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Posts tagged ‘blueberries’

The Amazing Healing Power of Blueberries

The Amazing Healing Power of Blueberries

“Have blueberries whenever you are low – destiny will change and you will be high.” Adam Voichester

6 Top Health Benefits of Blueberries

1. More antioxidants per serving than all other fruits, vegetables, spices and seasonings.
Antioxidants are compounds in foods that neutralize chemicals called free radicals (unstable molecules), produced by oxidation in the human body. Antioxidants found in foods protect your cells from the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are produced when your body digests your food for energy and by environmental toxins. They can damage cells; have been linked to conditions such as heart and liver disease, cancer and weakened immune system.

2. Great for the Brain – They Improve Memory.
Blueberry juice improves memory in older adults. This is good news for us baby boomers!

“When it comes to brain protection, there is nothing quite like blueberries, call the blueberry the brain berry,” says Dr. James Joseph, at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University.

3. Anti-Cancer Benefits.
Studies with blueberries have found that breast cancer, colon cancer, esophageal cancer, and cancers of the small intestine were reduced. These studies were on human cells or laboratory animals so we are still waiting for more research, but so far research points to astounding healing powers. Good news is there is an increasing percentage of blueberry research focusing on anti-cancer benefits.

4. Good for the Heart.
Much research has shown how good blueberries are for the heart. “Women who ate at least three servings of blueberries and strawberries per week had fewer heart attacks. Blueberries and strawberries contain high levels of compounds that have cardiovascular benefits.”

5. Reduces Risk of Diabetes. One of the antioxidants found in blueberries, anthocyanins which give them their blue color has been found to lower risk of Type 2 diabetes. People who ate two or more servings of blueberries weekly reduced their risk of developing diabetes by 23 percent in one study. Blueberries are low on the Glycemic Index, so people with diabetes can easily consume them.

6. Help with Weight Loss. Want to activate those fat burning genes? Blueberries can do that with the catechins found in them. Eating foods full of catechins will double total weight loss, according to research at Tufts University. Blueberries may even help reduce belly fat.

Full of Nutrition!
Blueberries contain vitamin C, B complex, vitamin E, vitamin A, copper, selenium, zinc, iron, magnesium, manganese and potassium.

“When any lagged behind, the cry of ‘blueberries’ was most effectual to bring them up.”  Henry David Thoreau

Blueberry Trivia

  • Blueberries were called “star berries” by Native Americans because the five points of blueberry blossoms make a star shape. Also, they believed that the ‘Great Sprit’ created the berries to feed their hungry children during famine.
  • The Shakers made the blue paint for the woodwork on their houses from sage blossoms, indigo, blueberry skins & milk.
  • The U.S. is the world’s largest producer of blueberries. If all the blueberries grown in North America in one year were spread out in a single layer, they would cover a four-lane highway from New York to Chicago.
  • Blueberries are the second most popular berry in the US.  Their consumption has more than doubled within the last 6 years. Does this mean more people are aware of their benefits?

Buying Blueberries

It’s best to eat organic blueberries. Most U.S. grown blueberries can have high levels of pesticide residue that could affect liver, and other body functions. Blueberries are in the top fifteen list of crops with the most pesticides, according to the Environmental Working Group.

Blueberries are the least perishable of all the berries.

By Diana Herrington

Diana Herrington turned a debilitating health crisis into a passion for helping others with healthy, sugar-free, gluten-free, eating and cooking. After testing and researching every possible healthy therapy on her delicate system she has developed simple, powerful principles which she shares in her recent book Eating Green and Lean, and as host to Care2 groups: Healthy Living Network and Healthy Cooking. She is the head chef at Real Food for Life, where she shares recipes and tips.

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Would feeling fantastic every day make a difference in your life?  

Healthy Highway is a Healthy Lifestyle Company offering Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!   We help people who are…

  • Wanting Work Life Balance.
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Are any of these an issue or problem for you?  Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your needs and how HealthyHighway can meet them? As a Healthy Lifestyle Coach with an emphasis on allergies and wellness, Leesa teaches her clients to make informed choices and enables them to make needed changes for a Happy Healthy Lifestyle. What you eat, what products you use ~ on your body and in your home and office, how you talk to yourself ~ it all matters!

