Blueberries Packed With Cancer-Fighting Nutrients
Posted June 6, 2002 4:53 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH, N.C. — Right now if you want fresh fruit, you have your pick. When it comes to cancer-fighting power, blueberries stand alone.
Blueberries do not just taste good, they are good for you. In fact, they are the No. 1 antioxidant. Each berry is packed with cancer-fighting nutrients.
Researchers said it is the blue pigment and other chemicals in blueberries that give them their power.
"It's the antioxidant that helps protect our bodies. Antioxidants actually work in our body to prevent the breakdown of cells," WRAL Health Team Nutritionist Lynn Hoggard said.
Hoggard said blueberries also protect against urinary tract infections and even protect memory.
"We know to expect a slow decline in memory loss as we age, but we know that antioxidants in blueberries help to delay that memory loss. That's good news," she said.
Fresh blueberries are best. Kristin Dwahr makes special trips to the market to buy them for her two children.
"I don't care if they eat a lot of them every day because they are so good for them. I know they have lots of vitamins and are some of the best things they can eat," she said.
Frozen blueberries are a good alternative, but do not count on getting blueberries from frozen waffles or muffins.
"Unless of course you make the muffins yourself and you're putting in whole fruit," Hoggard said.
You do not have to eat a lot of them. A half-cup or a cup a couple times a week is enough to reap the benefits. Blueberries are also fat-free and low in calories.