blueberries

  1. New study confirms there is an easy way to ease the pain of colitis

    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.

  2. Banish tip-of-the-tongue syndrome in three weeks flat

    Most of us know that blueberries support strong eyesight and help fight off disease. That's their claim to fame. But according to new research, this small "super food" may hold the power to recharge your mental cylinders in just three weeks.

    Researchers from the UK divided adult male rats into three groups. The first group consisted of "young" rats. The second group consisted of "aged" rats that received a normal diet. The third group of "aged" rats got a normal diet supplemented with blueberry powder.

    Before starting the rats on their diets, the scientists sent them all through a maze aimed at measuring their mental capacity. The scientists measured how fast the rats got through the maze as well as how often they made "correct" turns.

    Out of the gate, the young rats performed "extremely well and very consistently." They got through the maze very quickly and made correct turns about 90 percent of the time.

    The two groups of "aged" rats didn't finish anywhere near as well. Both "aged" groups took longer to finish the maze and only made correct turns about 60 percent of the time.

    Then the researchers turned up the heat. They started giving one group of aged rats blueberry powder along with their regular diet. And guess what happened...

    Aged rats perform like young studs

    After just three weeks, the aged rats given blueberries started acting like young studs. In fact, they improved their scores big time. They made correct turns through the maze 83 percent of the time. That's just 7 percent off the pace of the young rats in just three weeks.

    Better yet, these aged rats continued to perform at a fast clip for the rest of the study. On the other hand, the older rats given a regular diet saw little to no improvement throughout the 12-week study.

    According to researcher Dr. Matt Witterman, "This study not only adds to the claim that eating blueberries is good for you, it also provides support to a diet-based approach that could potentially be used to increase memory capacity and performance in the future."

    Blueberries turn your brain's cylinders back on

    Blueberries are antioxidants. This means they gobble up harmful free radicals that cause disease throughout your body.

    But blueberries aren't your run-of-the-mill antioxidant. They contain nutrients that can cross the blood-brain barrier. This makes them especially good at zapping free radicals in your brain that clog mental function.

    And best of all...

    According to the famed neuroscientist James Joseph, PhD, blueberries may even help your brain grow new neurons. This would explain why the older rats in the study started performing like young studs.

    Heck, I'll eat blueberries at breakfast, lunch, and dinner if it means I'll grow more neurons – instead of lose them – with each passing birthday.

    Now, I know, these studies used rats, not people. And not everything that works on rats will work on humans. But Dr. Joseph is currently testing out his theory on men and women. And the early results look promising. According to an advance report, men and women in the study who ate just a cup of blueberries a day significantly outperformed their counterparts.

    I'll keep you updated on Joseph's research as it surfaces. In the meantime, get plenty of blueberries into your diet. Drizzle them on oatmeal and yogurt. Make blueberry muffins (with whole wheat flour, of course). Or just keep a bowl of them at your desk.

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