8 Super foods You Need for a Longer, Healthier Life
8 Superfoods You Need for a Longer, Healthier Life.
Is it true that you can add years to your life by making smarter food choices? Believe it or not, it is!
Our life span is dependent on several factors; however, following a healthy lifestyle and sticking to a nutrient-packed diet can slow the aging process and help ward off age-related diseases, including heart disease, osteoporosis, and diabetes.
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Pomegranates are among the healthiest fruits on Earth.
They contain a range of beneficial plant compounds, unrivaled by other foods.
Studies have shown that they may have several benefits for your body, possibly lowering your risk of various diseases.
Here are 12 evidence-based health benefits of pomegranate.
1. Pomegranates Are Loaded With Important Nutrients
The pomegranate, or Punica granatum, is a shrub that produces a red fruit.
Categorized as a berry, the pomegranate fruit is about 5–12 cm (2–5 inches) in diameter. It is red, round and looks kind of like a red apple with a flower-shaped stem.
The skin of the pomegranate is thick and inedible, but there are hundreds of edible seeds called arils within.
The arils are what people eat — either raw or processed into pomegranate juice.
Pomegranates have an impressive nutrient profile — one cup of arils (174 grams) contains:
- Fiber: 7 grams
- Protein: 3 grams
- Vitamin C: 30% of the RDI
- Vitamin K: 36% of the RDI
- Folate: 16% of the RDI
- Potassium: 12% of the RDI
The pomegranate arils (seeds) are also very sweet, with one cup containing 24 grams of sugar and 144 calories.
However, pomegranates really shine in their wealth of powerful plant compounds, some of which have potent medicinal properties.
The pomegranate is a fruit that contains hundreds of edible seeds called arils. They are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and bioactive plant compounds, but they also contain some sugar.
2. Pomegranates Contain Two Plant Compounds With Powerful Medicinal Properties
Pomegranates pack two unique substances that are responsible for most of their health benefits.
Punicalagins are extremely potent antioxidants found in pomegranate juice and peel.
They’re so powerful that pomegranate juice has been found to have three times the antioxidant activity of red wine and green tea (3).
Pomegranate extract and powder is typically made from the peel, due to its high antioxidant and punicalagin content.
Punicic acid, found in pomegranate seed oil, is the main fatty acid in the arils.
It’s a type of conjugated linoleic acid with potent biological effects.
Pomegranates contain punicalagins and punicic acid, unique substances that are responsible for most of their health benefits.
3. Pomegranate Has Impressive Anti-Inflammatory Effects
Chronic inflammation is one of the leading drivers of many serious diseases.
This includes heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, and even obesity.
Pomegranates have potent anti-inflammatory properties, which are largely mediated by the antioxidant properties of the punicalagins.
Test-tube studies have shown that they can reduce inflammatory activity in the digestive tract, as well as in breast cancer and colon cancer cells.
One 12-week study in people with diabetes found that 1.1 cups (250 ml) of pomegranate juice per day lowered the inflammatory markers CRP and interleukin-6 by 32% and 30%, respectively.
If you are interested in reducing inflammation in your body, pomegranate is an excellent addition to your diet.
The punicalagins in pomegranate juice have been shown to reduce inflammation, one of the leading drivers of many serious diseases, including cancer and diabetes.
4. Pomegranate May Help Fight Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is a common type of cancer in men.
Laboratory studies suggest that pomegranate extract may slow cancer cell reproduction and even induce apoptosis, or cell death, in cancer cells (8, 9).
The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a blood marker for prostate cancer.
Men whose PSA levels double in a short period of time are at an increased risk of death from prostate cancer.
Interestingly, a human study found that drinking 8 ounces (237 ml) of pomegranate juice per day increased the PSA doubling time from 15 months to 54 months — a monumental increase (10).
A follow-up study found similar improvements using a type of pomegranate extract called POMx (11).
Preliminary evidence indicates that pomegranate juice can be useful in men with prostate cancer, potentially inhibiting cancer growth and lowering the risk of death.
5. Pomegranate May Also be Useful Against Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in women.
Pomegranate extract may inhibit the reproduction of breast cancer cells — even killing some of them.
However, the evidence is currently limited to laboratory studies. More research is needed before any claims can be made.
Laboratory studies suggest that pomegranate extract can help fight breast cancer cells, but human studies are needed.
6. Pomegranate May Lower Blood Pressure
High blood pressure (hypertension) is one of the leading drivers of heart attacks and strokes.
In one study, people with hypertension had a significant reduction in blood pressure after consuming 5 ounces (150 ml) of pomegranate juice daily for two weeks.
Other studies have found similar effects, especially for systolic blood pressure, which is the higher number in a blood pressure reading.
Regular intake of pomegranate juice has been shown to lower blood pressure levels in as little as two weeks.
7. Pomegranate May Help Fight Arthritis and Joint Pain
Arthritis is a common problem in Western countries.
There are many different types, but most involve some form of inflammation in the joints.
Given that the plant compounds in pomegranate have anti-inflammatory effects, it makes sense that they could help treat arthritis.
Interestingly, laboratory studies suggest that pomegranate extract can block enzymes that are known to damage joints in people with osteoarthritis (18, 19).
This extract has also been shown to relieve arthritis in mice, but evidence from human-based research is very limited so far.
Studies in animals and isolated cells indicate that pomegranate extract may be beneficial against several forms of arthritis, but human research is needed.
8. Pomegranate Juice May Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease
Heart disease is currently the world's most common cause of premature death.
It’s a complicated disease, driven by many different factors.
Punicic acid, the main fatty acid in pomegranate, may help protect against several steps in the heart disease process.
A 4-week study in 51 people with high triglyceride levels showed that 800 mg of pomegranate seed oil per day significantly lowered triglycerides and improved the triglyceride-HDL ratio.
