Blueberries are "Superfoods"

Blueberries are a powerhouse of nutrients and can be attributed to protecting against many diseases of aging, heart disease, dementia, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer.

Steven Pratt, M.D. is a renowned authority on nutrition and lifestyles to prevent diseases. He is a senior staff ophthalmologist at in La Jolla California. In his book SuperFoods Rx, he identified blueberries as one of three superfoods that have substantial health benefits.

Dr. Pratt stated "If you learn nothing else from Superfoods Rx, remember to eat blueberries and spinach most days and salmon two to four times a week. These three foods alone will change your life and health."

You are what you eat

Although they are not the cure all to diseases, they do provide a defense that will help in anti-aging and protecting you immune system.

Research at the USDA Human Research Center on aging at Tufts University has demonstrated the potential to improve motor skills and reverse short-term memory loss. Studies show an improvement in navigational skills, balance, coordination and speed improvement after two months on a blueberry supplement diet.

Studies also show blueberries like cranberries help to maintain urinary tract health by reducing the ability of E. coli bacteria from adhering to the bladder lining.

Research has also shown that ellagic acid, an antioxidant may block the metabolic pathways that can promote types of cancer. Studies have demonstrated that people that consume fruits with ellagic acid are three times less likely to develop cancer.

The American Cancer Society says that the lifetime probability of developing cancer for men is 1 in 2. Woman are 1 in 3 and women developing breast cancer is 1 in 8.

In 2004 652,486 people died of heart disease. That's over 27% of the total deaths in 2004. Additionally, another 553,888 died of cancer. That's another 23% of the total deaths in 2004. Over 50% of the deaths reported in 2004 were from cancer and heart disease.

Some of the precautions the American Cancer Society recommends are:

Yearly mammograms are recommended starting at age 40.

A clinical breast exam should be part of a periodic health exam, about every three years for women in their 20s and 30s, and every year for women 40 and older.

Women should know how their breasts normally feel and report any breast changes promptly to their health care providers. Breast self-exam is an option for women starting in their 20s.

Women at increased risk (e.g., family history, genetic tendency, past breast cancer) should talk with their doctors about the benefits and limitations of starting mammography screening earlier, having additional tests (i.e., breast ultrasound and MRI), or having more frequent exams.

Early treatment and survival of breast cancer among white woman between 1996 through 2002 was 90% and African-American woman was 77%.

Support breast cancer awareness month every October and to learn more about the American Cancer Society for other suggestions to decrease the risk and to support cancer research.

Early Detection of Cervical Cancer, American Cancer Society guidelines are:

Screening should begin approximately three years after a women begins having vaginal intercourse, but no later than 21 years of age.

Screening should be done every year with regular Pap tests or every two years using liquid-based tests.

At or after age 30, women who have had three normal test results in a row may get screened every 2-3 years. However, doctors may suggest a woman get screened more frequently if she has certain risk factors, such as HIV infection or a weakened immune system.

Women 70 and older who have had three or more consecutive Pap tests in the last ten years may choose to stop cervical cancer screening.

Screening after a total hysterectomy (with removal of the cervix) is not necessary unless the surgery was done as a treatment for cervical cancer.

Early Detection of Prostate Cancer, American Cancer Society guidelines are:

The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test and the digital rectal examination (DRE) should be offered annually, beginning at age 50, to men who have a life expectancy of at least 10 years.

Men at high risk (African-American men and men with a strong family history of one or more first-degree relatives diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age) should begin testing at age 45.

For men at average risk and high risk, information should be provided about what is known and what is uncertain about the benefits and limitations of early detection and treatment of prostate cancer so that they can make an informed decision about testing.

Prostrate cancer survival between 1996 and 2002 with the proper early treatment was 100% and 98% among African-American males.

Slow the aging process, eat a cup of blueberries each day

The compound that appears responsible for this neuron protection, anthocyanin, also gives them their color and might be the key component of the blueberry’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Blueberries, along with other colorful fruits and vegetables, test high in their ability to subdue free radicals. These free radicals, which can damage cell membranes and DNA through a process known as oxidative stress, are blamed for many of the dysfunctions and diseases associated with aging.

These findings could become increasingly important as the U.S. population ages. It is projected that by 2050, more than 30% of Americans will be over 65 and will have the decreased cognitive and motor function that accompanies advanced age.

Preliminary results show that people who ate a cup of blueberries a day have performed 5–6% better on motor skills tests than the control group.

According to the American Cancer Society, consumption of 5 or more vegetables and fruit by adults over 18 for cancer prevention between 1994 through 2005 is less than 25% of the population.

Blueberries not only have antioxidants but also fructose, fiber, vitamins and flavonoids. Minerals like iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc can also be found in blueberries.

They make a great desserts and can also be made into jams & jellies. The Naturipe Farms have lots of receipts and new ideas.

If you don't have time to have your cup of blueberries on a daily basis, get the benefits of

blueberries and other antioxidants in a gel packet.

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