Longevity: 4 Superfruits for Health

(March, 2011) Tap the Power of Antiaging Antioxidants! Imagine a food so packed with nutritional benefits that it could be considered both a food and a medicine. While all fruits are healthful, four superfruits (increasingly available in natural products stores nationwide) deserve special attention. 1) Acai Berry, native to Brazil, has no shortage of health claims—thanks to its potent antioxidant activity. Research finds that freeze-dried acai powder can enter human cells in a fully functional form and perform an oxygen-quenching function—even at very low doses. This Amazonian palm berry is also a potential COX inhibitor, working to relieve inflammation and pain. 2) Goji Berry is another antioxidant superstar, stimulating glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) and superoxide dismutase (SOD)—critical to effective detox—in the body. One study indicates “. . . continued use beyond 30 days might help prevent or reduce free-radical related conditions.” Nutritionist David Wolfe finds “goji berries are perhaps the most nutritionally-rich berry-fruit on the planet,” with 19 amino acids, 21 or more trace minerals, several B vitamins, and potent antioxidants. A tonic adaptogen that invigorates the body while helping it deal with stress, goji berries boost immune function, improve vision, enhance the liver, and protect brain and heart health. As we grow older, the body produces less human growth hormone (HGH), but this “longevity fruit” helps stimulate HGH naturally. Asians have even considered goji berries a strong sexual tonic. 3) Mangosteen has traditionally been used in Southeast Asia for abdominal pain, dysentery, ulcers, and wounds. Now science is proving this fruit’s analgesic and anti-inflammatory benefits. A pilot study shows a mangosteen juice blend lowers levels of C-reactive protein (an inflammatory marker) in obese individuals—and even helps lower body mass index. Another mangosteen drink (also containing aloe vera, green tea, and multivitamins) demonstrates antioxidant benefits for up to four hours. A recent randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial finds another mangosteen beverage (with added vitamins and minerals) significantly enhances immune responses in healthy Chinese adults. And Thai research shows the ingredient, alpha-mangostin, to be more effective against oral yeast infections (or thrush) than the drugs Clotrimazole and Nystatin. 4) Noni, used in Polynesian healing for more than 2,000 years, has proven as effective for gout in modern research. In a study at the University of Illinois at Chicago, drinking one to four ounces daily of a proprietary drink (Tahitian Noni Juice) may protect DNA from cancer risk—even among heavy smokers. Noni juice also makes a useful base for lactic acid and other friendly bacteria in a probiotic beverage. Last but hardly least, noni juice pressed from leaves and used topically, helps reduce UVB-induced injuries to the skin. Did You Know? Goji berries contain more beta carotene than carrots and perhaps the highest concentration of vision-saving zeaxanthin of any natural superfood or herbal product on the market.

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