Another study looked at the effects of pomegranate juice in people with type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol. They noted significant reductions in “bad” LDL cholesterol, as well as other improvements.
Pomegranate juice has also been shown — in both animal and human studies — to protect LDL cholesterol particles from oxidation, one of the key steps in the pathway toward heart disease.
Finally, one research analysis concluded that pomegranate juice reduces high blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease (29).
Several human studies have shown that pomegranate can have benefits against heart disease. It improves your cholesterol profile and protects LDL cholesterol from oxidative damage.
9. Pomegranate Juice May Help Treat Erectile Dysfunction
Oxidative damage can impair blood flow in all areas of the body, including erectile tissue.
Pomegranate juice has been shown to help increase blood flow and erectile response in rabbits.
In a study in 53 men with erectile dysfunction, pomegranate appeared to have some benefit — but it was not statistically significant.
Pomegranate juice has been linked to reduced symptoms of erectile dysfunction, but more research is needed.
10. Pomegranate Can Help Fight Bacterial and Fungal Infections
The plant compounds in a pomegranate can help fight harmful microorganisms.
For example, they have been shown to combat some types of bacteria as well as the yeast Candida albicans.
The anti-bacterial and anti-fungal effects may also be protective against infections and inflammation in your mouth. This includes conditions like gingivitis, periodontitis and denture stomatitis.
Pomegranate has antibacterial and antiviral properties which may be useful against common gum diseases and yeast infections.
11. Pomegranate May Help Improve Memory
There is some evidence that pomegranate can improve memory.
One study in surgical patients found that 2 grams of pomegranate extract prevented deficits in memory after surgery.
Another study in 28 older adults with memory complaints found that 8 ounces (237 ml) of pomegranate juice per day significantly improved markers of verbal and visual memory.
Studies in mice also suggest that pomegranate may help fight Alzheimer's disease.
Some evidence shows that pomegranate may improve memory in older adults and post-surgery. In addition, studies in mice suggest that it may protect against Alzheimer's disease.
12. Pomegranate May Improve Exercise Performance
Pomegranate is rich in dietary nitrates, which have been shown to improve exercise performance.
A study in 19 athletes running on a treadmill showed that one gram of pomegranate extract 30 minutes before exercise significantly enhanced blood flow, delaying the onset of fatigue and increasing exercise efficiency.
More studies are needed, but it seems that pomegranate — like beets — may be beneficial for physical performance.
As a rich source of nitrates, pomegranate may improve exercise performance by increasing blood flow.
The Bottom Line
Pomegranates are one of the healthiest foods on the planet, packed with nutrients and powerful plant compounds.
They have wide-ranging benefits and may help reduce your risk of various serious illnesses, including heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and other inflammatory conditions.
What’s more, they may boost your memory and exercise performance.
If you want to reap the many health benefits pomegranates have to offer, either eat the arils directly or drink pomegranate juice.
Morinda citrifola, commonly known as great morinda, Indian mulberry, nunaakai (Tamil Nadu, India), dog dumpling (Barbados), mengkudu (Indonesia and Malaysia), apatot (Philippines), kumudu (Bali), pace (Java), beach mulberry, cheese fruit, or noni (Hawaii), Noni fruit is a native to Southeast Asia and Australasia and below are the 10 Amazing Health Benefits of Noni.
It is green at first, then turns yellow as it ripens, giving off a pungent odor. Weaver ants are attracted to it, which protects the plant from plant-parasitic insects.
It is most commonly sold in juice form. There are different types, such as unsweetened, sweetened, diluted with grape or other berry juices, or even noni powder mixed with water or juice. The best kind would be unsweetened, with pulp.
Additives such as sweeteners and preservatives will cancel out the effects it has on your body, making it redundant; the pulp contains the most nutrients. Noni has a bad reputation for being a spam product, from ads saying that it is a cure-all. This is not true, and most of the products on the market are indeed hurting more than helping.
10 Amazing Health Benefits of Noni
Nevertheless, noni juice may be what you are looking for to help alleviate pain or boost your immune system. Here are the 10 most important benefits this fruit has in detail.
1. Analgesic – Noni has the nicknames of “The Tree For Headaches” or “The Painkiller Tree”. Studies have shown that noni reduced pain compared to the drugs tramadol and hydrocortisone, making it effective for arthritis and other joint pains.
2. Immune system booster – Noni activates macrophages and strengthens the immune system, which then produces more lymphocytes. It also contains antibacterial agents that fight infectious bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli.
3. Antidepressant/sedative – Noni stimulates serotonin and melatonin, two very important hormones. Serotonin affects mood, emotions, and sleep; imbalance in levels of serotonin may contribute to depression.
Melatonin regulates the Circadian rhythm, which helps you sleep; keeping this regular will help you get a good night’s rest, also improving your mood.
4. Skincare/hair – Noni’s properties are used on skin and scalp conditions, such as eczema and ringworm; also rubbed on scalp for lustrous hair; and will keep your skin young. Just rub some juice on affected skin/scalp, leave on for 15 minutes, rinse off. Ingestion of juice may help your nails to grow stronger.
5. Anti-tumor/anti-cancer – Noni stimulates the production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is an extremely useful substance, one that is at the base of many of noni’s benefits. In this case, it reduces tumor growth and helps your body fight against the cancerous replication of cells. It also contains an immunomodulatory polysaccharide-rich substance known as noni-ppt that further fights cancer.
The immune boosting properties I mentioned in an above section are also a great help. One more thing that’s important is the number of phytochemicals in noni that fight cancer. Phytochemicals are found in vegetables and herbs if eaten regularly will build up preventive amounts. In the case of cancer already being present, noni and other plants with high amounts will slow, stop, or totally reverse the cancer process.
