Here’s a Super Fruit That Outpaces All Others
By: Don Penven
On-going nutritional research tends to give greater weight to fruit over vegetables when considering health
benefits. Maybe this is because many more high carbohydrate populate the lists of available veggies. So the “Old Wive’s Promise” of “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” has some credibility to it.
So let’s take a look at this Super Fruit—the Blueberry. The basic stats are as follows:
- According to research from the University of Florida, about 61 percent of the blueberry consumers prefers flavor over health, while 39 percent believe the fruit prefer the health benefits.
- Blueberries are among the highest known anti-oxidant value fruits. They are sweet—but not too sweet—and juicy. The color is a deep blue.
My introduction to the blueberry happened when I was about 12 years old. At that age I was eligible for a work permit and I learned that some of the other neighborhood kids were picking blueberries on a farm some distance away. The rickety old stake-body truck with a canvas cover picked us up around 6:00 a.m. for the 45 minute drive. Once on-site we were each given a large “tin” can that we hung around our neck with the attached string. Within a week I had developed a very strong dislike for blueberries. I only lasted a week.
Blueberries are touted as potent weapons against high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes.
This small powerhouse of a berry is fights numerous health conditions:
- Heart disease: The prestigious Harvard School of Public Health determined that anthocyanin-loaded blueberries actually reduced the risk of a heart attacked by 33%. Animal studies by the Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center shows us that atherosclerosis plaque in animals was reduced by the addition of blueberries in their diet. Other studies indicate that eating just ½ cup of blueberries once a week lowers the risk of getting high blood pressure by 20%
- Weight control: Researchers at the Michigan Cardiovascular Center fed lab rates powdered blueberries developed much less abdominal fat, triglycerides and cholesterol. As far as humans are concerned, this seems like a much less troublesome method of loosing weight and fighting obesity.
- Type 2 Diabetes: The National Institutes of Health published the following numbers: 25.8 million Americans currently have diabetes. This represents 8.3 percent of the U.S. population. Of this number, 7 million do not know they have the disease. Scientists conducting diabetes research discovered that daily consumption of blueberries will drastically reduce the risks of type 2 diabetes. Myriad other studies prove an impressive anti-diabetic effect of a blueberry-rich diet.
- Mental decline: We have seen significant evidence over the last 10 years indicating some amazing, beneficial effects resulting from adding blueberries to one’s diet. Most significantly is the effect on aging of the brain. We turn to Tufts University for what they consider to be a “magically potent” berry that reverses short-term memory loss and actually pumps up our motor skills.
- Metabolic Syndrome is characterized as a combination of health disorders that include high cholesterol, blood pressure, weakened glucose tolerance and ultimately… obesity. Metabolic syndrome is responsible for increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases like stroke, heart attack and type 2 diabetes.
On the home front (my home), researchers from North Carolina State University discovered that phytochemicals found in blueberries improved hyperglycemia, a condition related to metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. And we have barely touched the surface regarding health benefits of blueberries., the list of blueberry’s magical health powers goes on.
- The berries improve vision health and tired eyes
- Blueberries contain powerful compounds that prevent urinary tract infections
- Regular consumption of blueberries drastically improves intestinal tract health by promoting the growth of good bacteria;
- A great amount of research showed that chemicals found in wild blueberries are able to inhibit and prevent the growth of cancer cells, even the particularly aggressive Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC).
- Due to an impressive amount of antioxidants, there is no better way to fight the disease and improve the immune system than a handful of blueberries every day.