The Diverse Benefits of The Brilliant Blueberry

brilliant blueberry

One of the most popular summer treats everybody enjoys eating is blueberries. It’s a sweet and succulent fruit which contains a lot of nutrients. It’s usually eaten freshly picked but most people also enjoy incorporating it into various dishes. Anthocyanin is a type of flavonoid which can be found in this fruit. It is what causes blueberries, raspberries and cranberries to appear purple with some blue hues. Not only does anthocyanin make these fruits look pretty, it’s also the main source of its amazing health benefits.

An increased consumption of fruits which come from plants have been long been popular for their healing properties. They effectively decrease the risk of diabetes, heart disease and obesity. It’s also known to promote a healthy complexion and helps to increase energy levels. Let’s discuss some of the most popular Health Benefits of Blueberries.

Nutrients

Blueberries contain calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, manganese and Vitamin K. The combination of these ingredients improves bone structure and increases its strength. In order to maintain the elasticity of joints and bones, our body needs zinc and iron. People who don’t have the right amount of Vitamin K in their system are more prone to having bone fractures. Those who incorporate it in their daily food intake have improved calcium absorption and reduced calcium loss.

In order for people to maintain low blood pressure, it’s important to maintain a low sodium diet. The best thing about blueberries is that they don’t contain any sodium at all. On the other hand, it contains magnesium, potassium, and calcium which are all effective in lowering blood pressure.

High Fiber Content

People who suffer from diabetes will benefit from blueberries’ natural nutrients. Those who have type 1 diabetes are required to consume high fiber diets to lower their blood glucose level. Those who have type 2 diabetes need an increased intake of high fiber foods to improve their blood sugar, insulin levels and lipids. By taking one cup of blueberries, a person can already get as much as 3.6 grams of fiber.

According to the Dietary Guidelines of Americans, the recommended daily fiber intake for women is 21-25 grams while men need 30-38 grams per day. One of the most amazing qualities of this nutritious fruit is preventing heart disease. It improves the heart’s overall functions because it contains Vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and Vitamin B6. Blueberries are also cholesterol free.

Fiber ensures that the blood’s total amount of cholesterol is lowered down to prevent heart disease. Folate and Vitamin B6 work together to prevent homocysteine from building up. This is because excessive amounts of this compound damages blood vessels.

Heart Health

The Harvard School of Public Health conducted a recent study regarding heart attacks. The study revealed that regular consumption of anthocyanins effectively reduces the risk of heart problems by approximately 32% in both young and middle aged women. According to nutrition professor Aedin Cassidy PhD, those women who had at least 3 servings of strawberries or blueberries are the least prone to develop heart disease.

Cancer Prevention

Cancer is one of the world’s leading diseases which happens to thousands of people all over the world. Researchers are constantly finding the best cure by formulating advancements in medicine. What most people don’t know is that blueberries have natural properties which are effective in fighting cancer. It helps protect cells in the body since it has Vitamins A and C as well as various phytonutrients.

By working together, these ingredients helps prevent or ward off cancer. It can also decrease inflammation and inhibit tumor growth. Because blueberries contain folate, it prevents the formation of cancer cells which usually comes from mutations in the DNA. Folate plays a very important role in the synthesis and repair of DNA.

Brain Health

Blueberries also reduces the risk of cognitive damage in the body. It helps improve motor coordination and short term memory loss. Another factor worth noting is that a daily intake of this fruit reduces the risk of Parkinson’s disease which is a neurodegenerative disorder. It occurs when cells located in parts of the brain die.

Healthy Digestion

Another amazing benefit of blueberries is promoting healthy digestion. The fruit has very high fiber content which helps maintain a healthy digestive tract. Dietary fiber is popularly known for being an essential factor to have successful weight loss results. It works as a bulking agent in the digestive system. Food which contains high fiber has been proven to reduce appetite and increase satiety. This means that you will feel fuller for a longer period of time. As a result, blueberries helps lower down your overall calorie intake which makes you healthier.

Blueberry Juice

Blueberries make a great addition to your juicing recipes as well and you can still take advantage of the benefits of blueberry juice even without the fiber content. Their slightly sweet and tart taste can give a boost to other bland ingredients. Juicing is also an easy an convenient way to get more of this power packed fruit into your daily diet.

Healthy Cooking Oil Alternatives

If you want to live a healthy life, then you should pay attention to the oil you use for cooking. Have you ever thought about the effect the oils you use on your food have on your general health? Using saturated animal fat and other types of highly refined oils is a major cause of obesity and increased cholesterol. Some of the healthiest oils you can use for cooking are:

Extra Virgin Coconut oil (EVCO)

This oil is rich in fatty acids (lauric acid) which helps in lowering cholesterol levels. Research also indicates that coconut oil increases metabolism, and can help you lose weight if used in the right proportions.
Another reason why you should consider using EVCO is the fact that it has a long shelf life. It can take several months or even up to two years without going rancid.
Since it can sustain high heat cooking, you can use it effectively in diverse recipes. It adds flavor to foods, especially baked products.

Ghee

Also known as clarified butter, ghee comes with a lot of health benefits. It is rich in vitamin A, D and K and it also has traces of calcium and other minerals. Ghee is made by removing milk solids, so if you have lactose intolerance, you can still use it. You will have to consult with your doctor though to confirm if it is safe for you to take it.

It is one of the oils with the highest heating points, and some people find the aroma in ghee very pleasing, especially on vegetable dishes.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

Olive oil is rich in antioxidants that protect your body against diseases caused by free radicals. It promotes a healthy heart by introducing good cholesterol in your system and lowering bad cholesterol. Some people suffering from arthritis find that when they use olive oil, their joint pains reduce significantly. This can be attributed to the anti-inflammatory properties of this oil.
You should use it mainly for your cold dishes such as salad dressing. This is because olive oil tend to oxidize when exposed to elements such as too much heat and light. However, you can still maintain all the necessary nutrients if you use it on dishes that require low heat.