6. Hypertension – Noni is high in phytonutrients, selenium, and vitamin C, which fights free radical damage on blood vessel walls; scopoletin, a compound that may lower blood pressure; it is alkaline, which keeps bodily fluids from becoming too acidic, therefore hurting free radicals. It also has proxeronine, which is needed for the body to produce xeronine.
Xeronine helps coordinate the cells to work harmonious, lowering stress and in turn, blood pressure. Also has the amino acid, tryptophan. When tryptophan enters the bloodstream and goes to cells, it helps produce other substances that are important, such as even more serotonin, which is great for lowering blood pressure by way of its relaxing effect.
7. Cholesterol – Noni prevents the absorption of LDL cholesterol, thus reducing plaque in arteries, keeping you healthy and alive longer.
8. Memory – Noni, as mentioned before, prevents absorption of cholesterol by way of its large amount of phytosterols. This directly helps your brain stay healthier, and plaque does not build up in arteries feeding the brain, keeping it properly oxygenated.
9. Irritable Bowel Syndrome/constipation – Noni is high in soluble fiber, which helps ease the strain on your intestines and softens stool. Also has necessary vitamins and minerals to keep your intestines healthy.
10. Antibacterial/antifungal/antiviral – Noni has properties to fight infections comparable to that of prescription drugs. It contains anthraquinones, scopoletin, and terpenes, among others all work together to fight diseases.
Blackberries offer many health benefits, including:
- full of vitamins and minerals like C, K, and manganese
- high in fiber
- may boost brain health
- Health benefits of blackberries
Sweet yet tart blackberries are a summer staple. But the benefits of these berry beauties go well beyond their yummy taste. Blackberries have impressive health benefits, too.
1. They’re packed with vitamin C
Just one cup of raw blackberries has 30.2 milligrams of vitamin C. That’s half the daily recommended value. Vitamin C is integral to collagen formation in bones, connective tissue, and blood vessels. Vitamin C may also help you:
- heal wounds
- regenerate the skin
- battle free radicals (molecules released by toxins) in the body
- absorb iron
- shorten the common cold
- prevent scurvy
More research is needed, but some studies suggest vitamin C helps reduce the formation of cancer-causing substances in the body. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant which may also reduce oxidative stress in the body that can lead to cancer.
2. They’re high in fiber
Most people don’t get enough fiber in their diet. That’s a problem: A low-fiber diet has been linked to digestive problems like bloating, constipation, and stomach pain. And according to a 2013 study, not getting enough fiber may increase your risk of heart disease.
A high-fiber diet may help you:
- reduce cholesterol
- promote regular bowel movements
- control blood sugar levels by slowing the rate of sugar absorption
- lose weight by making you feel fuller longer
- provide fuel to nourish healthy gut bacteria
For such a tiny berry, blackberries are high in fiber. One cup of raw blackberries has almost 8 grams.
3. Great source of vitamin K
Vitamin K is the reason why you don’t bleed profusely when you cut yourself: It helps your blood clot. Vitamin K also plays a role in bone metabolism. Vitamin K deficiency may lead to bone thinning and bone fractures. It may cause easy bruising, heavy menstrual bleeding, and blood in the stool or in the urine.
Just one cup of raw blackberries provides almost 29 micrograms — over one-third of the daily recommended value — of vitamin K.
If you take blood thinners, make sure to eat a consistent amount of foods high in vitamin K like blackberries, green leafy vegetables, soybeans, and fermented dairy foods.
4. High in manganese
You don’t hear as much about manganese as other minerals, but it’s vital to healthy bone development and a healthy immune system. It also helps your body metabolize carbs, amino acids, and cholesterol. Like vitamin C, manganese plays a key role in the formation of collagen. And the enzyme that helps manganese form collagen, prolidase, also helps wounds heal properly.
Manganese may help prevent osteoporosis, manage blood sugar levels, and reduce epileptic seizures.
One cup of raw blackberries contains 0.9 milligrams of manganese, almost half the daily recommended value. Keep in mind though that too much manganese may be toxic.
You’re unlikely to get too much manganese in food amounts, though, unless you have a condition that prevents your body from eliminating excess manganese, like chronic liver disease or anemia.
5. May boost brain health
Eating berry fruits like blackberries may improve brain health and help prevent memory loss caused by aging, according to a review of research in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. The review concluded that antioxidants in berry fruits help fight free radicals and alter how brain neurons communicate. This may help reduce brain inflammation, which can lead to cognitive and motor issues common with aging.
6. Helps support oral health
According to a 2013 study, you may want to add blackberries to your daily dental regimen. The study found blackberry extract has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory abilities against some types of bacteria that cause oral disease. Researchers caution more study is needed, but suggest blackberry extract may help prevent and control gum disease and cavities.
Cranberries health benefits include supporting good oral hygiene, treating kidney and bladder problem, supporting good heart health, fighting cancer, promoting weight loss, treating urinary tract infections, treating lung inflammation, slowing down the aging process, promoting flawless skin, cleansing the skin, and treating dandruff.
What is Cranberries?
There is absolutely no question that cranberries are a magical fruit. With an assortment of medicinal properties, the cranberries can treat an array of health complication. Not to mention, the fruit is excellent for keeping a clear and young looking skin.
This tiny red colored, shiny fruit is sour in taste. Cranberries are rich in iron, calcium, potassium, minerals, vitamin Bs and vitamin C. The powerful fruit can treat kidney problems and enhance their function, treats acne; helps lose weight and what not. And you cannot just treat dandruff with cranberries but can dye your hair with it as well. You will rush to buy some after reading its 13 amazing benefits.
