Last November, I told you about a study showing how you could control ulcerative colitis through your diet. But the study involved mice, not humans. So I asked you to "stay tuned" because I was sure that scientists would get the same results, once they tested their claim on men and women.
And, sure enough, three months later... a new study from Sweden proves that you can in fact control colitis symptoms by eating a simple fruit. Not only that, you can even super-charge the soothing effects adding a simple supplement.
What to do when your immune system misfires...
Many scientists believe that ulcerative colitis occurs when your immune system misfires and attacks a part of the body that it's supposed to protect.
In the case of ulcerative colitis, your immune system attacks the lining of your intestines, creating inflammation. This can cause bloating, severe diarrhea, pain, and even fever. And over time, it can even increase your risk of colon cancer.
But you can tame your immune system adding one simple fruit to your diet...
Now, what is the super-food that reduces inflammation?
Scientists from Sweden gave ulcerative colitis patients three different types of foods: rye bran, oat bran, and blueberries. And contrary to all the advertisements, they found that blueberries worked the best to control painful symptoms of colitis.
Blueberries are particularly unique because they contain tannins. These substances help to control inflammation. Blueberries also contain plenty of insoluble fiber. This kind of fiber doesn't break down in your intestines. It stays intact and helps to flush away harmful waste, bacteria, and toxins. Plus, your body converts the insoluble fiber into short-chain fatty acids, which scientists believe, also help reduce inflammation.
So, not surprisingly, when the Swedish patients ate blueberries, their symptoms improved. The blueberries acted like a sponge in the intestines. They soaked up anything that would typically cause inflammation and flushed it from the body.
But then, the scientists took it one step further. They gave patients a probiotic supplement along with blueberries to see what would happen.
The surprising findings about this powerful combination
The scientists found that blueberries worked even better on UC patients when taken with a probiotic supplement.
You see, it's all about creating a friendly environment in your intestines. Probiotics help to boost the friendly or "good" bacteria in your gut. And blueberries contain polyphenols, which kill any harmful bacteria.
Plus, blueberries and probiotics boost your body's production of butyric and propionic acid. These helpful acids feed the cells in your intestines and promote a healthy immune system.
Prior to this study, most doctors believed that these types of acids never left your intestines. But the Swedish scientists proved that theory wrong. They found that when UC patients took blueberries and probiotics, the helpful acids actually circulated throughout the body in the blood stream.
In my book, that's an important discovery. It means that if your body makes enough of the helpful acid that some of it will spill over into your blood stream, which may help tame inflammation in other parts of the body, such as your joints.
So it's true - You can heal your body with foods
This study reaffirms everything we've discussed over the past year or so in the Guide to Good Health. You can heal your body with food. And if you're prone to intestinal problems, make sure to eat plenty of fruits, especially blueberries.
Lastly, if you want to keep UC under control, make sure you also take daily probiotics. Yogurt's not enough. If you're lucky, a cup of yogurt will contain 10,000 active strains of bacteria by the time if reaches your mouth. But it also comes with a host of sugar, which is counter-productive. A good probiotic supplement will contain billions of units of active bacteria, which will actually give you the desired effect.
Your digestive tract will thank you.