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8 ways berries battle for your health

8 Ways Berries Battle for Your Health: igor ovsyannykov 248183 8 Ways Berries Battle for Your Health © Provided by The New York Observer LLC igor ovsyannykov 248183 8 Ways Berries Battle for Your Health If a grocery store advertisement read, “Today’s special: a food that is low in calories, has no fat, is full of fiber, may help prevent diseases, aids in weight loss, and tastes delicious,” would you buy it? This ad would be talking about one of the most healthful foods nature provides: berries.

Whether fresh or frozen, berries are just about the perfect food to eat, and the variety to choose from is outstanding: blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, cranberries, gooseberries, loganberries, raspberries and strawberries.

Berries’ Special Power

Berries have been around as a food source for centuries. In addition to their attractive appearance and delicate taste, their rich and diverse antioxidant power distinguishes them from other fruits.

Antioxidants reduce damage due to oxygen often caused by free radicals. Antioxidants include ascorbic acid (vitamin C), carotenoids, vitamin E and phenolic compounds—all of which are found in berries. Vitamin C and phenolic compounds are particularly abundant. Phenolic compounds include phenolic acids, flavonoids, tannins and resveratrol. Berries’ antioxidant power provides a special boost that keeps us healthy.

Here are 8 health conditions berries benefit:

Alzheimer’s disease. With the aging population expanding, Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia will rise in numbers in the coming years. Berries can help slow or even prevent cognitive decline. Data from the Nurses’ Health Study showed that long-term berry intake led to slower rates of cognitive decline in older adults. Polyphenolics found in berries appear to help clean up damage from the build-up of toxins over time.

Cancer. Don’t let berries’ delicate appearance fool you—they have an arsenal of nutrient grenades that fight off cancer, including anthocyanins, flavonoids and ellagic acid. Ellagic acid acts as an antioxidant helping to deactivate specific carcinogens and slowing the reproduction of cancer cells. Blueberries, raspberries and strawberries are extremely rich in these compounds. Don’t forget about blackberries; they have been shown to inhibit tumor angiogenesis. Angiogenesis is when new blood vessels form, helping tumors to transition from a benign state to a malignant state. Including more of this dark-colored fruit to your diet may reduce your risk of colon, breast, lung, skin, esophageal and cervical cancers.

Those berries at breakfast may be the key to a healthier brain.: <p>Improve the health of your brain and reduce your risk of cognitive decline and dementia with these delicious foods.</p><p>Anyone who’s ever sat in on a yoga class, medical seminar, or momentarily forgotten how to complete a task they were certain was stored in their muscle memory can attest to the fact that, despite what we’re often led to believe, our brains and bodies aren’t as unrelated as we might think. There’s never a time when that’s more evident than in our later years, when, depending on our health, activity level, and a number of genetic factors, our bodies and brains can seemingly start to collaborate against us.</p><p>While keeping a strong mind and body may seem like separate pursuits, there’s one easy way to make both healthier in one fell swoop: improving our diets with nutrient-packed foods. Enjoying antioxidant-rich meals, eschewing preservatives and artificial colors, and getting the right mix of vitamins and minerals can make maintaining an active, healthy body and a sharp mind easy. Research has confirmed the connection between what we’re eating and how we feel time and time again — a study published in the <a href="http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/145/1/33.short">American Journal of Epidemiology</a> reveals that a diet high in omega-3s can contribute to a healthy brain, while researchers at <a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0195666390900519">Tufts and the CUNY Graduate Center</a> have discovered a link between snacking and improved cognitive performance — suggesting that the right foods in the right amounts at the right times can keep your brain sharp, your body healthy, and keep all those negative things we're told about aging from becoming your burdens to bear.</p><p>So what foods should have the honor of gracing your plate? Start your journey toward a healthier brain and happier life with the <a href="http://www.zerobelly.com/15-foods-that-boost-your-mood">15 Foods That Boost Your Mood</a> and prepare for a cognitively fit future with the 42 Foods For a Healthier Brain!</p> The 42 Best Foods For a Healthier Brain (provider by Zero Belly)

Heart disease. A study from the American Heart Association published in the journal Circulation showed that eating three or more servings of blueberries and strawberries each week reduced the risk of heart attack in women. Blueberries and strawberries contain flavonoids, and their bright colors come from a sub-class of flavonoids called anthocyanins. Together, these compounds help dilate arteries, reducing the buildup of plaque, which narrows arteries and reduces blood flow. Consuming other brightly colored berries can provide this same protection, so fill up your plate with as many hues as possible.