Cranberries are loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that work to treat plenty of health complications. You might not believe it, but regular consumption of cranberries can stop breast cancer cells from multiplying. This fruit is powerful and should be eaten regularly as it can fight against several health issues and some of that is given here:
13 Amazing Health Benefits of Cranberries
1. Good for Oral Hygiene
If you wish to stay away from any sort of dental problem, start eating cranberries. It is ideal for treating plaque formation, cavities, and initial level gum disease.
2. Kidney and Bladder Problem
Kidney stones and bladder problems are horrific and painful. Cranberries have citric acid and other nutrients that can help steer you clear of bladder complications. Plus, they can also help prevent your kidneys from forming kidney stones.
3. Good for the Heart
Cranberries are really good for your heart as they contain various powerful minerals and enzymes that can help lower bad cholesterol from the lining and blocking your arteries. Heart problems are common due to lack of exercise and other unhealthy practices. Eating whole cranberries or drinking cranberry juice while maintaining a healthy lifestyle can really boost your heart health.
4. Fights Cancer
There are different types of cancers; however, it is important to understand that all the symptoms associated with cancer form due to the massive prevalence of free radical cells. These are bad cells that infect other cells, eventually degrading your immune system. As per different independent medical studies, it was observed that drinking cranberry juice can kill free radical cells that are associated with developing symptoms of breast cancer.
5. For Weight Loss
Being over-weight stays atop among all other health problems. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables are always suggested to shed extra pounds in a healthy way – adding cranberries to it – can double the benefits. They are rich in antioxidants, which flush out toxins from the body. This process improves the digestive system and metabolism, which automatically leads to weight loss.
6. For Urinary Tract Infections
Nothing is more refreshing and hydrating than cranberry juice. It is also ideal for women that suffer from frequent urinary tract infections. Medical professionals strongly urge women to drink at least 2 to 3 glasses of fresh cranberry juice to combat the symptoms and maintain their urethra health.
7. For Lungs inflammation
Eating whole cranberries or drinking its juice can both help ward off inflammation and strengthen your immune system. Cranberries contain an enzyme known as nondialyzable material or NDM, which is what helps keep the viruses separated from your healthy cells – which means you will not be getting sick with cold or flu that often. Plus, it is also a good way to stop the symptoms of influenza from forming.
Continuous consumption of cranberries can slow down the aging process because this fruit is rich in antioxidants. The antioxidants quickly kill and flush out toxins and free radical cells out of your body, keeping your skin naturally moisturized and hydrated. So, you can say goodbye to wrinkles and fine lines and hello to immortality.
9. For Flawless Skin
Rich in vitamin C, cranberry juice is an excellent sour to get flawless skin. It has components i.e. hydroxylysine, hydroxyproline, and amino acids that our body needs to form collagen. The collagen helps in keeping the skin soft and youthful. Plus, if you live in a cold area, harsh winds can adversely affect your skin, which can lead to a series of skin related trauma and problems. Drinking cranberry juice daily can keep the skin hydrated and collagen-full.
10. For Oily Skin
Oily skin is prone to acne, which sometimes gets tricky to handle. If you have oily skin and looking for a long-term solution, cranberries may help you out. The berries have antiseptic properties that work to treat acne. Resveratrol, the antioxidants found in cranberry juice work effectively against pimples and acne. The cranberry juice can be used to make a face mask. To make this face pack, you will need – powdered orange peel, a teaspoon of honey, and cranberry juice. Mix all the ingredients well and apply this mixture on your face for a good 20 minutes.
11. A skin Cleanser
The cranberries can be used as a skin cleanser. All you need is a cranberry pulp; apply it on the face after facial steam. Avoid eye area as it is highly sensitive and make sure cranberry pulp does not get into the eyes. This way, your skin sinks in all the nutrients the fruit has. Wipe cranberry pulp gently after 15 minutes and rinse it off.
12. For Hair Fall
Hair fall is a very common problem. Although most people suffer hair loss as a result of poor genetics, there are, however, a variety of health-related issues that can cause healthy hair to weaken and fall. There are countless products available in the market to treat hair fall, but nothing can beat a natural remedy. Cranberries are rich in vitamin A and C, which is essential for hair growth and healthy hair.
13. For Dandruff
After hair fall, dandruff is the second severe hair problem. Cranberry juice can treat dandruff and other scalp related problems. Cranberries have anti-fungal and antiseptic properties that fight against dandruff. These properties prevent psoriasis as well. You can directly apply cranberry juice to the scalp and rinse off as you normally would. Plus, the vitamin C in the fruit can treat damaged hair as well.
It would not be wrong to call cranberry a magical fruit since it has countless health benefits. Whether you have a kidney or heart problem, the nutrients present in the fruit can work against it. For skin, you can apply its pulp for jaw-dropping results. It could become a blessing for the oily and acne-prone skin.
There are many healthy berries you can add to your diet. The acai berry (Euterpe oleraceae) is one of the most nutritious berries on the planet. Also called the Amazonian palm berry, acai is native to the Amazon rainforest. This fruit has been heralded for centuries for its healing, immune-stimulating, energy-boosting properties. Research reveals this antioxidant-rich berry may help suppress and repair oxidative damage. Let’s take a look at twelve health benefits of acai berries.
- Acai Berries: What Are the Benefits?
- Promotes Heart Health
- Stops Bad Cell Proliferation
- Aids Weight Loss
- Promotes Skin Health
- Helps Digestion
- Reduces Irritation
- Improves Cellular Health
- Immune System Booster
- Has Anti-Aging Effects
- Boosts Energy
- Encourages a Healthy Libido
- Improves Mental Function
1. Promotes Heart Health
Like red wine, acai berries are extremely high in anthocyanins, a type of antioxidant that supports balanced cholesterol levels.[2, 3] They are also rich in plant sterols that provide cardioprotective benefits, including supporting circulation, improving overall blood composition, and relaxing the blood vessels.
