Why You Should Say Yes to Blueberries
While nutrition science is finding
reasons for adding berries of all kinds to your diet, a new study has found
that blueberries contain a compound that can potentially prevent colon
cancer. The study, a joint venture of Rutgers University and the Department
of Agriculture, found that the compound, pterostilbene, a potent antioxidant
that is abundant in blueberries, could prevent cancer in animals and
possibly has the potential for being developed into a preventative pill.
Antioxidants found in many fruits,
vegetables and whole grains show potential for fighting colon cancer, the
second leading cause of cancer death in the
. Experts say that while the blueberry won’t cure cancer, it represents an
attractive new strategy for preventing the disease.
In the study, 18 rats were given a
compound to induce colon cancer. Nine rats were fed a balanced diet; the
other nine were also given a pterostilbene supplement. At the end of the
eight-week study, the rats that were fed pterostilbene showed 57 percent
fewer precancerous lesions than those fed merely a balanced diet.
Researchers say the compound also reduced other risk factors for colon
cancer such as inflammation and colonic cell proliferation.
Other studies have found evidence that
blueberries possibly prevent memory loss and heart disease.
Apple juice: Cloudy
When it comes to apple juice,
researchers have found that the cloudy, murky-looking variety is four times
healthier than the clear types. Researchers at the University of Wroclaw,
Poland, compared clear and cloudy juices and found cloudy juice contains
four times the concentration of polyphenols. These compounds are associated
with anti-cancer activity and are found in dark chocolate and red wine as
In the marketplace, however, clear apple
juice far outsells the cloudy varieties, likely because of a perception by
consumers that the clear juices are more pure. However, the process of
clarification to make the juice clear removes many of the compounds that
provide the juice’s health benefits, which come mostly from the apple
pulp. Retailers often favor stocking clear juices because of its longer shelf
life. The study was published in the Society of Chemical Industry’s
Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.
Whole-grain cereals might prevent
A study has found that those who eat
whole-grain cereal seven or more times per week were 28 percent less likely
to develop heart failure over the course of the study. Those who ate the
cereal two to six times per week were 22 percent less likely to experience
heart failure, and those who ate whole-grain cereal just once per week were
14 percent less likely to experience heart failure.
In a Physicians’ Health study, of the
10,469 physicians reporting cereal consumption, 8,266 (79 percent) ate
whole-grain cereal. Twenty-one percent, or 2,203, reported eating refined
Among those who reported eating
whole-grain cereal, 35 percent ate the cereal seven or more times per week,
39 percent reported two to six times per week and 26
percent reported once per week. The research was conducted from 1982 to
2006. “The significant health benefits of whole-grain cereal are not just
for kids, but also for adults,” said Luc Djousse, lead author of the study
and assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Aging at Brigham
. “A whole-grain, high-fiber breakfast may lower blood pressure and
cholesterol and prevent heart attacks.”