Contact me today and Start today to live a healthier, happier life!  Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem.  We do virtual coaching worldwide!

I look forward to helping YOU Live a Happy Healthy Life!  Remember, Excellent Health is found along your way, not just at your destination.

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author of two books…
     Melodies from Within ~ Available Now! 

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The Impressive Anti-Cancer Power of Berries

The Impressive Anti-Cancer Power of Berries

For disease prevention and health maintenance, berries of all colors have “emerged as champions.” Research has focused mainly on cancer prevention and treatment. Studies show that the anticancer effects of berries are partially mediated through their abilities to counteract, reduce, and also repair damage resulting from oxidative stress and inflammation. Berries may also have many other positive effects, such as boosting detoxifying enzymes.

One of the more remarkable effects is that of blueberries on natural killer cell counts. Natural killer cells are part of our immune system’s rapid response team against cancer cells, eliminating cancer cells through the activation of cancer cell suicide via death receptors. They’re called natural killers because they don’t require activation by prior exposure. We don’t want to wait until our second tumor before our immune system starts fighting.

We have about two billion of these soldiers circulating in our blood stream at any one time, but we may be able to get a troop surge with blueberries. Researchers had athletes eat about a cup and a half of blueberries a day for six weeks to see if that would reduce the oxidative stress of long-distance running. They indeed saw a blunting of the spike in oxidant stress. But that’s not what sets that study apart.

The number of natural killer cells in the blood typically decreases after prolonged endurance exercise, dropping by half to only about one billion—that is, unless we’ve been eating lots of blueberries. If you click on the video on the next page, you can see a graph comparing natural killer cell numbers with and without blueberries.  Those who ate blueberries retained close to the standard two billion cells. This is because six weeks of blueberries had doubled the resting number of natural killer cells up to over four billion. This has never before been demonstrated in humans. There was a study on goji berries, but despite a cup a day for a month, there was no significant change in the number of natural killers.

Another study, though, showed a significant increase in natural killer cell activity thanks to the spice cardamom. (Cardamom and blueberries—I never thought we’d be fighting cancer with blueberry muffins!) When researchers took some lymphoma cells in a petri dish and added cardamom, nothing happened. However, if we add some natural killer cells, about 5% of the cancer cells are wiped out. Add a little more cardamom, and our troops do better still. And then if we add more and more spice, then all of a sudden the natural killer cells are killing cancer like crazy—the same number of natural killer cells, but they’re now able to kill off ten times more cancer cells. While cardamom alone had no effect on cancer cells even at the highest dose, it seemed to enhance our natural killer cells’ killer instincts.

The same thing was found for black pepper: Black pepper alone, nothing, but when combined with natural killer cells, there seemed to be a boosting effect up to around 30 or 40% cancer cell clearance. If cardamom and black pepper are combined, they synergize and their individual effects are doubled. The researchers conclude that “Taken together, these data strongly suggest that black pepper and cardamom have the potential to markedly enhance the anti-cancer activity of natural killer cells.”

Exercise itself can improve immune function in general, but the blueberry finding is so far unique.

It is true that the blueberry study was funded by the North American Blueberry Council and the North Carolina High-bush Blueberry Council. However, just because the study was funded by blueberry councils doesn’t necessarily mean the science is suspect, but we would want to see the study independently verified, especially one so dramatic.

(For a convenient way to enjoy your berries, Leesa recommends you enjoy Chews4Health every day! Chews4Health is made with Goji, Noni, Mangosteen, Acai, Dulse, Kelp, Bladderwack, Nori, Vitamin B-12, Folic Acid, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Resveratrol,  Pomegranate, Blueberry, Cranberry, Raspberry!)

By Michael Greger, M.D.

A founding member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety, and public health issues. Currently Dr. Greger serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at The Humane Society of the United States. Hundreds of his nutrition videos are freely available atNutritionFacts.org.

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Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life? Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today! I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

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9 Brain Superfoods…Are You Enjoying Them Daily?