2. Stops Bad Cell Proliferation
Acai berries are powerhouses against bad cell growth. Multiple studies have found that the anthocyanins and polyphenols found in acai berries have strong antiproliferative properties–which means they stop bad cells from growing out of control. Studies have found up to 95% inhibition from acai.[6, 7, 8] It is thought that these phytochemicals can disrupt cell mutation at a molecular level, killing the affected cells before they multiply.
3. Aids Weight Loss
Acai may help you lose weight and maintain a healthy weight. One interesting study found that eating 200 grams of acai pulp reduced total body fat, reduced skinfolds, and increased insulin sensitivity in overweight women. In the same study, women whose body weight was normal experienced a redistribution of body fat, with reduced subcutaneous body fat but increased visceral fat.
4. Promotes Skin Health
Natural skin care products made with acai oil are a great natural alternative to chemical-based skin care products. Currently, many beauty products contain acai oil because of the oil's high antioxidant content. Its skin care benefits aren’t limited to an external application. When eaten, the berries provide nutrition that can give your skin a healthy glow. In fact, Brazilians have been eating acai berries for centuries to promote skin health.
Picking Acai Berries
5. Helps Digestion
Acai may aid in keeping the digestive system clean and functioning normally. These berries have powerful detoxification capacities, and flour made from the seeds is a good source of dietary fiber. Of course, there are other high fiber foods that do the same thing, including other berries.
6. Reduces Irritation
Acai seed extract has properties that may prevent irritation in the lungs typically associated with respiratory distress and swelling from smoke inhalation. Although I recommend quitting smoking or never starting in the first place, if you smoke or are exposed to secondhand smoke, acai’s antioxidant properties may reduce smoke-induced swelling inside of your lungs.
7. Improves Cellular Health
Acai plays an important role in the body’s cellular protection system, helping to keep cells strong against the invasion of free radicals. Acai has the strongest activity of any fruit or vegetable tested to date against the peroxyl free radical and superoxides, which cause cell damage. The antioxidants in acai enter human white blood cells and perform an “oxygen quenching function” at very low doses. That’s why acai is called a superfood!
8. Immune System Booster
People call acai a superfood for a good reason. Studies have found that consuming acai fruit boosted the production of human gamma delta T cells in cell cultures, which are an important part of the immune system. When given directly to people, acai also boosted the production of interleukin 12 (IL-12) as well as myeloid cells, a type of white blood cells which ensure your immune system is healthy.
9. Has Anti-Aging Effects
Extremely high in many forms of phytochemicals, acai berries may slow or reverse aging processes as they relate to oxidative damage. In fact, the berries are one of the best sources of antioxidants; acai berries have ten times as many antioxidants as grapes and twice as many as blueberries.
10. Boosts Energy
Due to its overall health benefits, taking acai extract can lead to increased energy and stamina and may even help combat fatigue and exhaustion – especially after exercise. In one study, drinking an acai beverage not only reduced the body’s metabolic stress from exercise, but it also reduced the exerciser’s perceived exertion, which is how much effort they felt they were expanding. It also increased the time before they felt exhausted. Whenever you need a boost, simply eat a handful of berries, and you will be ready to go in no time!
11. Encourages a Healthy Libido
Although not an aphrodisiac per se, this famous purple berry is linked to overall increased blood circulation in the human body, a phenomenon that may contribute to a boost in sex drive, especially for men. When overweight men consumed an acai smoothie, it led to improved vascular function, which is a characteristic of how blood flows through the body’s blood vessels.
12. Improves Mental Function
Acai is high in anthocyanins and other neurologically active plant compounds (phytochemicals). Preliminary research studies show that acai may improve short and long-term memory and promote healthy brain aging.[18, 19] Scientists have studied how acai may protect against neurological diseases, including dementia.
Consuming Acai Berries
When searching for acai berries, only buy certified organic acai berries and pulp. Not only are they the most healthy, but they taste the best, too. If you can't find acai berries, goji berries are another good source of antioxidants.
Mangosteen is rich in antioxidants and xanthones, and the powerful health benefits of the tropical fruit include its ability to fight cancer and boost heart health. It has potent anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, which help in treating diarrhea, dysentery, thrush, and urinary tract infections. Mangosteen also helps regulate the menstrual cycle, lose weight, and improve skin health.
What is Mangosteen?
Mangosteen is a reddish or dark purple fruit with white, juicy flesh, which is popular in Thailand. It is known as the queen of fruits because of its exquisite taste that has the notes of ripe strawberry, a fragrant peach, and creamy vanilla ice cream. The plant of the mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) may have originated in Thailand or Myanmar (formerly Burma). Over the years, it has been cultivated in other Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and India. The fruit has cancer-fighting properties and in many of the Southeast Asian countries, the bark and the leaves of the plant and the pectin-rich fruit rind are also used for their medicinal benefits.
Mangosteen is a rich source of antioxidants and vitamins
Mangosteen is an antioxidant-rich fruit, particularly known for the presence of xanthones in its white pulp. Xanthones are polyphenols, which have anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties, according to research done by The Ohio State University, Columbus, US.  The fruit is also rich in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin B6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, folate, vitamin C, potassium, and zinc as per the USDA National Nutrient Database. Other minerals such as calcium, magnesium, sodium, phosphorus, carotene, and cryptoxanthin are also found in it. Mangosteen juice is a rich source of antioxidants and often had as an anti-aging drink.
Health Benefits of Mangosteen
This queen of fruits has many health benefits, the best of which are mentioned below.
The pericarps of mangosteen contain xanthones which exhibit anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial effects.  The xanthones inhibit the cell growth in human colon cancer and as per research published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, they exhibit the potential to be developed as agents to prevent cancer or can be used in combination with anti-cancer drugs for beneficial effects.
