Blueberries Health Benefits
Seriously? Why Should We Eat Blueberries?
Blueberries Heal & Prevent
Blueberry PowerHouse Affect – Researchers at the USDA Human Nutrition Center (HNRCA) have found that blueberries rank #1 in antioxidant activity when compared to 40 other fresh fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants help neutralize bad “free radicals” in your blood.
Polyphenols to the rescue – Eating a half a cup of blueberries daily reduces the amount of fat your body stores from food by an incredible 27% and the more you eat, the more gets zapped! The berries are loaded with polyphenols that block the formation of new fat cells, as well as trigger the breakdown of existing fat cells
Blueberries & Polyphenols
What Are Polyphenols
Polyphenols are a large class of chemical compounds found in plants. They are characterized by the presence of more than one phenol unit or building block per molecule. A phenol unit consists of a six-membered aromatic hydrocarbon ring, bonded directly to a hydroxyl group (-OH). The simplest of the class is phenol (C6H5OH) which has long been used as an antiseptic. They are also called phenolics. Poly means many, which refers to the large number of groupings of the basic phenol rings. There are over 4,000 polyphenol compounds. Many are powerful antioxidants and can neutralize free radicals, reduce inflammation and slow the growth of tumors.
Blueberries Heal & Prevent Bad Things From Happening To Good People
Fountain of Youth
USDA Human Nutrition Center (HNRCA) lab, neuroscientists discovered that feeding blueberries to laboratory rats slowed age-related loss in their mental capacity, an awesome finding that has important implications for humans. Again, the high antioxidant activity of blueberries played a major role. Studies have shown that, in older adults, blueberries can improve and retain the condition of the brain. Regular consumption of blueberries, either whole or juiced, will help senior citizens improve their memory and cognitive functions.
Blueberries may reduce the build-up of so-called “bad” cholesterol that contributes to cardiovascular disease and stroke, according to scientists at the University of California at Davis. Antioxidants are believed to be the active component to long life.
The sheer number of antioxidants found in blueberries appears to be related to their brightly colored hue. This means that they’re good for lowering the risk of serious conditions, including heart disease, strokes and some forms of cancer, as they reduce harmful cholesterol found in your body and boost ‘good’ cholesterol. Blueberries are also very good for repairing and retaining muscle quality.
Blueberries and Eyesight – A number of studies in Europe have documented the relationship between bilberries, the European cousin of blueberries and improved eyesight. This is thought to occur because of the anthocyanin in the blue pigment which is also available in the blueberry. One study in Japan documented that blueberries helped ease eye fatigue.
How Blueberries Can Help Reduce Stomach Fat
Bulge: Eating blueberries could help with weight loss according to scientists. Already regarded as a ‘Superfood’ because of their high vitamin and antioxidant content, the berries may also have the power to trim excess fat from our bodies. Experts in the U.S. who carried out the latest study into the berries’; health benefits believe they may change the way we process fat and sugar in our diet. Their findings were presented at the Experimental Biology convention in New Orleans after tests on obese rats. Researchers found that if the animals were given meals enriched with blueberries, they lost fat from their stomachs. Belly fat is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. The rats also showed improved blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol.
Blueberries Making Way Into The Pharmaceutical Industry
– Cholesterol Reducing Blueberries –
At the recent American Chemical Society meeting it was reported that a compound found in blueberries called pterostilbene has “the potential to be developed into a nutraceutical for lowering cholesterol, particularly for those who do not respond well to conventional drugs,”. This is a huge deal.
The belief that food products have medical properties has been celebrated in holistic medicine for centuries. Today food properties are being explored by the medical and scientific fields. Some cultures have long valued many naturally occurring substances believed to have preventative and therapeutic value. In the United States, nutraceuticals are part of a rapidly expanding area of biomedical research, generating considerable interest among consumers, manufacturers, and regulators alike.
Chef Steven Pennington
Le Cordon Bleu Chef sharing food adventures from around the world with a style of cooking rooted in southwestern flavors using French culinary technique.