9 Brain Superfoods

 

Your brain controls every function in your body yet we rarely give it a  second thought.  And, few of us choose foods that protect or heal our  brain.  Here are some of the best foods for thought (literally):

1.  Spinach—More than Just for Popeye

A study of middle-aged rats fed diets with added spinach, strawberry extract,  or vitamin E for nine months found that spinach proved most potent in protecting  nerve cells against the effects of aging in two parts of the brain.  More  research needs to be done but it looks like Popeye was building more than  muscles when he ate spinach.

2.  Benefits of Blue for Grey Matter

Blueberries contain a group of plant nutrients called  proanthocyanidins.  Proanthocyanidins have a unique capacity to protect  both the watery and fatty parts of the brain against damage from some  environmental toxins.  Proanthocyanidins decrease free radical activity  within and between brain cells.  Blueberry proanthocyanidins have greater  antioxidant properties than vitamins C and E.  Blueberries appear to have  some of the highest concentrations of these powerful antioxidants.  In  other studies, researchers found that compounds in blueberries may reverse some  age-related memory loss and motor skill decline.

Blueberries are excellent anti-inflammatory agents. They increase the amounts  of compounds called heat-shock proteins that decrease as people age, thereby  causing inflammation and damage, particularly in the brain. By eating  blueberries regularly, research shows that these heat-shock proteins stop  declining and inflammation lessens, not to mention that they just taste  fabulous.

3.  From the Vine to Your Palate

A plant nutrient found in grapes, grape juice and red wine appears to protect  the brain against Alzheimer’s disease.  It’s called resveratrol, and it is  an antioxidant thought to be responsible for many of the purported benefits of  red wine on brain cells.  The researchers found that resveratrol protected  brain cells by mopping up free radicals before they can cause brain  damage.  And while people may prefer to hear that red wine is the best  source, the alcohol in wine is still damaging to brain cells.  Red or  purple grapes are the best option to load up on resveratrol.

4-7.  Omega 3s to Maintain a Healthy Brain (Wild Salmon,  Walnuts, Flax or Hemp Seeds)

The brain is 60% fat and requires healthy fats to reduce inflammation (linked  to most brain disorders) and maintain a healthy blood-brain barrier—a mechanism  intended to protect the brain from harmful substances.  Omega 3 fatty acids  like those found in salmon, walnuts, flax seeds or flax seed oil, or hemp seeds,  help to quell inflammation and support a strong blood-brain barrier, while  boosting our memory.  Be sure to choose only wild salmon  since high levels of mercury and PCBs have been found in farmed salmon and both  of these substances may have adverse effects on the brain.  Also, be sure  to choose raw walnuts, flax or hemp seeds or the oil made from  them since the fats contained in these nuts and seeds can have damaging effects  on brain health when heated.

8.  The Memory-Boosting Power of Tomatoes

Tomatoes contain a powerful memory-boosting phytonutrient called “lycopene.”  Research shows that those who consume lycopene in their daily  diets had sharper memories than those who didn’t consume high amounts of  lycopene.  Tomatoes aren’t the only source.  Another great source of  lycopene is watermelon.

9.  Tea for Two Hemispheres

Researchers found that people who drank two or more cups of tea each day were  less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease.  Black and green tea  (especially green tea) contains potent antioxidants with twenty times the power  to protect against free radicals than vitamin E.  Green tea also lowers the  risk of blood clots and clumping linked to stroke.

By Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international  best-selling and 14-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine,  whose works include: 60 Seconds  to Slim, Healing Recipes, The  Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body Detox, The  Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan,  and The Phytozyme Cure.  Check out her natural health resources and  subscribe to her free e-magazine World’s Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com  to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook  and Facebook.

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Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life?  Please complete the information at www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html to schedule your consultation.  I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.HealthyHighway.org

consult ~  www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

chews ~ www.Chews4Health.com/Leesa

enjoy ~ www.Chewcolat.com

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Top 12 Detox Superfoods

Top 12 Detox Superfoods

 

Even if you don’t plan on doing a detox program, your health will benefit from adding more  detox superfoods to your daily diet. There are many great superfoods with  detoxifying properties, but here are my top 12 picks.  And, they’re  delicious too.

