Don’t let their miniature size fool you – blueberries are proof that, when it comes to health benefits, good things really do come in small packages.
They’re low in fat and sodium, have just 80 calories per cup and contain a category of phytonutrients called polyphenols. This group includes anthocyanins (163.3 mg/100 g), which are compounds that give blueberries their blue color.1
How the combination of all of the nutrients in this powerful little berry can be good for us is the subject of ongoing scientific research. For more information, see our Health Research section.
Blueberries are an excellent source of Vitamin C and are high in manganese. Vitamin C is necessary for growth and development of tissues and promotes wound healing. 2 Manganese helps the body process cholesterol and nutrients such as carbohydrates and protein. 3
Blueberries are also a good source of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber may reduce the risk of heart disease and adds bulk to your diet, which may help you feel full faster. 4 , 5
Plus, one easy way to make sure you’re eating a balanced diet is to fill at least half of your plate with a rainbow of fruits and vegetables … and blueberries provide that perfect shade of blue!
For more details on the health benefits of blueberries, check out our blueberry nutrition infographic and Alison Sweeney’s healthy living tips. Visit our scientific research library for an in-depth look at blueberry health benefits.
- Regenerate Cells. Pomegranate protects the epidermis and dermis by encouraging skin cell regeneration, aiding in the repair of tissues, healing wounds and encouraging circulation to skin that is healing.
- Protect from the Sun. Consuming pomegranate provides the skin with compounds that help to protect against free radical damage which can cause sun damage, cancer and sunburn. The oil of a pomegranate contains the antioxidant ellagic acid that can help to inhibit skin tumors to protect the body from skin cancer.
- Slow Aging. Pomegranates can help to prevent hyperpigmentation, age spots, fine lines and wrinkles that are often caused by sun damage.
- Produce Youthful Skin. Because pomegranates help to soften the skin and produce additional elastin and collagen it can make your skin look more firm, smooth and youthful.
- Help with Dry Skin. Pomegranates are often added to skin care products because they have a molecular structure that can penetrate deep layers of most skin types to provide additional moisture.
- Use for Oily or Combination Skin. Oily or combination skin types that are acne prone can use pomegranate to sooth these outbreaks and minimize burns or scarring that can occur during breakouts.
- Eliminate Free Radicals. The high levels of antioxidants like hydrolysable tannins or polyphenols in pomegranates help to minimize the effects of free radicals and remove free radicals from the body.
- Protect Cardiovascular Health. Pomegranate juice can act as a blood thinner and helps to remove plaque from the arteries that will help to minimize the risk of atherosclerosis. Consuming pomegranate juice can help lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol to improve heart health and reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems.
- Fight Cancer. The antioxidants in pomegranates are effective in clearing away some types of cancer, including breast, prostate and skin cancers.
- Improve Bone Quality. The enzyme inhibitors in pomegranate juice can help to prevent damage to the cartilage. It can also help to control cartilage degeneration to prevent osteoarthritis.
- Boost Digestive Condition. Pomegranate juice helps to secrete enzymes with anti-bacterial properties that aid digestion and help to fight off hemorrhoids, nausea, dysentery, intestinal parasites, piles and diarrhea. You can also use pomegranate juice as a laxative to treat constipation.
- Increase Appetite. Children that do not have a strong appetite can drink a glass of pomegranate juice to get an appetite stimulant.
- Cure Anemia. The high amounts of iron in pomegranates will raise hemoglobin levels in your blood to help correct anemia.
- Reduce Inflammation. The anti-inflammatory properties of pomegranates stems from its high vitamin C content that will help to manage asthma, sore throat, cough and wheezing.
- Promote Blood Circulation. Pomegranates are often used to help relieve blood clots and can help to create a more youthful appearance.
- Help Lose Weight. People are finding that pomegranates have a natural property that provides you with additional energy and cleanse the body, making it easier to lose weight.
More Benefits for Men
- Decrease Risk of Impotency. Those that have a risk of prostate cancer, impotency or atherosclerosis can consume the pomegranate juice to reduce these risk. The high antioxidants will help to manage arteriosclerosis that can lead to impotency and increase your risk of prostate cancer.
- Treat Prostate Cancer. Consuming pomegranates has been found to reduce prostate specific antigen in clinical trials. Research is ongoing to see if pomegranates can be used to treat people that already have localized prostate cancer. During these trials the juice was found to inhibit the growth of the cancer cells and lower its risk of metastasizing. The high phytochemicals in the juice seem to have a distinct effect on delaying and stabilizing the growth of PSA in men.