Cures Diarrhea & Dysentery
The mangosteen fruit and rind are effective in providing relief from stomach disorders such as diarrhea and dysentery. A traditional remedy for diarrhea is steeping the fruit rind in water overnight. This decoction is given to adults and children who have chronic diarrhea. For relief from dysentery, the dried fruit and rind is powdered and taken.
It has been used as an anti-inflammatory agent for many years in Southeast Asian countries. The extracts of mangosteen have anti-allergy and anti-inflammatory properties and they inhibit the release of histamine and prostaglandin which are associated with inflammation in the body. A study by Dr.  Fabiola Gutierrez-Orozco, The Ohio State University, Columbus, confirms this property.
The anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-allergy, and anti-oxidant properties of mangosteen help in reducing the risk of various conditions such as skin inflammation, skin aging, eczema, allergies, and bacterial infections. Research has been carried out to ascertain the various benefits of this fruit on the skin. A study cited in the Food and Chemical Toxicology journal suggests that mangosteen has properties which can prevent skin cancer.
Mangosteen is rich in nutrients, minerals, vitamins, and xanthones which help in boosting the immune system. These nutrients protect the body from ailments that weaken the immune system.
Mangosteens are known to contain powerful antioxidants, which are useful to the immune system and the entire body. These antioxidants contain cell boosters that are referred to as xanthones, which contain various properties that have medicinal value. This is why it is termed as a healing fruit and can be used to reverse the effects of diseases. Dr. Zhuohong Xie et al., International Chemistry Testing, Massachusetts, in a study shows the daily consumption of mangosteen drink improves antioxidant levels in the body.
Speeds up Healing
Mangosteen, with its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, is beneficial as a medicinal drink and for quick healing of wounds. The leaves and bark of the tree can be mixed with other medicinal herbs and applied to the wounds for a faster recovery. The medicinal drink can be prepared by boiling the leaves and the bark of the tree.
Treats Menstrual Problems
Mangosteen root helps in regulating the menstrual cycle in women.  It also eases the symptoms that often occur before menstruation and make it tough for women to carry out their routine.
The bark and leaves of the mangosteen tree exhibit astringent properties and are beneficial in curing thrush or aphtha, which is a small, shallow sore at the base of the gums.
Protects Heart Health
Mangosteens are helpful in reducing the risk of stroke or myocardial infarction. Findings of a study published in the Journal of Biochemical and Molecular Toxicology indicate the cardioprotective effect of mangosteen on antioxidant tissue defense system and lipid peroxidation during a stroke.
Dr. Dónal O’Mathuna, The Ohio State University, US, in his book Alternative Medicine: The Christian Handbook writes about the use of mangosteen to cure diabetes, as it is effective in managing and maintaining blood sugar levels in the body.
Incorporating mangosteen in the diet may be effective in weight loss. The various nutrients found in this tropical fruit also ensure good health and well-being.
Apart from the health benefits, mangosteen is useful for commercial purposes a well. In China, it is used for tanning leather and in Ghana, the tree twigs are used as chewsticks. The wood is also used for making rice pounders, handles and is also used in constructing furniture.
What’s a goji berry?
You might have heard of goji berries and their health benefits. But do they live up these claims? Their history as a medicinal plant has roots in ancient China. Many people use goji berries to treat eye, liver, and kidney ailments. Also known as wolfberries, these festive red berries have a sweet, slightly sour taste and often come in dried form, like raisins.
If you’re looking to add more nutrition to your diet, read on to decide if goji berries are right for you.
Goji berries are a good source of vitamins and minerals, including:
- vitamin C
- vitamin A
These berries contain all 8 essential amino acids. A single 4-ounce serving provides nearly 10 percent of your daily value for protein. For fruit, this is a surprising amount of protein.
The carbohydrates in goji berries are also complex carbs. This means your blood sugar will rise slowly, reducing your risk of a sugar crash afterwards.
Before you add goji berries to your diet
Always talk to your doctor before you begin eating goji berries. Some companies may say they have less side effects than medications. But goji berries can interact with any medications you’re currently taking.
You should avoid adding goji berries to your diet if you:
- have low blood sugar
- are using blood thinners such as warfarin
- have low or high blood pressure
- are breastfeeding or pregnant (can cause miscarriage)
- are allergic to the fruit
One-fourth cup of goji berries also fulfills 340 percent of your intake for vitamin A. You may want to limit how much you eat to reduce the risk of vitamin A toxicity.
Goji berry health benefits
Boosted immune system and flu protection
A boosted immune system and flu protection can go hand-in-hand. The vitamins in goji berries may be able to increase and support both.
Early testing in laboratories shows that goji berries help enhance the effectiveness of flu vaccinations in aged mice. This is important because the flu vaccine doesn’t always provide adequate protection against the virus.
The study suggests that goji berries may prevent subsequent infections for older adults who’ve received a flu vaccine. But remember, goji berries aren’t replacement protection against the flu. Be sure that you and your family members get your flu shot every year.
More foods that boost your immune system »
Potential weight loss aid
Goji berries pack healthy food energy into small servings. Their rich, sweet taste, along with their high fiber content, can help you stay on track with eating healthy. Turn to them for a light snack to prevent overindulgence at mealtime. Add them in your yogurt or salad in the same way you would use raisins.
Their nutrition value as a low-calorie, low-sugar option makes them a perfect substitute to other dried fruits with higher sugar content. A one-ounce serving of goji berries has only 23 calories.
Antioxidants for eyes and skin
Studies have cited the high level of antioxidants in goji berries, especially zeaxanthin. It’s the zeaxanthin that gives goji berries, saffron, and bell peppers their bright color.
