amazing fruits and vegetables.

And don’t forget, last year researchers found antioxidants and nutrients in carrots, spinach, kale and collard greens help health improve eye health and stave off age-related vision loss.

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Q & A: Being a Fruitarian is Not the Most Healthy

Fruit is great. Foods like blueberries and pomegranates are known cancer-fighters and help prevent cardiovascular disease, but should you only eat fruit and nothing else? Here’s a brief discussion from Dr. Fuhrman’s member center about fruitarianism and longevity:

Question: I have been exposed to the ideas fruitarians and raw foodies. I always figured that if I had enough self-discipline to practice these dietary philosophies. I would experience superior longevity, but a while back I learned popular fruitarian advocate T.C. Fry died at age 70. What gives?! If these dietary practices reap nothing in longevity beyond age 75, what hope is there for someone who doesn’t have a family history of longevity and is by no means as dedicated as prominent fruitarians and raw foodists?

Dr. Fuhrman: Being a fruitarian diet is not most healthful! I have seen lots of fruitarian, raw foodists in poor health, including one who died in his forties because he refused to take an antibiotic for his severe pneumonia. T.C. Fry died of severe Vitamin B12 deficiency, with resultant hyper-homocystiene causing vascular disease. I saw his hospital records before he died. He taught people they did not need to take B12. There are no guarantees, in life, but fruitarianism is not the answer.

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Health-Points: Friday 4.24.09

  • Onto a better food, presented at this year’s Experimental Biology Conference, blueberries were found to help combat abdominal fat. In the study, rats eating a lot of blueberries lost belly fat. Excess abdominal fat has been closely associated to heart disease and diabetes. The rats also experienced lower cholesterol and better glucose control, even if their diet wasn’t heart-healthy; via WebMD Health News.

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Antioxidants Linked with Fewer Hip Fractures

New findings in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research reveal antioxidants, such as lycopene, carotenoids and lutein, reduce the likelihood of hip fractures. The 17-year long study, involving 946 individuals, 576 Caucasian women and 370 Caucasian men with an average age of 75, found participants with the highest average intakes of all carotenoids had significantly lower risk of hip fractures, lycopene linked to the lowest risk of hip fracture and non-vertebral fracture; NutraIngredients reports.

In the past, other antioxidants found in plants, such as flavonoids, have been associated with heart health and blueberries, which are packed with nutrients like tannins, anthocyanidins and polyphenols help to prolong mental health and prevent cancer.

But be careful with the vitamins you get outside of food. Recently, a 10-year analysis of 77,000 people showed high-dose beta carotene supplements increase risk of lung cancer. Eek!

Image credit: Manjith Kainickara

Blueberries Protect Young Kids Against Cancer

I eat a lot of blueberries. I pile them into everything. Even my breakfast pudding! Dr. Fuhrman loves blueberries too. He considers blueberries an excellent food for superior health and longevity. They’re packed with healthful nutrients and phytochemicals, like tannins, anthocyanidins, flavonoids, and polyphenols and proanthcyanidins, which are linked to prolonged mental health and cancer prevention.

Now, more good news for blueberries! New findings in the journal Antioxidants & Redox Signaling suggest consuming blueberries may reduce the size of cancer tumors found in infants and young children, as well as improve cancer survival. After feeding mice a blueberry extract, researchers observed doubled lifespan and tumors 60% smaller than control mice; NutraIngredients investigates.

In 2007, a study reported blueberries, specifically a compound called pterostilbene, also found in other fruits, like grapes and strawberries, may help prevent pre-cancerous colon lesions. Oh, and try pomegranates too. Pomegranates actually have more antioxidants than blueberries. Sweet!

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Eat Lignans for Healthier, Thinner Women

A new study in the British Journal of Nutrition claims a diet rich in lignans, phytochemicals found in flaxseed, whole grains, berries and other fruits and vegetables, lowers women’s body mass index and significantly reduces blood glucose levels. Participants, 115 women, tracked their lignan intake using a 3-day dietary record and blood tests revealed those women with the highest lignan levels had less body fat and a better metabolic profile, including higher insulin sensitivity; Nutraingredients reports.

Seeds are a great source of lignans! According to Dr. Fuhrman, lignans are a type of fiber and eating foods, like flaxseed, has been shown to protect against heart disease and cancer. Sesame seeds are cool too. They’re loaded with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, manganese, zinc, fiber and vitamins.

Actually, my breakfast pudding is made with both sesame seeds and flaxseed. It’s also got sunflower seeds, walnuts and avocado, lots of healthy fats! Sometimes I throw blueberries in too.

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Research: Healthy Breakfast, Healthier Diet

A new study in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests eating a healthy, low-calorie breakfast, like fruits, vegetables and whole grains, leads to a better overall diet than gorging on a high-calorie, unhealthy breakfast, like steak and eggs or doughnuts and pastries. Participants eating a healthy breakfast weighed less than people eating a calorie-heavy breakfast or no breakfast at all; Reuters reports.

Now, for a great breakfast try some Blueberry Nut Oatmeal, Healthy Pancakes or my chocolate pudding. I eat it everyday!