Friday, May 4, 2012

Berries for the Brain by Dr. Andrew Weil

 

Berries for the Brain

by Dr. Andrew Weil

Food Freedom News,   3 May 2012

Eating blueberries and strawberries regularly seems to help protect the brain from the effects of aging. This latest good news about the health benefits of berries comes from researchers at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Investigators gathered information on food consumption among participants in the long-running U.S. Nurses’ Health Study and looked at data recorded between 1995 and 2001 on cognitive function – the ability to think, remember and reason – of just over 16,000 of the women participants, all over 70. They checked the volunteers twice at an interval of two years. The upshot? A link between eating more than one half-cup serving of blueberries per week or two half-cups of strawberries a week and a 2.5 year delay in cognitive aging.

Berries contain anthocyanidin, an antioxidant that can cross the blood-brain barrier and have beneficial activity in brain areas responsible for memory and learning. Earlier studies have found that berries and other fruits containing antioxidants called flavonoids (anthocyanidin is a particular type of flavonoid) can reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancers. Another group of Harvard researchers recently found that berries also appear to reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease in men.

My take? Here’s further evidence that blueberries are good for us. Last year, blueberries came out on top in a comparison of the antioxidant capacity of 40 different types of fruits and vegetables at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Center on Aging at Tufts University. While it is unrealistic to expect blueberries – or anything else – to reverse aging, they are a healthy low glycemic-index carbohydrate and a good source of vitamin C and fiber (two grams per one-half cup serving). They also provide ellagic acid, a compound which inhibits tumor growth in laboratory mice. And, like cranberries, blueberries contain a substance that can help prevent urinary tract infections by interfering with the attachment of bacteria to the bladder wall.

Omega-3s for Memory

Dr. Weil’s Condition Specific Memory Support Vitamin Pack is available exclusively in the




Pistachios: Good for the Gut?

We know that pistachios contain heart-healthy fat, and overall, have a very good nutritional profile – one ounce (about 47 nuts) provides more fiber than a half cup of spinach. They’re also good sources of vitamin B-6, thiamin, copper, phosphorus, and magnesium. Now, new findings suggest that pistachios have prebiotic characteristics as well, and can help support higher levels of potentially beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract. Researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center in Maryland recruited 16 healthy volunteers to consume a calorie-controlled diet that included daily servings of 1.5 ounces of pistachios or almonds, three ounces of the nuts or no nuts. The researchers collected and analyzed stool samples during the study, and after 19 days found that the volunteers who ate up to 3 ounces of pistachios had indications of increased activity of beneficial bacteria in the gut. While the results are considered preliminary, they suggest that eating pistachios regularly may help develop and maintain normal, healthy levels of flora in the digestive tract.

What Makes the Anti-Inflammatory Diet Healthy?
From the best grains and oils to which fish to enjoy (and which to avoid), eating for your health can seem challenging – but it doesn’t have to be! Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging has simple yet informative lists for shopping, preparing and cooking. We cover the anti-inflammatory diet from A-Z! Start your free trial today.



Soy Protein for Fatty Liver

Fatty liver disease, the detrimental build-up of fat in liver cells, affects almost one third of Americans, and is often linked with obesity and high triglycerides. While it may not cause symptoms, fatty liver can contribute to liver damage. The only reliable way to address it is to lose weight and lower your triglycerides, if they’re elevated. New research from the University of Illinois suggests that whole soy protein such as tofu can significantly reduce fat accumulation in the liver and lower triglycerides, at least in rats. For the study, researchers assigned both lean and obese rats to eat a diet containing casein, a milk-based protein, or soy protein for 17 weeks. The soy protein diet had no effect on the lean rats, but researchers found that triglycerides fell 20 percent and overall fat accumulation in the liver decreased in obese rats that ate tofu-like meals. Compounds in soy appear to partially restore the function of a key signaling pathway involved in fat metabolism in the liver. The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in April 2012.

It’s the Journey Not the Destination


Make each day count, with an outlook that is both serene and inspired. Dr. Weil’s new website, SpontaneousHappiness.com, has everything you need to get on the path to emotional well-being. From articles and checklists to exclusive videos featuring Dr. Weil, we can help you make each day a little brighter. Learn more – take the tour today!


Recipe: Blueberry Pie

 Blueberries are among the most antioxidant-rich foods in the world. Their healthy benefits come from anthocyanins, the natural pigments which give them their color, and loads of vitamin C. This delightful pie is chock full of these dark-blue gems. The cooked and cooled filling is poured into a nine-inch baked pie crust.


Our recipe for Easy Pie Crust makes two nine-inch crusts. If you have two pie pans, bake both crusts. Use one for this pie and wrap and freeze the other for another pie, another day!
Try this recipe today: Blueberry Pie


DrWeil.com Marketplace. This formula provides ginkgo and DHA, an essential omega-3 fatty acid that may help support and maintain healthy brain function. Purchase it now, or visit Dr. Weil’s Vitamin Advisor for your free, personalized supplement recommendation.
 

For more information, please click on the link provided below:

http://foodfreedomgroup.com/2012/05/03/berries-for-the-brain/

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