Almonds—are high in fiber, calcium, magnesium, and useable protein that helps stabilize blood sugar and remove  impurities from the bowels.

Avocados—lower cholesterol and dilate blood vessels while  blocking artery-destroying toxicity. Avocados contain a nutrient called  glutathione, which blocks at least 30 different carcinogens while helping the  liver detoxify synthetic chemicals. Researchers at the University of Michigan  found that elderly people who had high levels of glutathione were healthier and  less likely to suffer from arthritis.

Beets—contain a unique mixture of natural plant chemicals  (phytochemicals) and minerals that make them superb fighters of infection, blood  purifiers, and liver cleansers. They also help boost the body’s cellular intake  of oxygen, making beets excellent overall body cleansers. Aphrodite, according  to legend, ate beets to retain her beauty. She was definitely on to a good thing  since beets, in addition to all the benefits listed above, also help stabilize  the blood’s acid-alkaline balance (pH), which in turn supports healthy  detoxification.

Blueberries—contain natural aspirin that helps lessen the  tissue-damaging effects of chronic inflammation, while lessening pain. Blueberries also act as antibiotics by blocking bacteria in  the urinary tract, thereby helping to prevent infections. They have antiviral  properties and are loaded with super-detoxifying phytonutrients called  proanthocyanidins.

Cabbage—contains numerous anti-cancer and antioxidant  compounds and helps the liver break down excess hormones. Cabbage also cleanses  the digestive tract and soothes the stomach, which could in part be due to its  antibacterial and antiviral properties. Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage  (kale is another excellent choice—see below) demonstrate powerful detoxification  activity, including neutralizing some of the damaging compounds found in  cigarette smoke (and second-hand smoke). They also contain a compound that helps  the liver produce adequate amounts of enzymes for detoxification.

Cranberries—have powerful antibiotic and antiviral  substances to help the body cleanse harmful bacteria and viruses from the  urinary tract.

Flaxseeds and Flaxseed Oil— are loaded with essential fatty  acids, particularly the omega-3s. They are essential for many cleansing functions  and maintaining a healthy immune system. They are also critical to maintaining a  healthy brain. The health of every cell in your body is dependent on getting  adequate amounts of essential fatty acids.

Garlic—helps cleanse harmful bacteria, intestinal parasites,  and viruses from the body, especially from the blood and intestines. It also  helps cleanse buildup from the arteries and lowers blood pressure. Garlic has  anti-cancer and antioxidant properties that help detoxify the body of harmful  substances. It also helps cleanse the respiratory tract by expelling mucous  buildup in the lungs and sinuses. I am referring to fresh garlic, not garlic  powder, which has virtually none of the above properties.

Kale—contains  powerful anti-cancer and antioxidant compounds that help cleanse the body of  harmful substances. It is also high in fiber, which helps cleanse the intestinal  tract. Like cabbage, kale helps neutralize compounds found in cigarette smoke  and contains a substance that jump-starts the liver’s production of cleansing  enzymes.

Legumes—are loaded with fiber that helps lower cholesterol,  cleanse the intestines, and regulate blood sugar levels. Legumes also help  protect the body against cancer.

Lemons— are superb liver detoxifiers. In addition, they contain high amounts of  vitamin C, a vitamin needed by the body to make a substance called glutathione.  Glutathione helps ensure that phase 2 liver detoxification keeps pace with phase  1, thereby reducing the likelihood of negative effects from environmental  chemicals. Vitamin C and other antioxidants found in lemons are integral to ward  off cancer, fight the effects of pollution and cell damage. Fresh lemon juice  contains more than 20 anti-cancer compounds and helps balance the body’s pH  levels.

Seaweed—could be the most underrated vegetable in the  Western world. Studies at McGill University in Montreal showed that seaweeds  bind to radioactive waste in the body so it can be removed. Radioactive waste  can find its way into the body through some medical tests or through food that  has been grown where water or soil is contaminated. Seaweed also binds to heavy metals to help eliminate them  from the body. In addition, it is a powerhouse of minerals and trace  minerals.

Adapted with permission from The 4-Week Ultimate Body  Detox Plan by Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD

Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international  best-selling and 12-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine,  whose works include: Healing  Recipes, The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body  Detox, The Life Force Diet, The  Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and The Phytozyme  Cure.  Check out her natural health resources and subscribe to her free  e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com  to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook  and Facebook.

