Tag Archives: Blueberries

Five Ways To Up the Resveratrol In your Diet

Woman reading a book and having red wine

You may have observed that wine is becoming a popular guest on morning celebrity talk shows. You may have seen Neil Patrick Harris chugging wine with Meredith Viera or Meredith Viera chugging wine with Ellen Degeneres or Hoda and Kathie Lee chugging wine with each other.

In the past decade or so, wine, especially red wine has received a lot of attention. It has been associated with heart health and health experts have even gone so far as to recommend moderate amounts of red wine as a part of a healthy diet. Because it straddles the border between edgy and safe, and because of its relatively low alcohol content, red wine seems to be the perfect drink of the morning talk show host. It says, “Look, we know how to have fun, but we do it responsibly.” I wonder if they know about resveratrol.

Red wine is perhaps the best-known source of resveratrol. Resveratrol is a member of a group of plant compounds called polyphenols. Polyphenols are known to have antioxidant properties which fight cancer and heart disease. But, perhaps resveratrol is most valued for its anti-aging properties and its potential to fight obesity. in a study on rodents, mice were split into two groups. One was fed a high-calorie diet and given resveratrol, the other was given a healthy diet, but no resveratrol. Not only did the resveratrol fed mice live longer, they were also protected from obesity-related health problem because, get this, Resveratrol mimics caloric restriction. (Give me some right now!!!)

Ok. Ok. Here are some ways you can up the resveratrol in your diet;

Blueberries on a wooden table

Blueberries
Although red grapes have significantly more, resveratrol is also present in blueberries along with antioxidants, dietary fiber, vitamins C and K and manganese.

Red Grapes
If alcohol isn’t your way to go, no problem. Red grapes don’t need to be fermented to have the antioxidant property. The skin of red grapes is loaded with resveratrol and also potassium, vitamin K, C, and B1. Remember, the Greek Gods ate these all the times, and they lived forever and looked pretty good doing it!

Peanut Butter
Who doesn’t love peanut butter? It goes with everything: apples, chocolate, celery, jelly, marshmallows, you name it! Peanut butter contains up to .13 mgs of resveratrol per cup and is also a great source of niacin and manganese.

Itadori Tea
You may have heard of this as a traditional herbal remedy used in Japan and China to combat strokes and heart disease. According to The Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, studies show that, “For people who do not consume alcohol, Itadori tea may be a suitable substitute for red wine.

Dark chocolate

Dark Chocolate
Oh, wow dark chocolate, peanut butter and red wine. Can this really all be good for you? In moderation. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants. iron, copper, manganese, and, you guessed it-resveratrol.

But, a word to the wise.

As tempting as it may be to raise a glass with your favorite tv personality, try to hold off drinking before noon.

Foods That Relieve Stress

The American Psychological Association reported that in 2010, 40% of Americans reported either overeating or eating unhealthy foods in direct response to stress. When you’re super stressed your cortisol levels rise and it is true that cramming your face full of cookies or chomping down on french fries can make you feel better initially because cortisol causes food cravings. Although your favorite ice cream may soothe you immediately, ultimately this will result in more negative feelings like irritability or mood swings on top of the stress you were trying to get rid of to begin with. But, when your cortisol levels tell you need something this second, there are foods that you can eat that can actually help you to relieve stress, feel calm and help you to feel focused and balanced so you can tackle stressful situations head-on.

Avocados

Avocados
Technically a fruit, avocados are often considered a source of fat, so it’s best to eat this stress-busting food in moderation. One of the potential problems when overindulging in unhealthy fats and sugars is more oxidative damage, and a substance, glutathione, in avocados specifically blocks the intestinal absorption of these fats. In addition to glutathione, avocados contain beta-carotene, lutein, folate and vitamins B and E. A serving of avocado is roughly ⅓ of the fruit and you can eat this is so many ways. Mash some with fresh chopped cilantro, onions and tomatoes and a squeeze of lime juice for a healthy, stripped-down guacamole or simply slice some thinly and add to your favorite sandwich.

Berries.

