According to researchers at the USDA Human
Nutrition Center (HNC), blueberries rank hands down number one with regards to
natural antioxidant content. This is in comparison to 40 other fruits and
The role of antioxidants is to neutralize
free-radicals, the by-products of energy metabolism. Free radicals are
responsible in part for cancer, cellular degeneration, and other age related
diseases. Anthocyanin, the pigment that makes blueberries their dark purplish
blue, is though to be a key agent in the disease fighting process.
Alzheimer and Strokes: In another study conducted by the USDA, it was
found that feeding blueberries to elder laboratory rats markedly reduced age
related declines in mental capacity. This finding alone has major implications
for human cognitive decline, namely Alzheimer’s and other age related cognitive
diseases. The natural phytochemicals found in blueberries have also been found
to help prevent further brain damage from strokes.
High Colesterol: Try incorporating the dynamic
blueberry into your daily regime. It is postulated that blueberries may reduce
the build-up of bad cholesterol that contributes to heart disease. Once again,
the dark pigmented skin, rich in antioxidants are thought to play a key role in
cholesterol reduction. The American Chemical Society is researching the
potential of extracting the health supporting compounds from blueberries for
development into nutraceuticals for those who do not respond well to current
statin drugs. While a novel idea, prescription drugs and
simply cannot replace nature’s whole goodness.
Urinary Tract Infections: How about some
blueberries? Rutgers University researchers have isolated yet another blueberry
compound that appears to promote urinary tract health. It appears that epicatechin; another natural and beneficial component of the blueberry inhibits
the ability of some types of infectious bacteria to adhere to the walls of the
Eyesight Problems: European studies have documented the
relationship between the regular consumption of bilberries (the European cousin
of the American blueberry) and improved eyesight. A natural preventative for
macular degeneration? The studies continue.
The belief that certain foods have medicinal
and other healing properties has been with us since Hippocrates stated “Leave
your drugs at the chemists’ if you can heal your patient with food.” Today whole
foods and their potential for healing and providing one with a natural
body balance is more important than ever before given our processed food
The powerful antioxidant properties of the blueberry appear to
play a conclusive role in the prevention and delay of certain diseases such as
cancer, cardiovascular issues, and the aging process.
Blueberries are available
almost year round and are easy to incorporate into fruit dishes, salads, and
home made jams. Of course, blueberries are a delicious snack all by themselves.
Dr. Linda Posch MS SLP ND:
Treats her patients with an eclectic approach and is a firm believer in the
practice of yoga in order to help her patients achieve a
balance. She owns a laboratory where she customizes whole food
liquid vitamins and
other custom supplementation for her patients.