Antioxidants protect cells against breaking down when they are exposed to elements such as smoke and radiation. What’s more, foods with healthy levels of antioxidants are often high in fiber and low in unhealthy fats.
The same study also found that older adults who ate a daily dietary supplementation with goji berries for 90 days had less hypopigmentation and less drusen, or yellow deposits, in their eye
Maintain blood sugar
Sweet goji berries may your new favorite food if you have a particular sweet tooth. Goji berries can help:
potentially lower blood sugar
improve sugar tolerance
alleviate insulin resistance
improve and recover cells that help produce insulin
Talk to your doctor before you start adding goji berries to your diet, especially if you already have low blood sugar. If you do start eating them regularly, you may want to check your blood sugar more often.
Goji berries have a long history tied to sexual fertility. One study in rats showed that goji berries significantly:
increased sperm quantity and movement
shortened erection, capture, and ejaculation response
improved sexual ability
improved recovery of testosterone levels
Research suggests that goji berries may be an alternative to prescription for erectile dysfunction like Viagra.
Are goji berries a superfood?
Some brands may market goji berries as a superfood. A recent study compared the results of participants who consumed goji berry juice daily for 14 days to those who didn’t. People who drank goji berry juice reported an increase in:
- athletic performance
- quality of sleep
- ability to focus
- overall well-being
The same group also reported significantly better outcomes for issues of fatigue, stress, and digestion. But the results were also self-reported and didn’t account for other conditions.
Some health claims also state that goji berries can:
increase life expectancy
lower heart risks
lower blood pressure
reduce arthritis pain
One popular Chinese study also claims that goji berries can treat cancer tumors. Goji berries contain a chemical component called beta-sitosterol. This can help decrease the size of overgrown cells and can cause apoptosis, or “cell suicide” in tumor cells.
But according to the National Health Services (NHS) in the United Kingdom, these studies are poorly designed, or have inconclusive and insignificant results. More studies are needed to confirm the health benefits of goji berries.
How to use goji berries
Most supermarkets sell dried goji berries prepackaged and in the bulk section. You can also find them fresh. Treat them like raisins or fresh berries. Mix them into your breakfast cereal or yogurt, add them to your trail mix, or drink it as juice or tea.
Goji berries also taste great cooked with lean pork or turkey, adding a savory sweetness to hearty dishes. Plus, their vitamin C content also will help your body absorb the meat’s iron.
Eating two or more servings of fruit a day is usually recommended for optimum health benefits.
Be sure to buy your goji berries from a reputable source, even though they tend to be expensive. Cheaper or imported brands have been known to contain sulfites. Sulfites can cause an allergic reaction in some people.
Goji berries are generally considered safe for most people. Although some people report mild digestive issues when they first starting eating them. This can be a common side effect. If you have any chronic digestive or gastrointestinal issues, ask your doctor before using goji berries as a remedy.
Goji berries can be more expensive than other berries. If you’re looking for other foods that offer the same nutritional value, the NHS recommends:
- berries like strawberries and blueberries
- bell peppers, tropical fruits, and dark leafy greens
- wheatgrass for maintaining weight loss
- pomegranate juice
- oily fish
- green tea
Goji berries are good for you
If you’re looking for new nutritious food to add to your diet, goji berries may be a good source. Packed with high vitamins and minerals, and dense protein value, they may help increase your overall well-being. Plus they can provide a welcome change from the other fruits or berries that you regularly eat.
Research suggests that goji berries can help you feel better and boost your health. Their health benefits seem to be particularly helpful for older adults. But claims about their ability to reduce arthritis pain and their anti-cancer effects need more clinical evidence.
Goji berries are more expensive than other fruits. If they cost prohibitive to you, the NHS recommends wheatgrass and green tea for their health benefits. Always talk to your doctor before trying a supplement. Goji berries may lower your blood sugar even more if you already have low blood sugar.
Blueberries are sweet, nutritious and wildly popular.
Often labeled a "superfood," they are low in calories and incredibly good for you.
They are so tasty and convenient that many people consider them to be their favorite fruit.
Here are 10 health benefits of blueberries that are supported by research.
1. Blueberries Are Low in Calories, But High in Nutrients
The blueberry is a flowering shrub that produces berries that are colored blue to purple, also known as blueberries.
It is strongly related to similar shrubs, such as those that produce cranberries and huckleberries.
Blueberries are small, around 5-16 millimeters (0.2-0.6 inches) in diameter, and have a flared crown at the end.
They are green in color at first, then change to blue-purple as they ripen.
These are the two most common types:
Highbush blueberries are the most commonly grown species in the US.
Lowbush blueberries are often referred to as "wild" blueberries. They are typically smaller and richer in some antioxidants.
Blueberries are among the most nutrient-dense berries. A 1 cup serving (148 grams) of blueberries contains (1):
- Fiber: 4 grams.
- Vitamin C: 24% of the RDA.
- Vitamin K: 36% of the RDA.
- Manganese: 25% of the RDA.
- Then it contains small amounts of various other nutrients.
They are also about 85% water, and an entire cup contains only 84 calories, with 15 grams of carbohydrates.
Calorie for calorie, this makes them an excellent source of several important nutrients.
The blueberry is a very popular berry. It is low in calories, but high in fiber, vitamin C and vitamin K.
2. Blueberries are the King of Antioxidant Foods
Antioxidants are important.
They protect our bodies from damage by free radicals, unstable molecules that can damage cellular structures and contribute to aging and diseases like cancer (2, 3).
Blueberries are believed to contain the highest antioxidant capacity of ALL commonly consumed fruits and vegetables (4, 5, 6).
The main antioxidant compounds in blueberries belong to a large family of polyphenols, called flavonoids.
One group of flavonoids, in particular, anthocyanins, is thought to be responsible for much of the beneficial health effects (7).
