Berry Good For Your Heart And More
|Very Berry - Antioxidants||Darrell Miller||12/01/08|
December 01, 2008 10:23 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (email@example.com)
Subject: Very Berry - Antioxidants
It has been suggested that eating berries may be a delicious and great way for a person to protect themselves against heart disease. Blueberries are full of antioxidants, called anthocyanins, which have been shown to keep the memory sharp as you age. Raspberries, on the other hand, contain ellagic acid, which is a compound containing anti-cancer properties. All berries are a great source of fiber for the body, a nutrient that is extremely important for a healthy digestive system.
More so, berries have recently been studied for their effects on heart health. A recent study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who ate berries on a daily basis had higher levels of HDL cholesterol, which is healthy for the heart, lower blood pressure, and less blood platelet clumping, which is a factor that can help to protect people against dangerous blood clots.
A new study, which tested seventy-two people who had one or more risk factors for heart disease, tested for the effects of eating berries on markers that deal with cardiovascular health. This trial, which lasted eight weeks, had half of the people eating berry mixtures of bilberries, lingon berries, black currants, strawberries, and raspberry and chokeberry juices two times each day. A combination of different berries was used in order to ensure that a large amount of polyphenols were taken in. As a control, the other people were given sugar water, sweetened wheat or rice cereals, or marmalade.
Among those people who had the highest initial blood pressure, systolic blood pressure dropped 7.3 mm Hg in the berry group compared to only 0.2 mm Hg in the control group. Although total cholesterol levels were unchanged, those people who were a part of the berry group had a 5.2 percent increase in protective HDL cholesterol levels. Eating berries also stopped platelet function, which means that it takes longer for blood platelets to clump together and begin forming clots.
Berries are good for you because they contain many beneficial substances such as polyphenols, potassium, vitamin C, folic acid, and fiber. Polyphenols are also found in cocoa, tea, red wine, onions, and other fruits and have attracted a lot of attention recently because of their potential health benefits. Some recent reports have concluded that polyphenols may potentially help to protect against both heart disease and cancer. Although the way that polyphenols work to promote health is not completely understood, it is assumed that it is tied to their antioxidant properties and their ability to enhance the body’s immunity while repairing DNA damage that occurs from smoking and exposure to other toxins.
The findings of these studies are extremely significant because they may be partly responsible for explaining the role it holds in protecting the cardiovascular system. By eating fruits and vegetables a person increases the efficiency and health of their cardiovascular system significantly. Other types of studies have recently been warranted so that they may identify the compounds and mechanisms that are responsible for the effects that have been observed to this date. Berry supplements are also available at your local or internet health food store.