 

7 ‘Tis the Season Superfoods

7 ‘Tis the Season Superfoods

 

When it comes to food, it’s hard to beat the holiday season. There are as  many decadent and delicious foods throughout the season as there are gifts.  Let’s face it: few holiday foods are healthy. Here are my choices for the top 7 ‘Tis the Season Superfoods. They not only taste great, they add serious  nutrition as well.

Apples—We’ve all heard the adage, “an apple a day keeps the  doctor away,” and provided that apple is an organic one, the saying holds some  truth. Apples contain important vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. They contain an  important phytonutrient called malic acid that helps improve energy production  in your body.

Beets—Recommended by holistic health professionals to help  purify the blood and cleanse the liver, beets are high in folate, manganese,  potassium, and vitamin C. The phytonutrient that gives beets their rich  purplish-red hue is a potent cancer fighter.

Cranberries—Originally used by the first people of North  America to treat urinary tract infections, cranberries and cranberry juice (the  real deal, not the sugar-laden stuff most grocery stores dispense) are excellent  holiday superfoods.

Pomegranates—This delicious fruit is super health-boosting.  From cancer-protection to heart disease-prevention, and so much more,  pomegranates are definitely ‘Tis the Season Superfoods.

Squash—Like its relative, the pumpkin, squash is an  excellent source of complex carbohydrates, fiber, and beta carotene, making it a  delicious and nutritious addition to your diet.

Sweet Potatoes—High in beta carotene, C, and B6, as well as  potassium, iron, and magnesium, sweet potatoes are naturally delicious and  nutritionally superior to white potatoes.

Walnuts—Walnuts are an important addition to your diet since  they offer high amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids needed to protect your brain,  maintain a healthy immune system, balance moods, and lessen pain and  inflammation in your body.

(Leesa  recommends Chews4Health as a convenient way to enjoy the benefits of Cranberries, Pomegranates, Blueberries, Raspberries, Goji, Noni, Mangosteen, Acai, B-12, Resveratrol and more! )

Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international  best-selling and 12-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine,  whose works include: Healing  Recipes, The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body  Detox, The Life Force Diet, The  Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and The Phytozyme  Cure.  Check out her natural health resources and subscribe to her free  e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com  to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook  and Facebook.

 

14 Foods that Fight Inflammation and Pain

14 Foods that Fight Inflammation and Pain

Some of the best healing remedies to overcome inflammation also taste  fabulous (I can’t say that about any prescription medications). Plus, foods  won’t cause the nasty side effects common to most pain medications.

1. Blueberries: Blueberries are also excellent  anti-inflammatory foods. They increase the amounts of compounds called  heat-shock proteins that decrease as people age.  When heat-shock proteins  are in short supply inflammation, pain and tissue damage is the result.

2. Cayenne Pepper: Ironically, cayenne pepper turns DOWN the  heat on inflammation due to its powerful anti-inflammatory compound  capsaicin.

3. Celery and 4. Celery Seeds: James Duke, Ph.D., author of The Green Pharmacy, found more than 20 anti-inflammatory compounds in  celery and celery seeds in his research, including a substance called apigenin,  which is powerful in its anti-inflammatory action.  Add celery seeds to  soups, stews or as a salt substitute in many recipes.

5. Cherries: While many people opt for aspirin as their  first course of action when they feel pain, Muraleedharan Nair, PhD, professor  of natural products and chemistry at Michigan State University, found that tart  cherry extract is ten times more effective than aspirin at relieving  inflammation.

6. Dark Green Veggies: Veggies like kale and spinach contain  high amounts of alkaline minerals like calcium and magnesium.  Both  minerals help balance body chemistry to alleviate inflammation.

7. Fish: According to Dr. Alfred D. Steinberg, an arthritis  expert at the National Institute of Health, fish oil acts directly on the immune  system by suppressing 40 to 55 percent of the release of cytokines – compounds  known to destroy joints and cause inflammation.

