Why you should be eating more cherries.

I love CHERRIES   and,…………….

cherriesthe best news is that they are bursting with nutrition and are good for us !

So, it came as a very welcome news to me that these little red things are extremely healthy to eat.

The red colour comes from anthocyanin, an antioxidant that helps to ease aching joints. Cherries also lowers uric acid levels as well as  reduces C-reactive protein. Which plays a role in gout and arthritis. As a result cherries juice may also help for post-workout pain, according to a 2010 Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition study.  It seems that the antioxidants in cherries protect us against attacks by exercise-induced free radicals, which in turn leads to painful post exercise inflammation.
It seems that calories ingested from carbohydrates, might be neutralized by  cherries and the body gains less weight and body fat, because, the anthocyanins in cherries stimulates fat burning and decreases fat storage.

Another ingredient, quercetin, a favonoid, is anti-carcinogenic and protects your colon against cancer.

Pectin is another ingredient of the soluble fibers and that protects your heart, by lowering the bad (LDL) cholesterol

The beta-carotene content is very high and that protects your eye sight and skin

Cherries are one of very few fruits that contain melatonin. This improves your sleep pattern. Cherries are one of nature’s few sources of melatonin, that makes us sleep. When study volunteers drank an ounce of tart cherry juice concentrate in the morning and again at night, they slept more soundly. Even better:  melatonin in cherry juice is very well absorbed and is utilized by the body and provides an effect that equals melatonin supplements.

Cherries are one of the very low calorie fruits and are rich in phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals.  Cherries are rich in pigments, which are are polyphenolic flavonoid compounds also known as anthocyanin glycosides. Anthocyanins are red, purple and blue pigment found in many fruits and vegetables. Cherries are also a small source of zinc; iron, potassium, manganese, and copper.  Furthermore they are also very rich in  flavonoid poly phenolic anti-oxidants such as lutein, zea-xanthin and beta carotene. These in turn protects us against  harmful free radicals that play a role in macular degeneration of our eyes.

So, be happy, go shopping and eat as many cherries as you like ………. IT’S GOOD FOR YOU !!

 

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AREDS study, unbiased?

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The AREDS study was run over a period of 10 years, involving 3,640 patents. After that followed the AREDS2 study for another 5 year period.

The results of these studies were regarded as the holy grail as far as nutritional supplements for our eyes were concerned.

However, there are more and more claims being made about the validity of many of the results, since many of the funders, patent holders and researchers might not have been as un-biased as we perceived them to be. The problem is that so much of science and research, is backed by undeclared conflicts of interest. Which, up to a point is acceptable, because someone has to fund the research. The warning flags go up when it becomes known that patents and certain conclusions were put in place long before the study was concluded and in some instances even before the study had started. Many academics raised their concerns about the validity of claims made by some manufacturers of supplements based on the outcome of the AREDS study.

The companies manufacturing the supplements are all aggressively marketing their supplement products to the not-so well informed, trusting, gullible public, because most vitamins and nutrients are not only ubiquitous in nature, they are also easily obtained from well balanced diets.  The AREDS study also showed that patients with certain genetic dispositions were harmed by some of the ingredients in the commercial formulas, such as Zinc. There is also evidence that the supplemental drinking of Vitamin E and even Vitamin C, over and above a balanced diet can be harmfull to many individuals. It seems that the AREDS research might have been poorly conducted and reported in an even worse, low scientific standard.

The herbal supplement market world-wide is huge and to a large extent un-regulated. To market herbal products, the manufacturer doesn’t have to provide proof, as with registered medicines, that the product works. Most of them get away with statements like “as used by indigenous populations” or “historically is has been said” that their product works. Then, the next big question arises. How do we know what the ingredients of the capsule or tablet is and does it contain the correct herbal species at the correct concentration? As in food products, many might not even contain any of the correct ingredients. The AREDS study was not about herbal products, but, in many instances vitamins, minerals and herbs are all grouped in the same semi- to un- regulated multi billion dollar market, in which there are many unscrupulous manufacturers.

As for eye patients, those burdened with the diagnosis of AMD, tend to clutch to every straw of hope. Many end up spending vast amounts of money on supplements, in the false hope and in some cases even the worsening of their vision as a result of over enthusiastic marketing campaigns. In many instances they could have had similar or even better results by eating well balanced meals. Or, in the least, not caused or aggravated any conditions by adhering to a healthy, well balanced diet.

 

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