Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Berry Good News

Strawberries and blueberries are delicious, and most people who are adverse to healthy foods will even eat them.  A recent study has found that eating these sweet fruits just three times a week lowers the risk of heart attack by 32%. 

This is a pretty easy health tip, but beware not all forms of berries are created equal.  The berries need to be fresh not processed.  It seems the processing of the berries cuts down on the anthocyanins available in fresh berries.  The anthocyanins is a flavonoid in berries that provides the heart healthy benefits.  When the berries are dried or canned, the level of anthocyanins drops to nearly nothing.  Many food manufacturers try to make their food products appear healthy by adding berries, but they really add none of the flavonoid value.

Another way to ensure healthier berries is to try to make them organic.  Pesticides penetrate the thin skin of the berries and the chemicals are in the berries when we eat them.  Sometimes organic is not available and the regular berries need to be eaten.  It is just better to eat organic ones if we can.  Berries grown in the United States are sprayed with pesticides that are less toxic than ones grown in foreign countries, so try to keep your berries American grown.

It is very important to understand how to eat foods so we can maximize the nutrition available to our bodies.  A good thing is not good if it does not deliver its benefits.  Ayurveda also seeks to promote good digestion and absorption by looking at the types of foods we eat and how we eat them.  Sometimes all these food rules can seem overwhelming or confusing, but it is better to try and eat well one food at a time and move in the healthy direction than to give up without even trying.  Berries are a good place to start.

Stay healthy & well,

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