Do Blueberries Hold The Key To Defeating Cancer?

Do Blueberries Hold The Key To Defeating Cancer?

It’s hard to believe but, not that many years ago, nutrition experts were telling people to save their calories and skip the blueberries because they had no nutritional value.

Fast forward a few decades and blueberries are now widely revered as a superfood.  In fact, investigators at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, studying the link between disease and nutrition, believe that eating just one cup of blueberries every day prevents cell damage linked to cancer

Uniquely American, blueberries are native to North America and are rarely found in Europe. They grow naturally in the woods and mountainous regions of the United States and Canada.

Blueberries are full of antioxidants and flavonoids that help prevent cell damage.  Antioxidants work by neutralizing free radicals, atoms that contain an odd number of electrons and are highly unstable.  Free radicals can cause the type of cellular damage that is a big factor in cancer development.   

Blueberries are rich in one particular type of flavonoid called anthocyanins.  These compounds are water soluble pigments that are red, violet or blue depending on their pH level.  Apples and blueberries both get their beautiful colors from anthocyanins. 

In plants, anthocyanins act as antioxidants and protect the plant from oxidative damage.  In cells, they perform a similar function. 

According to Laura Newton M.A.Ed., R.D., an associate professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences at the UAB and a licensed dietician who often works with cancer patients, many studies suggest that antioxidants like anthocyanins may help prevent the free-radical damage associated with cancer. 

But blueberries do even more.  They are also rich in vitamin C, which supports the immune system and can help the body to absorb iron.  An important consideration for cancer patients is that "vitamin C also helps to keep blood vessels firm, offering protection from bruising," Newton says.

Blueberries have such a reputation for health and healing that food companies are adding blueberries to lots of packaged products as an advertising hook.  But don’t be fooled by products with fake blueberries.

As with any fruit, blueberry juice and other processed products may contain some nutritional value but are often missing the soluble and insoluble fiber that blueberries provide.  They may also have added sugars or high fructose corn syrup, which actually feeds cancer and defeats the health benefits of the fruit.

Fresh, raw blueberries provide the most health benefits.  An average serving size of raw blueberries is one cup and contains about 80 calories.

For additional research on the health benefits of this remarkable berry explore the GreenMedInfo blueberry research page on the topic which covers 60 potential disease applicationsl, including triple negative breast cancer:

Abdominal Obesity (Midsection Fat) 2 1 select
Advanced Glycation End products (AGE) 10 1 select
Aging 9 5 select
Aging Skin 20 2 select
Aging: Brain 6 3 select
ALT: Elevated 10 1 select
Alzheimer's Disease 2 1 select
Atherosclerosis 2 1 select
Brain Inflammation 2 1 select
Brain: Microglial Activation 2 1 select
Breast Cancer 7 4 select
Breast Cancer: Bone Metastasis 1 1 select
Breast Cancer: Invasive Lobular Carcinoma (ILC) 1 1 select
Breast Cancer: Lung Metastasis 1 1 select
Breast Cancer: Metastatic 5 3 select
Breast Cancer: Triple Negative 4 2 select
C-Reactive Protein 10 1 select
Cancer Metastasis 3 2 select
Cardiovascular Diseases 10 1 select
Chemically-Induced Liver Damage 2 1 select
Cholesterol: Oxidation 1 1 select
Cognitive Decline/Dysfunction 2 1 select
Colon Cancer 3 2 select
Cryptosporidiosis 1 1 select
Diabetes Mellitus: Type 1 2 1 select
Diabetes Mellitus: Type 2 20 2 select
Diabetes: Skin 10 1 select
DNA damage 1 1 select
Estrogen Dominance 2 1 select
Estrogen Dysregulation: 2/4/16 hydroxyestrone ratios 2 1 select
Fatty Liver 2 1 select
GGT 10 1 select
Giardiasis 1 1 select
Hemangioendothelioma 2 1 select
Hemangioma 4 2 select
Hepatitis C 1 1 select
Heterocyclic Aromatic Amine Induced Toxicity 1 1 select
Hypertension 2 1 select
Inflammation 3 2 select
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases 2 1 select
Insulin Resistance 12 2 select
Liver Fibrosis 2 1 select
Low Immune Function: Exercise-Induced 10 1 select
Low Immune Function: Natural Killer Cells 10 1 select
Memory Disorders 2 1 select
Metabolic Syndrome X 13 3 select
Multiple Sclerosis 2 1 select
Neurodegenerative Diseases 6 3 select
Obesity 12 2 select
Osteoporosis 2 1 select
Oxidative Stress 5 3 select
Parkinson Disease 1 1 select
Peyronie's Disease 10 1 select
Protozoan Infections 1 1 select
Results for Liver Enzymes: Elevated AST 10 1 select
Retinal Degeneration: Light-Induced 1 1 select
Retinal Diseases 1 1 select
Skin Diseases 10 1 select
Vascular Neoplasm 2 1 select
Xenobiotic Exposures 1 1 select

 

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

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"Uniquely American???"



I don't believe the claim that blueberries are "uniquely American" (Reminds me a bit of the Americans who maintain that pizza is an American invention (!)) I live in Austria and have often found blueberries growing wild in the woods, I don't think that anybody can have especially exported them from America and planted them in various Austrian forests! In German they are called "Heidelbeeren" (or also, more rarely, "Blaubeeren"), in French "myrtilles", in Italian and in other European languages they also have a distinct name that is neither a borrowed foreign word, nor a translation. If they were "uniquely American" the American English word would have most likely been adopted as is into all languages, as is the case with cranberries, for example.

Rarity



The forests of Finland are full of blueberries. Last time i checked we are part of the EU.

Local blueberries.



You are so lucky to have access to local blueberries!

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