Palm Oil

This oil is made up of saturated and monounsaturated oils. It is rich in vitamins, Co-enzyme Q10 and other nutrients needed in the body. It has a high heating point, so you can use it for most of your cooking that require high heat.

The best type to of palm oil to use is the unrefined red palm oil because it gives maximum nutrients.
However, there have been controversies surrounding the use of palm oil because growing of palm trees have led to degradation of rain forests and endangered tree species. There are still responsible farmers who grow and harvest their trees responsibly, so you can search and buy from them.

Avocado Oil

It is rich in monounsaturated fats and also provides vitamin E and other nutrients. It also has antioxidants that give a wide range of health benefits. It can withstand high heat, so it is suitable for different cooking methods that need heat. It can also be used effectively in cold dishes.

Sesame Oil

It is derived from the tiny sesame nuts and it contains high amounts of polyunsaturated fats. The nutrients found in sesame oil includes:Calcium, copper, magnesium, vitamin B6 and iron. It works well in marinating foods, and in stir fried vegetables. There are two varieties, the light sesame oil which is mostly untoasted, and the dark toasted one that comes in a strong nutty aroma.

This oil can be mildly heated because it has a lower smoking point.

Canola Oil

This is one of the most healthy oils you can use for your cooking. It contains the lowest saturated fats compared to other oils and it is very rich in monounsaturated fats. It is a good source of omega 3 fatty acids, and has been linked with reducing heart diseases. It also provides Vitamin A and E in the body.

Due to the fact that it has a neutral flavor and relatively high heating point, it is suitable for most dishes that require oil.

Another reason why you should consider using these oils is the health benefits they have on your hair and skin. Not only are they a good source of nutrients in your food, but you can also apply them topically on your skin and hair for beauty purposes.

Safely Exercising With Your Pooch

Training with your dog can be rewarding for both owner and pooch. Dogs love to run and it can be a great way to burn off some of their energy that can make them a handful indoors. Daily exercise is just as important for them as it is for you. However, if you have never tried running with your pup before then it is important to ease them into. Below are some tips and precautions to get your trusty companion ready for the road and help make the experience as safe as possible for the both of you.

Is Your Dog Suitable For Long Running

Before you hook them up to the leash and go bolting out the door it is important to figure out if your dog will be able to handle the rigors of running. Some dogs are just meant for a fast pace and it can do more damage than good if you are not careful.

Size

How big is your dog? Little dogs with short legs are probably not going to last very long on a run. For every one stride that you take, it may take them five to ten. Shorter dogs are not going to be very good companions for a training session for this reason.

Age and Hip Issues

Even though your dog may be bigger and more adept for running longer distances, their age and their predisposition to hip ailments may end up limiting them. Older dogs may benefit from longer walks rather than sustained running as they can tire out sooner. Also there are certain breeds that are prone to a condition called hip dysplasia, and running may not be recommended.

The best course of action is always to check with your vet to get their opinion on training with your dog and get their okay first. Better safe than sorry.

Precautions

If your vet gives their seal of approval you can move on to getting out their together. Below are some tips for safe and healthy transition to running for your little buddy.

Start Slow

If your dog has never been out there with you then it is wise not to rush into a full out run. Just like you would not take an inexperienced human friend out there with you and expect them to keep up, your four legged partner will need some time to build up their stamina.

Start with long walks first. Not only does this help getting them used to being on the leash, it also helps their paws build up their padding. Fast running on hard surfaces is tough on the bottom of their paws so building up the equivalent of a callous will benefit them in the long term. Slow walks will also help you teach them leash control and how they should behave and what position you expect them to be in when they are out there with you. Having your dog aware of your pace and path will help ensure you will not trip over them when you start to pick up the pace. After a couple of weeks, you can start to add some sprints for a few yards to get them used to a faster pace and to see how they react.

Once you build up their fitness, gotten their paws acclimated to harder surfaces, and are confident in your leash control, then you can move on to longer sustained runs.

Always Keep An Eye On Them

Dogs can’t tell you “Hey, slow down a minute, please”. It is always key to look down and check on them and see how they are handling everything. Watch their gate to see if they are limping as well as their pace to see if they are waning. Especially on hot days, it you may need to stop a few times to let them catch their breath and make sure that they don’t get overheated.

Water

As a runner, you know how important this is, but for dogs it is just as vital. They can’t sweat and they are covered in fur, so you can imagine how hot it can get for them. Always take some water with you and share some with your dog if they seem to need it.

Time of Day

While early in the morning or later in the evening are often the best times to run because it is often cooler, it may have the added benefit of providing less distractions. If you are constantly running into traffic, people, or other dogs, it may be more of a hassle. Also keep in mind that dogs with large chests are prone to a severe condition called bloat. This can be deadly and one way to reduce to the risk of this is to make sure that they do not do intense exercise for at least an hour before and after eating.

Give Them Time Off

If you do a lot of running on concrete it is important to give them some days off as this can be extremely rough on a dog’s joints and paws. Give them time to recover, make sure their the pads of their feet are in good shape, especially in the beginning.

As you did when you first started running, a slow build up is the best way to avoid injury and to get the most out of your run. They same goes for you best furry friend. Even though they may not be able to keep the ideal pace at first, eventually they will get there. A well run dog is also a very happy and healthy dog, so get them out there with you when you can and they will thank you for it. Below is a video with some added tips for running with your dog.