Fruit for Thought

Fruit For Thought

Fruit For Thought

The benefits of eating organic are obvious: fewer toxic chemicals building up in our bodies. It is a fact that we all have pesticides and plastics in our bodies–babies are born with 232 chemicals in their umbilical cord blood. But the question is how many chemicals can we tolerate before they affect our health.

A recent study  showed that fruit flies who dined on organic bananas and  potatoes were much more fertile, and lived longer than their unlucky cousins who were given non-organic foods.

It’s not always easy to buy organic–it is often more expensive and your nearest grocery store may not stock a lot of items, and one study indicated that organic fruits and vegetable are not necessarily higher in nutrients. However,even though I would like any fruit flies in my kitchen to die young and have few offspring, this study inspires me to think about how vigilant I want to be about buying organic.

Berry Good News

photoA study published in the the American Heart Associations’s journal  Circulation, has revealed that women who consume at least three servings per week of blueberries or strawberries per week have a 30% reduced risk of a heart attack. While it is not new news that berries are good for us, it is good to hear it confirmed (especially at the cost of berries). I like this research for two reasons. One, the subjects were young women (in many studies the subjects were men) and two, the researchers “controlled” for variables such as weight, exercise, family history, blood pressure, caffeine and alcohol intake.

It is believed that the active ingredient in the berries is anthocyanin, the researchers caution that it is not possible to know for sure which of the many components of a blueberry is the one responsible for the good effects. It could be another component, or all of them. So eat whole foods, not dietary supplements !

Other good news: research has indicated that the nutrients in blueberries are fairly well preserved in the freezing process.

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Green Tea What?

I just returned from ten days in Japan where I enjoyed REALLY GOOD green tea, properly brewed from high quality tea leaves. Previous to my visit, I was not aware of how green tea has morphed into so many products—green tea cookies, green tea bread, green tea ice cream, green tea fondue, etc.

Most people are familiar with the fact that green tea can be good for our health because it contains anti-oxidants . These anti-oxidants scoop up the waste products of cells that are  harmful to health. These waste products include dead cells, extra cholesterol,etc.

This is a good thing of course, but there are some facts that consumers should know.

Green tea is relatively high in caffeine, and can therefore raise blood pressure, keep us awake at night, and can stimulate the nervous system causing tremors or headaches. It can also cause stomach upset in sensitive people as caffeine stimulates stomach acid.

While the anti-oxidants  effects are good for people struggling with infertility, the vaso-constriction action of caffeine could be detrimental to an early pregnancy. That is, in theory, as the capillaries constrict in response to the caffeine, the blood supply to a baby embryo could be compromised.

So if you are trending up in your blood pressure, have problems getting to sleep, or are actively trying to conceive, brew your tea on the weak side, and limit yourself to just a couple of cups per day.