Berries
Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries…take your pick. Berries are an excellent source of vitamin C and a German study indicated that vitamin C is helpful in the fight against stress. In the study, researchers asked 120 participants to give a speech and then complete difficult mathematical problems. The participants who have been given vitamin C had lower blood pressure and cortisol levels (two indicators of stress) following these exercises than participants who had not been given vitamin C. Berries are delicious on their own, in healthy smoothies or on top of your favorite Greek yogurt.

Dark chocolate.

Dark Chocolate
You may have reached for chocolate before when you were feeling particularly stressed and ended up regretting doing so. This is most likely due to the variety of chocolate you decided to eat. Milk chocolate is loaded with extra sugar and it’s easy to polish off an entire bag of milk chocolate candies pretty quickly. The resulting sugar crash probably only made you feel worse. Good news, you can continue to eat chocolate during times of stress if you choose dark chocolate and enjoy it in moderation. Dark chocolate lowers your blood pressure, which leads to feelings of calm. Additionally, dark chocolate contains two important types of antioxidants, flavonoids and polyphenols, that are helpful to your overall health. Keep a few squares of dark chocolate in your purse or in a drawer at work and enjoy when you’re feeling particularly stressed. Remember that moderation is important, though it is easier to curb the amount of dark chocolate you eat because it is so rich tasting. Stick with dark chocolate that is 70% or more cacao to get the full stress relieving benefits of this sweet treat.

Reaching for food during periods of stress is a completely normal response in both men and women, but it often is done in an unhealthy manner. Training yourself to choose the right foods when you feel frazzled can help to reduce levels of stress, increase feelings of calm, help you feel energized and keep you focused so that you can meet your challenges head on.

What to Eat to Live Longer

You know that what food you choose to put into your body has a significant effect on your health. A carton of french fries will leave you tired and sluggish while a handful of almonds can re-energize and invigorate you. When it comes to living a long, healthy life, diet and exercise are often the most important components. If you want a diet full of life-extending foods, this list is exactly what you need. The five foods on this list are all backed by scientific research that indicate proven longevity.

Dark chocolate.

Dark Chocolate
A diet with chocolate? But of course. Dark chocolate is actually super beneficial to your health, but it must be dark chocolate with a cacao content of 70% or higher to provide these benefits. Dark chocolate is packed with antioxidant flavanoids known as flavanols. Flavanols improve blood flow and regulate cholesterol levels. Studies such as the one conducted by Penny Kris-Etherton, a professor of nutrition at Penn State University, indicate that individuals whose blood levels of flavanoids are high have a lowered risk of developing heart disease, lung cancer, type 2 diabetes, asthma and prostate cancer. While dark chocolate provides wonderful health benefits, gorging yourself on it will negate these effects. Just a one ounce serving of dark chocolate daily provides you with all the antioxidants you need to get these health perks.

Green salad

Dark, Leafy Greens
Salads have always been good for you, right? It depends. You know not to slather on fat-laden dressings, but what you make the salad with has a significant effect on the health of a salad. Dark leafy greens like kale and spinach contain high amounts of vitamins A and C, calcium and flavanoids. These greens also have important phytochemicals and just a one-cup serving of kale has 700% of your daily requirement of vitamin K. Research suggests that it is the high levels of vitamin K that provide one of the most amazing benefits of dark, leafy greens: the slowing down of age-related cognitive decline.

Chili peppers

Chili Peppers
Spice up, and lengthen your life by adding chili peppers to your diet. One huge (nearly 500,000 participants) Chinese study published in the BMJ 2015 journal discovered that spicy foods contribute to a lowered risk for all causes of premature death. Capsaicin, the molecule in peppers that creates the heat, is thought to be responsible for the life-extending benefits. The study concluded that those who ate spicy foods six to seven times each week had a 14% lower risk of premature death than those who chose to stay away from spice. If that seems excessive to you, simply eating spicy foods once or twice a week reduces the risk of premature death by 10%.

