Part 2 of the Phyto-8 Series
One of the few fruits which are native to North America, blueberries are rich in vitamin C, phytonutrients known as “anthocyanins” and other antioxidants. Research into blueberries’ relationship to optimal health suggest that they may play roles in diminishing one’s risk for heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and even osteoporosis.
Blueberries have become the darling of the media and health/medical communities for their powerful benefits they provide, and here are several of the latest studies to underscore their benefits:
Journal of Nutrition
“Bioactives in Blueberries Improve Insulin Sensitivity in Obese, Insulin-Resistant Men and Women”
A daily smoothie containing bioactive ingredients from blueberries increased sensitivity to insulin, and may reduce the risk of developing diabetes in at-risk people.
The study consisted of obese, non-diabetic, and insulin-resistant participants who consumed a blueberry smoothie daily for six weeks. They experienced a 22 percent change in insulin sensitivity, compared to only 4.9 percent in the placebo group. The researchers concluded “the bioactives in blueberries enhanced insulin sensitivity independent of any changes in inflammatory biomarkers or adiposity.”
Molecular Nutrition & Food Research
“Blueberry fruit polyphenolics suppress oxidative stress-induced skeletal muscle cell damage in vitro”
This study suggests that damage to muscle cells exposed to oxidative stress was significantly reduced when also exposed to doses of blueberry fruit extracts.
“In our study blueberry fruits were suggested as good candidates to combat muscle oxidative damage,” wrote the researchers.
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
“Blueberry Supplementation Improves Memory in Older Adults”
Supplemental blueberries for only 12 weeks may boost memory in older people with early memory problems. A daily drink of about 500 mL of blueberry juice was associated with improved learning and word list recall, as well as a suggestion of reduced depressive symptoms.
The study is said to be the first human trial to assess the potential benefits of blueberries on brain function in older adults with increased risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s.
I know I promised not to get too geeky with this stuff, but the science on blueberries is so cool I had to share it all with you. Have a great weekend and we’ll look at some more of the awesome superfruits in Bazi next week.