8. Flax seeds and Flax Oil: Flax seeds are high in natural  oils that convert into hormone-like substances in the body to reduce  inflammatory substances. Add ground flax seeds to smoothies, atop pancakes or  French toast, and many other foods.  Do not heat.

9. Ginger: Dr. Krishna C. Srivastava at Odense University in  Denmark found that ginger was superior to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs  (NSAIDs) like Tylenol or Advil at alleviating inflammation.

10. Raspberries, 11. Blackberries, and 12. Strawberries: In  Dr. Muraleedharan Nair’s later research she discovered that these berries have  similar anti-inflammatory effects as cherries.

13. Turmeric: Research shows that the Indian spice  frequently used in curries suppresses pain and inflammation through a similar  mechanism as drugs like COX-1 and COX-2 inhibitors (without the harmful side  effects).

14. Walnuts: Like flax seeds, raw, unsalted walnuts contain  plentiful amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids that decrease pain and  inflammation.

Adapted from Arthritis-Proof:  The  Drug-Free Way to Beat Pain and Inflammation by Michelle  Schoffro Cook, PhD.

By  Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international  best-selling and 12-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine,  whose works include: Healing  Recipes, The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body  Detox, The Life Force Diet, The  Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and The Phytozyme  Cure.  Check out her natural health resources and subscribe to her free  e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com  to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook  and Facebook.

Two Berries Delay Brain Aging Two-and-a-Half Years

 Two Berries Delay Brain Aging Two-and-a-Half Years

A Harvard study published in the Annals of Neurology indicates that eating a diet high in blueberries and strawberries can slow brain aging and  cognitive decline by up to two and a half years.

Dr. Elizabeth Devore and her team of researchers at Harvard Medical School  analyzed data from the lengthy Nurses’ Health Study in 1976.   Questionnaires were completed every four years since 1980 to assess the  frequency of berry intake and the intake of 31 different phytonutrients called  flavonoids.  In 16,010 participants over the age of 70 between 1995 and  2001, cognitive function was tested every two years.

The researchers found that those participants who consumed a high amount of  blueberries or strawberries had slower decline in cognitive function test scores  during the follow-up period than those whose intake of these fruits was  lower.  The results were an average delay in cognitive decline due to aging  of up to 2-and-a-half years.

Both blueberries and strawberries are excellent sources of  flavonoids, which reduce inflammation.  This is possibly the  mechanism that is causing the positive brain health effects.  The same  study also found that a high intake of anthocyanidins and total flavonoids were  also linked to the beneficial cognitive effects.

Anthocyanidins are a type of flavonoids responsible for the red, blue, or  purple colors in berries and other foods.  While the effect of consumption  of other anthocyanidin and flavonoid-rich foods was not assessed as part of this  study, it is likely that they will have similar brain protective effects.   Other sources of anthocyanidins and flavonoids include:  blueberries,  cherries, cranberries, grapes, raspberries, and strawberries and to a lesser  extent in almonds, apples, cocoa, and peanuts.

Other research shows that they decrease free radical activity in and between  brain cells. They also inhibit the production of histamine, making them a  natural anti-histamine without the drowsy side effects of many pharmaceuticals.  Numerous studies show that anthocyanidins have anticancer and antitumor  activity, and one study concluded that anthocyanidins may demonstrate  chemotherapeutic activity against breast cancer.

When it comes to heart disease, anthocyanidins help reduce high blood  pressure and improve the body’s ability to metabolize fat. In tests on  rabbits, anthocyanidins demonstrated significant reduction in the  development of atherosclerosis. They also appeared to protect  against heart attacks linked to certain asthma drugs.  They even  have stronger antioxidant properties than either vitamins C or  E.

Adapted from The Phytozyme Cure.

By Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international  best-selling and 12-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine,  whose works include: Healing  Recipes, The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body  Detox, The Life Force Diet, The  Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and The Phytozyme  Cure.  Check out her natural health resources and subscribe to her free  e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com  to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook  and Facebook.

