BLUEBERRIES ASSIST ARTERY FUNCTION
A study conducted by the Agricultural ResearchService’s Arkansasfor Medical Sciences indicates that eating blueberries may help preventarteriosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. When researchers spiked thediet of 15 lab mice with freeze-dried blueberry powder (comparable to ahalf-cup of the berries) for 20 weeks, they found that the size of harmfullesions (plaque) measured on two sites in their aortas were 39 and 58 percent less than for 15 mice in a control group.
Also blackberries, raspberries and strawberries are all high in antioxidants that promote health and longevity and canhelp prevent the development of cancer.
WATERMELON TAKES A SLICE OUT OF HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
Summer-sweet watermelon is known to be high in fiber and nutrients and low calories. Now,evidence from a pilot study led by food scientists at Florida State University suggests thateating watermelon might also help dispel pre-hypertension, a precursor tocardiovascular disease.
“Even better, it may prevent the progression from pre-hypertension to hypertension inthe first place.” As per an assistant professor at the university.
Why might this large-size fruit pose such a benefit? Watermelon is the richest edible natural source of L-citrulline, which is closely related to L-arginine,the amino acid required for the formation of the (body’s own natural) nitricoxide, essential to the regulation of vascular tone and healthy blood pressure,once in the body, the L-citrulline naturally converts into L-arginine. The scientists caution that consuming L-arginine as a dietary supplement isn’t a good option, because it can cause nausea and gastrointestinal discomfort; watermelon, on the other hand, provides a safe delivery system. It also has been shown to help reduce serum glucose levels. All of this makes watermelon a “functional food”, because it offers health-promoting or disease – preventing properties beyond its delicious taste.
Other power foods:
Looking for an easy snack?, grab some dried dates and raisins,
Broccoli florets or apples: These foods are all high in fiber, which helps elimination and is known for lowering therisk of diabetes and heart disease. A high-fiber diet can also help lowercholesterol, control blood sugar levels, aid in weight loss and lower the risk of colorectal cancer.
Quinoa: high-fiber, gluten-free whole grain. Contains more calcium and minerals thanmilk.
Spinach,asparagus, avocado and artichokes: can all be used as the base for light, summersalads. With high amounts of folic acid, they help decrease blood pressure and reduce the riskof developing cancer.
Lycopene is what gives tomatoes, watermelon and pink grapefruit their red color. The pigment acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells against damage from the free radicals formed when body cells burn oxygen for energy. Lycopene has shown to decrease the risk of heart disease, stroke, prostate cancer, memory loss, impotence and skin wrinkles.
Walnuts: help strengthen the kidneys and the lungs and improve metabolism.
Almonds: anticancer food (eat them raw and soaked overnight in filtered water to release enzyme inhibitors and make them easier to digest.
Omega 3s: Help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, slow the buildup of arterosclerotic plaques (hardening of the arteries) and help lower blood pressure.
So let’s take advantage this summer and add these healthy foods to our diet.
Information source: Natural Awakenings magazine.
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