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High in fiber, blueberries contain pigments (anthocyanins) which may help prevent cancer and slow the effects of aging. Scientific research from the Agricultural Research Service (the US Department of Agriculture's leading scientific research agency), have pinpointed blueberries, cranberries, huckleberries and related fruit as containing resveratrol, a potential anticancer agent.
Blueberries have the highest antioxidant capacity out of 40 fruits and vegetables tested by USDA scientists. Just a 1/2 cup of blueberries contains about 1,000 mg of vitamin C, a vitamin known for it's antioxidant properties – up to five times the antioxidant power of other nutritious fruits and vegetables. The anthocyanin in blueberries strengthens blood vessels, making bruises heal faster, skin wrinkle less, and varicose veins less likely to occur.
New research at Tufts University has shown that blueberries blow other nutritious fruits and vegetables away, reducing every parameter of aging. Tests show that a diet high in blueberries increases cognitive, neurological and motor functions. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of blueberries build a protective coat around the brain to fight signs of aging and deterioration. There is also evidence that blueberries may help to prevent Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders.
Research studies at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have revealed that blueberries can lower cholesterol better than prescription drugs, due to the antioxidant compound “pterostilbene” found in blueberries. About 30 percent of the fiber in blueberries is pectin, a substance shown to reduce cholesterol in the bloodstream. Scientists think that pectin binds to cholesterol in the digestive system, keeping it out of the bloodstream.
Probably the most nutrient-laden part of the blueberry is its skin. The dye released from the pigments in the skin of the blueberry, called anthocyanin is the source of powerful antioxidants used by the body to fight off high blood pressure and help strengthen blood vessels, leading to healthier blood pressure levels and heart health.
The anti-inflammatory properties of blueberries appear to prevent and relieve arthritic symptoms, and the flavonoid content helps prevent the destruction of the joint structure.
A number of studies in Europe have documented that blueberries have very high concentrations of anthocyanin, a natural compound linked with many health benefits including reducing eyestrain, improving nighttime visual acuity, and promoting quicker adjustment to darkness and faster restoration of visual acuity after exposure to glare.
Blueberries are known to prevent and even reverse the most common cause of blindness, macular degeneration, a disease of the retina that is the primary cause of vision loss in older adults. This is due to the anthocyanin in the blue pigment in blueberries. The Blueberry is so popular in Japan for its eyesight benefits that it has been nicknamed “the vision fruit.”
Recent studies at the Rutgers Blueberry Cranberry Research Center in Chatsworth, N.J., have shown that blueberries have compounds similar to those of cranberries and can also be used to treat and prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs). Epicatechin is a bioflavonoid (antioxidant) found both in cranberries and blueberries.
Epicatechin works to prevent bacteria from attaching to the lining of the bladder tissue. This causes the bacteria to be eliminated thru your urine rather than attaching to the bladder wall, where they start multiplying and ultimately causing infection. In addition, fructose, the sugar found naturally in fruits, may also be beneficial by interfering with bacterial adhesion.
Antioxidants help protect the body fight against cancers, and research from the University of Maryland suggests that aronia berries may be great at fighting colon cancer in particular. In particular, anthocyanins help combat oxidative stress.
Aronia berries help fight against heart disease and other cardiovascular problems, promote cardiovascular health, help prevent blood pressure from becoming too high and stimulate circulation. Recent studies have shown that chronic flavonoids treatment improves vascular function and cardiovascular remodeling by decreasing superoxide anion production as well as by increasing NO realize from endothelial cells. A progressive decrease in systolic blood pressure and reduction of low-density lipoprotein oxidation (Ox-LDL) has also been reported.
Aronia berries are rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B2, vitamin B6 and Folic acid.
• Promotes a healthy urinary tract
• Has anti-inflammatory properties
• Fights bacteria and viruses, such as colds and the flu
• Strengthens memory
• Aids digestion
• Helps the body produce good cholesterol and lower “bad” cholesterol
• Provides the body with essential oils
Black currants are very rich in many phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, essential fatty acids and minerals. In particular, black currants are renowned for their high content in vitamin C (a powerful antioxidant), GLA (Gamma-Linoleic Acid, a very rare Omega-6 essential fatty acid) and potassium. They have been shown to have twice the potassium of bananas, four times the Vitamin C of oranges, and twice the antioxidants of blueberries. Black currants also contain significant amounts of vitamin B6, vitamin E, copper and soluble fiber.
They are rich in phytochemicals called anthocyanins which are known for their outstanding anti-inflammatory benefits. Anthocyanins, compounds naturally found in berries, are very potent antioxidants and are responsible for the color of the fruit. Around 300 different types of anthocyanins have been discovered. Studies show that antioxidants can prevent various types of degenerative diseases, such as heart disease and cancer, as well as slow down the aging process and protect the body's vision and neurological functions.
