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On the Dr Oz show
July is National Blueberry Month
On May 8, 1999 the United States Department of Agriculture proclaimed July as National Blueberry Month. It is fitting that July is the month of celebration given the importance of blueberries in American history and the fact that the United States produces over 90% of all of the blueberries in the world.
Blueberries are among the most important foods for good health. The diverse and wondrous health benefits of blueberries are primarily due to their high content of specialized pigments known as anthocyanins. These special flavonoids are responsible for the deep blue or purple color of blueberries.
Currently, the most popular medical use of blueberries is their use in improving vision and protecting against age-related macular degeneration. Additional research also points out that blueberries may be protective against the development of cataracts and glaucoma, and quite therapeutic in the treatment of varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and peptic ulcers.
Another very practical application of the antioxidant activity of blueberries is in the protection against Alzheimer’s disease and age related cognitive decline. In animal studies researchers have found that blueberries help protect the brain from oxidative stress and may reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. Specifically, when older rats were given the human equivalent of 1 cup of blueberries a day they demonstrated significant improvements in both learning capacity and motor skills, making them mentally equivalent to much younger rats. When the rats’ brains were examined, the brain cells of the rats given blueberries were found to communicate more effectively than those of the other older rats that were not given blueberries.
While blueberries are an excellent food, a blueberry concentrate with all the anthocyanin-power of fresh picked blueberries is a convenient way to gain all of the health benefits. Two 500 mg capsules of a 36:1 blueberry concentrate is equivalent to ¼ cup of fresh blueberries. For general health, take two capsules daily.
Weekly Health Tip
Mind Your Ps and Qs
PQQ may be the perfect answer to preventing or reversing age-related mental decline.
kiwiPQQ (short for pyrroloquinoline quinone) is a vitamin-like compound found in plant foods that shows a wide range of benefits for brain function and energy production. Learn more about PQQ with the following Q&A.
What Exactly Does PQQ Do?
PQQ is an extremely potent antioxidant that is able to carry out the role of an antioxidant in the body more than 20,000 times—which is a rare thing. For example, other antioxidants, such as vitamin C, are only able to accomplish this “cycling” process about four times.
Are There Any Food Sources of PQQ?
PQQ has been found in all plant foods analyzed to date. Particularly PPQ-rich foods include parsley, green peppers, kiwi, papaya, and tofu. These foods contain 2–3 mcg of PQQ per 100 grams. Green tea provides about the same amount per 4-oz. serving. While these amounts appear to be sufficient in helping our cells carry out their basic functions, research indicates that boosting PQQ through supplementation can produce some amazing effects.