Parkinson’s disease. Men and women had a 25 percent reduced risk of developing Parkinson’s disease if they ate berries two or more times each week according to a study from the American Academy of Neurology. Flavonoids, once again, are the compounds responsible for protecting brain cells from damage. Men who consumed berries containing flavonoids benefitted the most, having a 40 percent less likelihood of developing Parkinson’s disease.

6 Foods That Lower Brain Health (provided by Cooking Light)

Weight control. Berries are loaded with fiber and have a high water content, which together provide a feeling of fullness or satiety. One cup of blackberries contains 7.6 grams of fiber, one cup of loganberries has 7.8 grams, and raspberries have an impressive 8 grams of fiber in one cup.

Arthritis. Berries ease the symptoms associated with Arthritis due to their antioxidant strength. Eating berries can protect against inflammation and free radicals by turning off the inflammation signals triggered by cytokines and COX-2. Make it a daily habit to eat one-half to one cup of mixed berries to reap the benefits.

Peaches and nectarines: Packed with potassium: Everyone knows that bananas boast high amounts of potassium, but two small peaches or nectarines have more of the essential mineral than one medium banana, boosting nerve and muscle health. The skins, in particular, are rich in antioxidants and insoluble fiber. And for those watching their weight, peaches are a healthy way to add sweetness to any diet. Bake, broil, or poach them to create pies, cobblers, and other desserts. 10 of the Healthiest Fruits for Your Body (provided by Reader’s Digest)

Urinary tract infections. The berry best known for its ability to lower the risk of urinary tract infections (UTI) is the cranberry. Cranberries contain high levels of proanthocyanidins that reduce the adhesion of certain bacteria to the urinary tract walls, thereby reducing infections. Drinking eight ounces of cranberry juice daily may help prevent a UTI and speed recovery if an infection does occur.

Hypertension. The amazing anthocyanin, the powerful antioxidant that gives blueberries and strawberries their vibrant color, can also keep your blood vessels free of plaque, allowing for unobstructed blood flow and lowering blood pressure.

So go out and buy yourself some berries. Whether they’re on sale or not, berries are always a smart choice to keep you healthy and prevent disease.

Dr. Samadi is a board-certified urologic oncologist trained in open and traditional and laparoscopic surgery and is an expert in robotic prostate surgery. He is chairman of urology, chief of robotic surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital. He is a medical correspondent for the Fox News Channel’s Medical A-Team. Follow Dr. Samadi on Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest, SamadiMD.com and Facebook.

The deal with getting a urinary tract infections (UTI): Anyone who’s suffered through a urinary tract infection will tell you that they’ll do anything to never experience one again. A UTI occurs when bacteria gets into your urine, travels up the urethra, and then into your bladder. According to the Urology Care Foundation, 10 in 25 women and three in 25 men will develop at least one UTI in their lifetime. Proper hygiene, such as wiping front to back after bowel movements, peeing right after sex, washing foreskin regularly, and avoiding douches, are a few ways to prevent UTIs from occurring. Unfortunately, a woman’s anatomy makes her more <a href="http://www.rd.com/health/conditions/uti-causes/">prone to getting UTIs</a> because her urethra is shorter, meaning bacteria has less of a distance to travel before getting to the bladder. In addition, because the opening of the urethra is in front of the vagina, bacteria near the vagina can get into the urethra from contact with the penis, fingers, or devices during sex. Read on to learn about the symptoms that come with an infection so you can head to your physician for treatment as soon as you spot UTI symptoms. 7 Signs You Might Have a Urinary Tract Infection (provided by Reader’s Digest)

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