Super food fights heart disease, cancer, prostate enlargement, and more. Since then, the news about açaí has been steadily spreading—and the evidence of nutritional and health benefits just keep piling up. Consider this: a 100-gram serving of açaí contains only 90 calories, just two grams of fat and no cholesterol. Plus, it delivers 3.5 grams of dietary fiber, something we could all use more of in our diets. Improved processing of the fresh fruit is making it possible to preserve more of the fruit’s healthful attributes. Currently, the puree provides more anthocyanins than red wine and has antioxidant concentrations that well outweigh blueberries.
Subsequent research has shown that in addition to the anthocyanins and essential fatty acids, açaí also contains a healthy dose of plant sterols, another class of phytochemicals that have been shown to reduce cholesterol, protect the immune system, and relieve prostate enlargement. In fact, it turns out açaí is in the same family as saw palmetto, a common herbal treatment for prostate enlargement. And researchers at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro have discovered that açaí extract can be used to fight infection, like the parasitic infection schistosomosis, which affects 10 million Brazilians each year and the common bacterial infection staphylococcus aureus. It seems there’s no end to this miracle fruit’s health benefits.
Goji berries are a source of zeaxanthin, an antioxidant that may protect the eyes from high-energy light waves such as the sun’s ultraviolet rays (along with the carotenoid lutein). Studies suggest that zeaxanthin and lutein in the eyes are associated with better vision and decreased likelihood of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Although goji berries are a source, zeaxanthin is found in many vegetables including kale, spinach and broccoli.
2) General Health
In recent years, goji juice has become popular as a health beverage. Companies marketing goji juice often mention the folktale of a man named Li Qing Yuen who consumed goji berries daily and lived to be 252 years old. Some of the claims include:
- protect the liver
- improve sexual function and fertility
- strengthen the legs
- skin and hair health
- boost immune function
- improve circulation
- promote weight loss
- promote longevity
Health Benefits of Black Cherry
- Cherries are one of the very low calorie fruits; however, are rich source of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Both sweet as well as tart cherries are packed with numerous health benefiting compounds that are essential for wellness.
- Cherries are pigment rich fruits. These pigments, in fact, are polyphenolic flavonoid compounds known asanthocyanin glycosides. Anthocyanins are red, purple or blue pigments found in many fruits and vegetables, especially concentrated in their skin, known to have powerful anti-oxidant properties.
- Scientific studies have shown that anthocyanins in the cherries are found to act like anti-inflammatory agents by blocking the actions of cyclooxygenase-1, and 2 enzymes. Thus, consumption of cherries has potential health effects against chronic painful episodes such as gout arthritis, fibromyalgia (painful muscle condition) and sports injuries.
- Research studies also suggest that anti-oxidant compounds in tart cherries help the human body to fight against cancers, aging and neurological diseases, and pre-diabetes condition.
- Cherry fruits are very rich in stable anti-oxidant melatonin. Melatonin can cross the blood-brain barrier easily and produces soothing effects on the brain neurons, calming down nervous system irritability, which helps relieve neurosis, insomnia and headache conditions.
- Further, they are also mild source of zinc, moderate sources of iron, potassium, and manganese and good source of copper. Potassium is a heart-healthy mineral; an important component of cell and body fluids that regulate heart rate and blood pressure.
- The fruits, especially tart cherries are exceptionally rich in health promoting flavonoid poly phenolic anti-oxidants such as lutein, zea-xanthin and beta carotene. These compounds act as protective scavengers against harmful free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging, cancers and various disease processes.
- Anti-inflammatory property of cherries has been found effective in reducing heart-disease risk factors by scavenging action against free radicals.
- Acerola or West Indian cherry has exceptionally very high levels of vitamin-C (1677.6 mg per 100 g or 2796 % of RDA) and vitamin-A (767 IU per 100 g).
- USDA Database for the Flavonoid Content of Selected Foods, Release 3.1 (2014).
- MedLine Plus Database: Vitamin C.
- MedLine Plus Database: Manganese
- Medline Plus Database: Dietary Fiber
- FDA Guidance for Industry: A Food Labeling Guide (11. Appendix C: Health Claims).
- USDA National Nutrient Database.
- Stanford School of Medicine Cancer information Page– Nutrition to Reduce Cancer Risk.
- The Hormone Diet, The Supercharged Hormone Diet and The Carb Sensitivity Program
- The amazing health benefits of goji berries. – Ravensthorpe, M. (2014, March 15)
- More Good News About Cranberries. – Hall, S. (2014)
- Blueberry Nutrition. (2014)
- Special Acai Report – (2005)
- What Are Pomegranates Good For? – Mercola, MD. (2014, May 10)
Retrieved from http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/05/10/pomegranates.aspx