The Power Of Blueberries


The Power Of Blueberries

   Blueberries contains polyphenols that protect the brain from inflammation and oxidative stress, which in turn may protect the brain from the degenerative effect s of aging and from injury from ischemic stroke. Blueberries may even help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease .When rats suffering from Alzheimer’s like symptoms were supplemented with blueberries in their diet, they were able to perform normally on test involving memory and motor behavior. I recommend a serving of organic blueberries every day.

One way to judge  the benefits of each fruit and vegetable is by their oxygen  radical absorbance capacity, or ORAC. This is a standard tool used by nutritionist to measure foods’ antioxidant capacity. Then higher the ORAC, the concentration of antioxidants in that food, and the greater protection it provides against free radicals.

It seems that every time i turn around, a different food has been ranked as number one–I’ve seen blueberries, cranberries, acai, and even Granny Smith apples all given the honor of top antioxidant billing, depending on the source of information. Perhaps you’ve noticed this too and are wondering how it happens. It depends on a few variables on the ranking process;

1 Did they use ORAC or a different test such as FRAP (Ferric Reducing Ability of plasma) to measure the antioxidant levels of foods?

2 Did they single out specific categories of food (such as fruit and vegetables) for comparison, or are all foods included?

3 Did they compare average serving sizes or use a gram comparison?

I believe we will  continue to see changing ORAC rankings for foods because new fruits and other edible plants are still being discovered in the Amazon rainforest and other places. This is why acai has recently topped the chart but doesn’t appear on older ORAC listings. In the future, as these new foods are tested, they will likely prove to have even higher ORAC scores.

Regardless of whether your favorite foods receive top billing or not, as long as they consistently show up somewhere on the ORAC report card you can rest assured that they are helping your body fight free radicals when you eat them. Here’s the way fruit and vegetables were ranked in a comprehensive ORAC report done by the USDA 2004.

Top-Scoring Fruit & Vegetable

Fruits                                ORAC units per grams         Vegetables                   prunes                                              5,770                                   kale                             Raising                                            2,830                                   Spinach                   Blueberries                                     2,400                         Brussels sprouts        Blackberries                                   2,036                          Alfalfa sprouts           Strawberries                                    1,540                        Broccoli    flowers      Raspberries                                      1,220                           Beets                             Plums                                                  949                             Red bell pepper         Oranges                                               750                                       onion                 Red grapes                                          739                                      Corn                       Cherries                                             670                                   Eggplant