7 Super-Healing Summer Berries

7 Super-Healing Summer Berries

 

Berries are a delicious addition to any diet.  But,  taste is not the only reason to love them.  Here’s why you should add these  seven super-healing summer berries to your diet:

Blackberries

Loaded with vitamin C, blackberries also contain ellagic acid—an important  phytonutrient that protects skin cells from damaging UV rays. Ellagic acid also  prevents the breakdown of collagen in the skin that occurs as we age and is  linked to wrinkling.

Blueberries

Blueberries are phytonutrient powerhouses.  They  contain: anthocyanins, ellagic acid, quercetin, catechins, and salicylic acid.  If the latter sounds familiar, you may recognize it as the drug we’ve come to  know as Aspirin. That’s right—blueberries contain natural aspirin, but in this  beautiful and delicious packaging offered by Mother Nature, there’s no worry  about harmful side effects. What’s more, blueberries are proven to reduce heat  shock proteins that are linked with some forms of brain disease, making these  little marvels potent weapons in the prevention of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s  disease as well as other neurological disorders.

 

Loganberries

A cross between blackberries and raspberries, these berries  strengthen blood  vessels, making them an excellent addition to help  fight heart disease or  varicose veins. They contain rutin, which  research shows strengthens  capillaries and improves circulation. They  look like long raspberries.

Currants

Currants contain gamma-linolenic acid that inhibit the body’s histamine—the  allergic response in reaction to pollens. That makes them great to help you  avoid or eliminate sinus congestion and itchy eyes linked to seasonal allergies.  Since they are tart, you might enjoy them best mixed with other berries.

Raspberries

Raspberries are still my favorite fruit. Raspberries, like other  berries,  contain an important compound that is 10 times more effective  at alleviating  inflammation than aspirin. Containing the phytonutrient  ellagic acid,  raspberries can help protect against pollutants found in  cigarette smoke,  processed foods, and may neutralize some cancer-causing  substances before they  can damage healthy cells. They’re delicious on  their own, in a fruit salad, in  a smoothie, or on top of a green salad.

 

Gooseberries

Gooseberries—the berries that resemble green grapes—help you to feel  happier.  In recent research in the journal Experimental  Neurobiology,   scientists found that gooseberries contain a flavonoid  called   kaempferol that prevents the breakdown of brain hormones serotonin and   dopamine. These brain chemicals naturally help us fight stress and keep   our  spirits up.

Strawberries

More than delicious, when it comes to disease prevention, these babies pack a  serious punch. Not only do eight strawberries contain more vitamin C than an  orange, they are antioxidant powerhouses. Whether you want to evade heart  disease, arthritis, memory loss, wrinkling, or cancer, these berries have proven  their ability to help. Plus, they’re just so easy to get into your diet on a  regular basis.

By Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international  best-selling and twelve-time book author and doctor of traditional natural  medicine, whose works include: Healing Recipes, The Vitality Diet,  Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body Detox, The  Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan,  and The Phytozyme Cure.  Check out her natural health resources and  subscribe to her free e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com.

Image credit (loganberry): ndrwfgg / Flickr

12 Surprising Reasons to Eat More Blueberries

12 Surprising Reasons to Eat More Blueberries

1.  Catechins found in blueberries activate fat-burning genes in abdominal fat cells to assist with weight loss, and belly fat loss in particular.  According to research at Tufts University, regularly ingesting catechins increases abdominal fat loss by 77 percent and double total weight loss.

2.  They contain a group of natural phytonutrients (plant nutrient) called proanthocyanidins which have a unique ability to protect both the watery and fatty parts of the brain against damage from some environmental toxins.

3.  Blueberries are one of the richest sources of proanthocyanidins.  These phytonutrients decrease free radicals levels that are linked to aging (yes wrinkling!) and disease.

4.  In animal studies, those given an extract of blueberries had less motor skill decline and performed better on memory tests than animals not given the blueberries.  Researchers conclude that compounds in blueberries may reverse some age-related memory loss and motor skill decline.

5.  Blueberries are packed with vitamins C, E, riboflavin, niacin, and folate.

6.  They are a rich source of the phytonutrients ellagic acid.  Ellagic acid has proven anticancer and genetic-material-protection capabilities.  It also encourages a healthy rate of apoptosis—how the body seeks out and destroys harmful or damaged cells, like cancer cells.

