Although the blueberry is small it has the potential to provide huge health benefits. The basic science and clinical science published this year underscores their importance. In summary the research demonstrates the value of blueberries in the prevention and treatment of a wide variety of clinical conditions. They play a role in lowering blood pressure, improving age related memory loss, preventing atherosclerosis, preventing or impeding cancers, promoting colon health, and reducing oxidative stress and inflammation associated with physical activity.
Research from previous years suggests additional benefits from consuming the fresh or frozen berries as well as blueberry juice. Some of the underlying mechanisms include increases in anti-inflammatory cytokines, improving human immune markers including natural killer cells, reducing oxidative stress, improving insulin resistance, etc. As one review article noted, “Recent studies demonstrated the benefit of blueberries to prevent the age-related chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, neurodegeneration, obesity, and osteoporosis through its apoptosis, antioxidant, anti-inflammation, and antiangiogenesis effects. Blueberries can eradicate microorganisms for the prevention of symptomatic urinary tract infections in women.” There is not a single drug on the market that can come close to doing all of that.
With each passing year, research provides evidence that many natural foods make profound but previously unknown contributions to prevention, treatment and promoting human health. The 2010 Practice Analysis of Chiropractic reported that over 94% of chiropractors give dietary or nutritional advice to their patients. In view of the growing body of evidence supporting the therapeutic and preventive properties of blueberries, they should be considered as a dietary recommendation for many chiropractic patients.
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