Pecan pie

Pecans
A Dutch study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology took place over 30 years found that eating nuts decreases mortality rates. The study included Dutch people who were between the ages of 55 and 69 who ate a small serving of nuts each day had lowered (23%) mortality rate than those that did not eat nuts. Almonds and walnuts are also excellent choices for you health, but pecans have a certain type of vitamin E (gamma-tocopherols) that lower LDL (the bad) cholesterol as well. When you decide to eat nuts, remember to practice moderation because of the high fat content.

Blueberries

Blueberries
The fact that blueberries are beneficial to your health should come as no surprise. Their soluble fiber lowers cholesterol, keeping your heart healthy and they are packed with antioxidants, such as resveratrol. One of these antioxidants, in particular, may decrease the rate of mental decline during the aging process. Anthocyanin is an antioxidant that supports muscle retention and healthy brain function. A recent study showed that women with a diet that included strawberries and blueberries had a slower rate of mental decline than those who skipped the berries.

Including these amazing foods into your healthy diet may indeed increase longevity. When it comes to dark chocolate and nuts, be aware of the serving sizes so you don’t counteract the health benefits. Enjoy a varied and nutritious diet by adding these five foods to your grocery list.

What Blueberries Can Do for Your Health

July is national blueberry month and to celebrate Vine Vera is giving you even more reasons to love this super fruit. When it comes to berry popularity in the United States, blueberries rank second in terms of consumption, and there is a good reason for that. These tasty little treats are not just a healthy snack, they also provide your body with multiple health benefits.

Blueberries in a basket on a wooden table.

Blueberries and Your Health
Blueberries contain anthocyanins, flavanoids and phenol compounds, all of which are aids in the fight against free radicals. These are also great for anti-inflammatory purposes. One of the phenol compounds in blueberries is resveratrol, which is our favorite antioxidant. Additionally, blueberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, which benefits both your skin and immune system. While blueberries help your body in many ways, we’ve chosen a few of the most awesome health benefits of blueberries to profile below.

Healthy Bones
You need strong, healthy bones to carry out nearly all of your daily tasks and the calcium provided by milk is not the only substance that contributes to bone health. Iron and zinc found in blueberries play a critical role in maintaining the strength and elasticity of both your bones and your joints. Other items found in blueberries that help keep your bones healthy and strong are:

  • Calcium
  • Manganese
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin K

Woman holding a bowl of blueberries

Heart Disease
Blueberries contain several things that help prevent heart disease, and they lack a major contributor to heart disease: cholesterol. Vitamins C and B6, fiber, potassium, folate and phytonutrient content, and the lack of cholesterol, all play a role in keeping heart disease away. The fiber is important because it decreases your blood pressure while vitamin B6 and folate work to prevent homocysteine buildup. When there is an accumulation of homocysteine, you are susceptible to blood vessel damage and heart problems.

Cancer
Because blueberries are packed with antioxidant such as vitamins A and C, resveratrol and other phytonutrients, they are helpful in the fight against free radical damage. Antioxidants also decrease any inflammation in your body and they help inhibit tumor growth. The folate contained in blueberries also contributes to DNA synthesis and repair. When getting a healthy amount of folate in your diet, such as from blueberries, you help prevent cancer cells from forming due to mutations in DNA.

Woman having blueberries from a bowl

Weight and Skin
If the above reasons aren’t enough to get you super excited for National Blueberry Month, these two may help. The antioxidants in blueberries, because of their power to fight free radicals, help protect your face from sun damage, environmental damage and signs of premature aging. In addition, the vitamin C in blueberries is essential to the production of collagen in your skin, which helps smooth out fine lines and wrinkles.

While eating a container of blueberries isn’t going to make you skinny, eating blueberries can help control your weight. Foods high in dietary fiber, like blueberries, help you to feel fuller for a longer period of time, which can help decrease your snacking.

Blueberries are delicious on their own, but there are so many ways you can incorporate these into your diet. Add a handful to your morning smoothie, toss some in with your salads or top your Greek yogurt with some blueberries. Celebrate National Blueberry Month with new and exciting ways to increase your intake of blueberries.