by Janet Arango
Blueberries are among
the fruits with the highest antioxidant activity.
Researchers have shown that a serving of fresh blueberries
provide more antioxidant activity than many other fresh
fruits and vegetables.
BRAIN & NERVOUS
SYSTEM: Neuroscientists have discovered that feeding
blueberries to laboratory rats actually slowed age-related
loss in their mental capacity, a finding that has important
implications for humans. In one study, Jim Joseph,
director of the neuroscience laboratory in the USDA Human
Nutrition Research Center (HNRC), fed blueberry
extractions--the equivalent of a human eating one cup of
blueberries a day--to mice and then ran them through a
series of motor skills tests. He found that the
blueberry-fed mice performed better than their control group
counterparts in motor behavioral learning and memory, and he
noticed an increase in exploratory behavior. When he
examined their brains, he found a marked decrease in
oxidative stress in two regions of the brain and better
retention of signal-transmitting neurons compared with the
group of mice not consuming the blueberries. Currently, Jim
Joseph is testing the effects of blueberries on humans.
Preliminary results show that people who eat a cup of
blueberries a day have performed 5-6% better on motor skills
tests than the group not consuming the blueberries.
compound that appears responsible for this neuron
protection, anthocyanin, also gives blueberries their color
and might be the key component of the blueberry's
antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Blueberries,
along with other colorful fruits and vegetables, test high
in their ability to subdue free radicals. These free
radicals, which can damage cell membranes and DNA through a
process known as oxidative stress, are blamed for many of
the dysfunctions and diseases associated with aging. The
antioxidants found in blueberries, help to protect the body
against the damaging effects of these free radicals and the
chronic diseases associated with the aging process.
URINARY TRACT HEALTH:
Researchers at Rutgers University in New Jersey have
identified compounds in blueberries called proanthocyanidins
that promote urinary tract health and reduce the risk of
infection by preventing bacteria from adhering to the cells
that line the walls of the urinary tract. Blueberries and
Nutrition Fresh fruits, including blueberries, and
vegetables contain many of these naturally occurring
antioxidants such as Vitamins C and E. Blueberries
contain 14 mg of Vitamin C and 0.8 mg Vitamin E per 1 cup of
blueberries. In addition, blueberries contain
anthocyanins and phenolics that can also act as
antioxidants. Based on data from the USDA Human
Nutrition Research Center on Aging (Boston, MA), Though
blueberries themselves are not a cure-all, they do contain a
number of substances offering far reaching health benefits.
These substances include, but are not limited to fructose,
fiber, vitamins and antioxidants. Antioxidants thus far,
seem to have the most conclusive role in the prevention/
delaying of such diseases as cancer, heart disease and the
aging process. One cup of blueberries contains 14% DV of
fiber 2.41 g per 100g and are a major source of
vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, phenolics, and flavonoids,
as well as being very low in fat and sodium.
SO IN CONCLUSION:
Live, love & laugh better with the miraculous health
benefits of your little purple friend... the blueberry!
About the Author
Janet Arango is the
owner of http://www.thesavvyhomemaker.com
a free online magazine filled with interesting facts and
subjects, and all wrapped up with so many beautiful graphics
and photos, that you'll think you're turning the pages of a
popular woman's magazine- hot off the press.
Visit The Savvy
Homemaker at http://www.thesavvyhomemaker.com
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