What do apples, blueberries and prunes have in common? If you guessed that they are all fruits you would be correct. However, that would only be scratching the surface. The fact is that studies consistently confirm the benefits of eating a variety of fruit daily. These benefits include better blood profiles, increased bone density and a strong defense against obesity.
Recently a study out of the Texas Women's University looked at whether blueberries with their high polyphenol content could help in fighting obesity. Blueberries after all have already been cited as having positive health effects on other conditions like cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome. The results were positive.
Co-authors Dian Griesel, Ph.D. and Tom Griesel, of the new book, TurboCharged: Accelerate Your Fat Burning Metabolism, Get Lean Fast and Leave Diet and Exercise Rules in the Dust (BSH, 2011) propose a significant amount of fruit in the diet. They even recommend sometimes days of just fruit. "Fruits which are so commonly restricted in most "weight-loss" diets and lacking in most everyday diets are essential for optimal health along with plenty of fresh vegetables, nuts, seeds, and animal proteins like meat, fish, eggs and cheese," say the Griesels. "The plethora of benefits delivered by fruit will continue to be proven in scientific studies."
Another current study on apples by Professor Bahram Arjmandi, PhD, a nutritionist at Florida State University showed how apple consumption lowered LDL cholesterol by an amazing 23% while raising HDL by about 4%. If this is not enough to reason to start your apple binge, consider this: The apple eating women in this study also ended up with lower levels of two other biomarkers linked to heart disease: hydroperoxide and C-reactive protein. The women were instructed to consume the dried apples in addition to their regular diet. Guess what? Not only did they not gain any weight from the extra 240 calories per day, they actually lost an average of 3.3 pounds. "Incredible changes in the apple-eating women happened by six months. I never expected apple consumption to reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) to this extent while increasing HDL," said professor Arjmandi.
Tom Griesel says, "As fruits are always lumped into the 'carb' category they get a very unfair rap and are too often eliminated from diets. This is convenient for manufacturers, but detrimental to our health and well being. A piece of fruit provides lots of nutrition, easy take-along packaging and natural water."
For 18 years, Dr. Arjmandi has studied how our bodies react to certain foods. In 2009 he released results from another study using prunes which showed that eating about 10 per day had a positive effect on bone mass. He said, "I have never seen anything this consistent that not only prevents bone loss but increases bone mass. It's a miracle food." He had previously looked at growth hormone, raisins, dates, blueberries and more for bone building capability but prunes out-performed all of them.
All this fruit information is not new. A landmark study published in the medical journal, Nutrition and Cancer (Nutr. Cancer 1992; 18:1-29), surveyed 156 cancer studies and found that of those studies, 128 showed a protective effect from eating fruits and vegetables.
"It may take awhile for fruit to regain its rightful position as a healthy, popular food, but its nutrition value cannot be denied" says Dian Griesel, Ph.D. "Our advice: Take control of your own health. Start eating fruit salad for breakfast, lunch and dinner along with fruit snacks in between! This simple step will help elevate moods, spirits, improve key biomarkers and certainly elevate absorbable nutrient intake."