I am always amazed when foods are studied and researchers are able to tease out the specific biological active compounds that offer our body restorative nutrition. While we all know blueberries are healthy, it is intriguing to review the biochemical composition of exactly why it is healthy to our body. Blueberries contain a particular compound, pterostilbene, which is a potent antioxidant. The researchers induced cancer in rats and then fed 1/2 the group this particular phytochemical and saw 57% less cancer lesions develop in this group as opposed to the control group. This compound, Pterostilbene also reduced colonic cell proliferation and inhibited inflammation.
Pterostilbene is an antioxidant that is similar to resveratrol, an antioxidant identified in grapes and red wine that also is recognized for its anticancer properties. Pterostilbene also is found in grapes, but it is more abundant in blueberries, the researchers say. Although colon cancer etiology is not well understood, it is the second leading form of cancer in the US and it appears to have an inflammatory component as many cancers are revealing.
Take home message for our Sustainable High Performers, seems to be that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and grain can lower the risk of key diseases, in this case offer some protectino for colon cancer.
For me, this is wonderful news because my taste buds love blueberries and now my cells can benefit too!
by Patti Milligan
Director of Nutrition