Compounds in black currants may help protect against Alzheimer's disease, according to a study published in Chemistry & Industry magazine. Researchers found that these compounds – anthocyanins and polyphenolics – had a strong protective effect in cultured neuronal cells. Darker black currants contain more anthocyanins and are likely to be more potent. “These compounds also work in hippocampal cells taken straight from the brain," researcher James Joseph of Tufts University said in a prepared statement. He said these protective effects will likely be reproduced in the human body and that these compounds may prevent or significantly delay the onset of Alzheimer's. While previous research found that compounds in black currants acted as antioxidants, this is the first study to demonstrate that they may help protect brain cells. Exactly how they do this remains unclear, the study said. "We have evidence that the compounds protect against Alzheimer's by influencing the early gene expression in learning and memory, which influences cell signaling pathways that help neuronal cells communicate with each other," Joseph said. – Robert Preidt
Benefits include anti-inflammatory action, powerful anti-oxidant action, aiding in cancer prevention and reducing the effects of arthritis.
Sea berries contain about 12 times the vitamin C found in oranges, placing them among the most enriched plant sources of vitamin C on the planet. The fruit also contains dense amounts of carotenoids, vitamin E, amino acids, dietary minerals, beta-sitosterol and polyphenolic acids. Sea Berries are also very rich in various lipids, natural vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin F, vitamin P, vitamin K, flavonoids, organic acids, irreplaceable amino acids, microcells and other bioactive compounds with nutritional and medicinal properties.
The berry helps to reduce the risk of common colds, stress, heart disease, cancer, lower cholesterol, boosts the immune. Nutrient and phytochemical constituents of sea berries have value as antioxidants that may affect inflammatory disorders, cancer or other diseases.
The first references to medicinal use of the sea berry were found in the ancient Greek texts attributed to Theophrastus and Dioskorid and in classic Tibetan medicinal texts, including “The RGyud Bzi” (The Four Books of Pharmacopoeia) dated to the times of Tang Dynasty (618 - 907 AD). The medical uses of the sea berry were recorded and narrated in detail in 24 chapters.
Using Sea Berries Though sea berries are edible and nutritious, they are very acidic and astringent, unpleasant to eat raw. To eat, mix as a juice with sweeter substances such as apple or grape juice.
The tayberry, a cross between a raspberry and a blackberry produces its fruit in July and August, and smells and taste just like a blackberry. They are wonderful eaten fresh or cooked into a variety of foods. This fruit contains a lot of vitamin C and bioflavonoids and is a good source of folate and fiber.
Folate is a form of a water-soluble B vitamin, and is necessary for the production and maintenance of new cells. This is especially important during periods of rapid cell division and growth such as infancy and pregnancy. Folate is needed to make DNA and RNA, the building blocks of cells. It also helps prevent changes to DNA that may lead to cancer.
The tayberry fruit and leaves are a good home remedy for diarrhea.
Chewing on the leaves can help cure bleeding gums.
Antioxidants protect cells from damage by unstable molecules called free radicals. With 9584 ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) units per 100 grams of fresh fruit, cranberries have the highest antioxidant capacity when compared to 19 common fruits.
The National Institutes of Health is funding research on the cranberry’s effects on heart disease, yeast infections and other conditions, and other researchers are investigating its potential against cancer, stroke and viral infections.
Cranberries work by binding to bacteria so they can’t adhere to cell walls.
A compound discovered in cranberries, proanthocyanidine, prevents plaque formation on teeth; mouthwashes containing it are being developed to prevent periodontal disease. In some people, regular cranberry juice consumption for months can kill the H. pylori bacteria, which can cause stomach cancer and ulcers.
Drinking tea made from raspberry leaves is reputed to be effective in regulating the menstrual cycle.
Raspberries Are Rich in Vitamin C One cup of raspberries has only 70 calories but provides 50% of a day’s requirement for vitamin C, 32% of fiber, 6% of folate, 6% of magnesium, 5% of Potassium and 4% each of calcium, niacin, B6, phosphorus and zinc. That 1 cup serving has only 1 gram of fat, no saturated or transfats, no cholesterol and no sodium.
They are a diverse source of healthy antioxidants which have been shown to fight off cancer cells, and to be helpful for cardiovascular health. A study published in the Journal of BioFactors reported that raspberries contain almost fifty percent more antioxidant activity than strawberries. Antioxidants are believed to help prevent and repair oxidative stress, a process that damages cells within the body and has been linked to the development of cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease.
The raspberry's anthocyanin content (the pigments in red, purple and blue fruits), may help reduce cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and improve eyesight and memory. Raspberries are a leading source of ellagic acid, which may slow the growth of some cancer cells. Recent research has shown that the ellagic acid in raspberries is highly bio-available (absorbed by the body).
Raspberries, especially the seeds, may become important in the booming cosmeceuticals market (skin care products with health benefits). The oil in raspberry seeds is rich in vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids and has a natural SPF (sun protection factor) of 25 to 50.
Studies have shown that lingonberries contain high levels of antioxidants that exhibit very potential anticarcinogenic activity. Lingonberry extract can also induce apoptosis (death) of human leukemia HL-60 cells in a dose-independent manner.”
Scientists from Finland recruited 150 women with urinary tract infection caused by Escherichia coli and served them with 50 ml of cranberry-lingonberry juice concentrate daily for six months or 100 ml of lactobacillus drink five days a week for one year, or no intervention. They found a 20% reduction in absolute risk in the cranberry-lingonberry group compared with the control group.