THE HEALTH AND WELLNESS CORNER WITH DANA
Need a boost for the computer upstairs? A little birdie told me to eat blueberries.
Lets see- get smarter by eating a yummy purple power fruit. OK- sold!
This berry has several names – whortleberry, bilberry, hurtleberry and cousins – saskatoons and huckleberry. Many botanists believe a blueberry antecedent could be the most ancient living thing on earth, stepping up to the cereal bowl at the whopping 13,00 years old. Primitive man was a hunter and a collector and one of the things they liked collecting were berries. Blueberries being chock full of antioxidants and nutrients, were a chief sources of nutrition for many ancient civilizations. During the times of the Greeks and Romans, blueberry relatives were an important part of the daily diet.
Cultivated blackberries were domesticated only in the twentieth century but probably were collected from the world for thousands of years in North America. Prior to 1900, superior wild bushes were known to be cultivated, supplementing the wild harvested berries.
This berry is still a star in our world today!
What can it do for our brain? Here is what Life Extension Magazine has to say;
When it comes to brain protection, there is nothing quite like blueberries,” according to James Joseph, PhD, lead scientist in the Laboratory of Neuroscience at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University. “Call the blueberry the brain berry,” says Dr. Joseph.1
Dr. Joseph’s claim was made with the publication of his landmark blueberry research. It has since been bolstered by animal studies demonstrating that daily consumption of modest amounts of blueberries dramatically slows impairments in memory and motor coordination that normally accompany aging. Moreover, a wealth of exciting new research clearly establishes that in addition to promoting brain health, this long-prized native North American fruit—whether consumed fresh, frozen, canned, or as an extract—may confer a range of diverse health benefits.
After testing 24 varieties of fresh fruit, 23 vegetables, 16 herbs and spices, 10 different nuts, and 4 dried fruits, the US Department of Agriculture determined that blueberries scored highest overall in total antioxidant capacity per serving. As most health-conscious adults are aware by now, antioxidants are vital in countering free radicals, the harmful byproducts of cellular metabolism that can contribute to cancer and other age-related diseases.2
Separate studies show that blueberries may help to lower blood cholesterol, promote urinary tract health, and reduce the risk of urinary infections. Studies in Europe have documented the relationship between consumption of bilberries (the blueberry’s close European cousin) and eye health, highlighting the berries’ ability to improve night vision, halt cataract progression, and protect against glaucoma. New studies also support blueberries’ ability to reduce age-associated lipid peroxidation, a contributor to cardiovascular disease, and to suppress the growth of several types of cancer cells, suggesting that blueberry phytochemicals may well play a future role in human cancer treatment. And you can add to the manifold health benefits of blueberries at least one more reason to eat them daily: virtually everyone agrees that they are delicious.
You will never go wrong if you choose a blueberry and the good news is they are in season-lucky you!!
Happy Healthy Eating! Dana