Sunday, July 23, 2006

Although they are small in size, this amazing fruit is one of the most powerful anti-aging

Although they are small in size, this amazing fruit is one of the most powerful anti-aging powerhouses you can find. Consider just some of the blueberries amazing qualities:

Brain food (it’s not just fish anymore). Blueberries have been added to the list. Up until very recently, the belief has been that the decline in brain function, in both cognitive and motor aspects, is inevitable and irreversible. Consider the impaired sense of balance that is one of the telltale signs of aging (the elderly are notorious for falling down for no apparent reason). A young person can usually stand on one leg, even with eyes closed, much longer than an older person, who begins to sway and quickly needs to put down the raised leg in order to prevent a fall. We maintain our posture by automatically correcting against swaying motion; when the conduction of neural signals slows down with aging, we easily lose our balance. It turns out that daily doses of blueberries are the only treatment known that can reverse the deterioration of motor function with aging!

The phytochemicals in the blueberry extract appear to speed up neural communication. Blueberry-supplemented neurons have a better ability to communicate with each other.
Phytochemicals contained in blueberries prevent cell death and the loss of nerve growth factors.
Blueberries allow the body a greater ability to release dopamine, an energizing, stimulatory neurotransmitter. Blueberries also protect us from the loss of dopamine cells that is normally seen with aging. By increasing brain energy production and maintaining youthful brain function, dopamine exerts an extremely important anti-aging effect. And, since dopamine decreases as we age, blueberries become even more important as we get older.

According to research findings at the Rutgers Blueberry Cranberry Research Center in Chatsworth, N.J., blueberries help promote urinary tract health. Explains Rutgers scientist Amy Howell, Ph.D, blueberries, like cranberries, contain compounds that prevent the bacteria responsible for urinary tract infections from attaching to the bladder wall. And, unlike cranberries, blueberries need no sweetening to to be palatable.

Wild Blueberries, like their European cousins, bilberries, have very high concentrations of anthocyanin, a natural compound linked with many health benefits including reducing eyestrain and improving night vision. Ronald L. Prior, Ph.D, director of the USDA studies that ranked blueberries number one in antioxidant activity, plans to study the ability of blueberries to prevent macular degeneration, a disease of the retina and the leading cause of blindness in people over age 65.

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