7.  Because they contain plentiful amounts of the phytonutrient quercetin, they may reduce the likelihood and severity of allergies.

8.  Blueberries contain minerals like iron, magnesium, manganese, and potassium.

9.  Blueberries contain salicylic acid—the natural version of aspirin.  Salicylic acid is known to thin the blood and reduce pain.

10.  Blueberries are excellent anti-inflammatory agents.  They increase the amounts of compounds called heat-shock proteins that decrease as people age.  When heat shock proteins decrease the result is inflammation and damage, particularly in the brain.  Research shows that by eating blueberries regularly, inflammation lessens.

11.  They increase the production of feel-good dopamine.  Dopamine is a natural neurotransmitter (brain messenger) that tends to be low in Parkinson’s.

12.  They just taste great.  Ok, this is no surprise but it’s a great reason to eat blueberries anyway.

(Leesa recommends eating organic or pesticide free blueberries!  She also recommends Chews4Health which is a convenient way to eat your blueberries…learn more at www.chews4health.com/Leesa)

by Michelle Schoffro Cook

Adapted from The Life Force Diet by Michelle Schoffro Cook.

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international best-selling and eleven-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine, whose works include: The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body Detox, The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and The Phytozyme Cure. Check out her natural health resources and free e-newsletter at www.WorldsHealthiestDiet.com.

7 Tips For Eating to Look Younger That Actually Work

7 Tips For Eating to Look Younger That Actually Work

 

The day I turned 25 years old I headed straight to thestore and bought loads of different ultra pricey skin creams. I was sure this would keep me wrinkle-free. By 30 my tone had changed. I began to realize that while I still wanted to look young and vibrant, youth came from the inside. The foods you eat show through your skin. They’re what end up keeping you looking young or not so much. After all, your food is your medicine, three times a day, everyday.

As you already knew it’s loads of fruits and vegetables as well as other whole foods that end up doing the trick. If you’re concerned with aging gracefully, start where it matters, in your diet. Here are seven foods that will keep you looking younger longer.

1. Avocado and Other Good Fats

Avocado has a lot of things going for it not the least of which is its fat content. You’ll notice that as you age those with little flesh on the body, especially in the face, begin to age faster. A little flesh keeps us looking younger. Bathe yourself in good fats like olive oil and avocado. If you’re concerned with cutting the fat, focus on the bad fats like lard and excessive amounts of butter.

2. Water-Based Fruits and Vegetables

Hydration is a big part of looking young because it helps that skin retain moisture. When the skin is dehydrated it lays flatter on the body and wrinkles begin to show. This means not only drinking loads of water, but also making sure that you’re loading up on water heavy fruits and vegetables. Some really good choices include watermelon, cucumber, and citrus fruits.

Image Credit: mckaysavage via Flickr.

3. Guava

Guava is great for your skin because it’s loaded with vitamin C. According to the Dr. Oz Show, it has 4 times as much as citrus fruits. Vitamin C serves as the body’s natural Botox, keeping your skin cells full and wrinkle-free.

4. Oysters

Depending on type and variety oyster, they provide 16 to 182 mg of zinc per 100g serving, according to Healthalicious. This accounts for 110 to 1200 percent of the RDA for zinc. Zinc serves to repair damage done to skin cells. So if you spent too much time out in the sun as a child and caused problems for your skin, zinc can prepare it.

6. Seasonal Berries

Berries are among the highest is antioxidant content. Berries like blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries have some of the highest antioxidant capacity. These antioxidants fight the free radicals that cause wrinkling on the skin.

7. Omega Fatty Acids Oil

“Essential fatty acids are responsible for healthy cell membranes, which is not only what act as barriers to harmful things but also as the passageway for nutrients to cross in and out and for waste products to get in and out of the cell,” Ann Yelmokas McDermott, PhD, a nutritionist at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston told WebMd.

Omega 3 is made up of three acids EPA, DHA, and ALA. ALA can be found in hemp seeds, flax seeds, and chia seeds. DHA and EPA are found in algae, spirulina, blue-green algae, and chlorella. Omega 6′s are found in many vegetarian foods including olive oil, whole grains, and avocados.

By Sara Novak, Planet Green

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