They have been shown to directly increase antioxidant levels inside the body (8, 9).
Blueberries have the highest antioxidant capacity of all commonly consumed fruits and vegetables. Flavonoids appear to be the major antioxidant compounds.
3. Blueberries Reduce DNA Damage, Which May Help Protect Against Ageing and Cancer
Oxidative DNA damage is part of everyday life.
It is said to occur tens of thousands of times per day, in every single cell in the body (10).
DNA damage is part of the reason we grow older, and it also plays an important role in the development of diseases like cancer (11).
Because blueberries are high in antioxidants, they can help neutralize some of the free radicals that cause damage to our DNA.
In one 4-week study, 168 participants were instructed to drink 1 liter (34 ounces) of a mixture of blueberry and apple juice, every day.
At the end of the study, oxidative DNA damage due to free radicals was reduced by 20% (12).
These findings have also been supported by smaller studies using either fresh or powdered blueberries (13, 14).
Several studies have shown that blueberries and blueberry juice can protect against DNA damage, a leading driver of aging and cancer.
4. Blueberries Protect Cholesterol in The Blood From Becoming Damaged
Oxidative damage is not limited to our cells and DNA.
It is also problematic when our circulating LDL lipoproteins (the "bad" cholesterol) are oxidized.
In fact, oxidation of LDL is a crucial step in the heart disease process.
Fortunately for us, the antioxidants in blueberries are strongly linked to reduced levels of oxidized LDL (15).
A daily 50 gram serving of blueberries lowered LDL oxidation by 27% in obese participants, after a period of eight weeks (16).
Another study showed that 75 grams of blueberries with a main meal significantly reduced the oxidation of LDL lipoproteins (17).
The antioxidants in blueberries have been shown to protect LDL lipoproteins (the "bad" cholesterol) from oxidative damage, a crucial step in the pathway towards heart disease.
5. Blueberries May Lower Blood Pressure
Blueberries appear to have significant benefits for people with high blood pressure, a major risk factor for some of the world's leading killers.
In one study, obese individuals at a high risk for heart disease noted a 4-6% reduction in blood pressure, after consuming 50 grams (1.7 ounces) of blueberries per day, for eight weeks (18).
Other studies have found similar effects, especially when looking at post-menopausal women (19, 20).
Given that high blood pressure is one of the leading drivers of heart attacks and strokes, the implications of this are potentially massive.
Regular blueberry intake has been shown to lower blood pressure in numerous studies.
6. Blueberries May Help Prevent Heart Disease
Again, eating blueberries may lower blood pressure and oxidized LDL.
However, it's important to realize that these are risk factors, not actual diseases.
What we really want to know is whether blueberries help prevent hard endpoints like heart attacks, which are the world's biggest killer (21).
In a 2013 study on 93,600 nurses, eating plenty of anthocyanins (the main antioxidants in blueberries) was linked to a 32% lower risk of heart attacks (22).
This was an observational study, so it can not prove that the blueberries caused the reduction in risk, but it seems likely given the known beneficial effects on risk factors.
There is some evidence that regular blueberry consumption can help prevent heart attacks.
7. Blueberries Can Help Maintain Brain Function and Improve Memory
Oxidative stress can accelerate the brain's aging process, having negative effects on brain function.
According to animal studies, the antioxidants in blueberries tend to accumulate in areas of the brain that are essential for intelligence (23, 24).
They appear to directly interact with aging neurons, leading to improvements in cell signaling.
Human studies have also shown promising results.
In one of these studies, 9 elderly participants with mild cognitive impairment consumed blueberry juice every day. After 12 weeks, they had seen improvements in several markers of brain function (25).
A six-year study of 16,010 elderly participants found that blueberries and strawberries were linked to delays in cognitive aging by up to 2.5 years (26).
The antioxidants in blueberries seem to have benefits for the brain, helping to improve brain function and delaying age-related decline.
8. Anthocyanins in Blueberries Can Have Anti-Diabetic Effects
Blueberries are moderate in sugar when compared to other fruits.
One cup contains 15 grams, which is equivalent to a small apple or large orange.
However, the bioactive compounds in blueberries appear to outweigh any negative impact of the sugar when it comes to blood sugar control.
Research suggests that anthocyanins in blueberries can have beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism. These anti-diabetic effects have been shown with both blueberry juice and extract (27, 28, 29).
In a study of 32 obese subjects with insulin resistance, a blueberry smoothie caused major improvements in insulin sensitivity (30).
Improved insulin sensitivity should lower the risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, which is currently some of the world's biggest health problems.
Several studies have shown that blueberries have anti-diabetic effects, helping to improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels.
9. Substances in Them May Help Fight Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections are a common problem in women.
It is well known that cranberry juice can help prevent these types of infections.
Blueberries are highly related to cranberries and contain many of the same active substances as cranberry juice (31).
These substances are called anti-adhesives and help prevent bacteria like E. coli from binding to the wall of the bladder.
Blueberries haven't been studied much for this purpose, but chances are that they have similar effects as cranberries (32).
Like cranberries, blueberries contain substances that can prevent certain bacteria from binding to the wall of the urinary bladder. This may be useful in preventing urinary tract infections.
10. Blueberries May Help Reduce Muscle Damage After Strenuous Exercise
Strenuous exercise can lead to muscle soreness and fatigue.
This is driven, in part, by local inflammation and oxidative stress in the muscle tissue.
Blueberry supplementation may reduce the damage that occurs at the molecular level, minimizing soreness and reduction in muscle performance.
In a small study of 10 female athletes, blueberries accelerated muscle recovery after strenuous leg exercises.
It is clear that blueberries are incredibly healthy and nutritious.
The fact that they are sweet, colorful, and can be enjoyed both fresh and frozen, is just a tasty bonus.