(ARA) - Eating healthy is fast becoming a way of life. Studies show Americans are living longer and enjoying more active lifestyles. Due to advances in food technology, we are only just beginning to discover the health secrets Mother Nature placed in simple everyday fruit. In fact, in early 2005, the U.S.D.A. revealed the updated version of the food pyramid that suggests five to nine daily servings of fruit and vegetables.
As daily consumption of fruit is fast being recognized as a vital component to maintaining a healthy body and enjoying an active lifestyle, it makes sense to understand the "science" behind the health benefits of fruit. Recent studies have indicated that the antioxidants in fruit provide a whole host of health benefits: the anti-aging power of blueberries and the joint pain relieving properties found in cherries are two.
The multitudes of health components found in fruit are truly a gift from Mother Nature. Here are a few everyday fruits for healthy living:
Cherries – The Supercharged Fruit:
Are cherries truly fruit for a healthy you? Recent studies have revealed that cherries afford an assortment of health benefits, including the ability to offer natural relief from joint pain caused from gout, arthritis and joint inflammation. Many are choosing to drink cherry juice, eat cherries or consume tart cherry dietary supplements to enjoy the natural benefits of this tiny red fruit.
Linda L. Patterson is a living testimony of the soothing affects of cherries. “I enjoy crocheting and lately my hands have been so painful, I couldn’t crochet for more than about 30 minutes,” says Patterson. In an attempt to find relief from her pain, a friend recommended Fruit Advantage Tart Cherry, (www.fruitadvantage.com) a dietary supplement made from red tart cherries. “Within the first week of taking the tart cherry capsules, my hands felt so much better,” says Patterson. “I am now able to crochet without the pain in my hands.”
Blueberries – Nature’s Top Antioxidant Fruit:
Blueberries emerged as the top antioxidant capacity fruit in a laboratory testing procedure called ORAC - Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity developed by the USDA. ORAC has become the definitive measurement of antioxidant capacity.
James Joseph, Ph.D and chief of the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging in Boston, is working with blueberries to examine their potential to help improve motor skills and reverse the short-term memory loss that comes with aging.
"The blueberry has emerged as a very powerful food in the aging battle," said Joseph. "Given the possibility that blueberries may reverse short-term memory loss and forestall other effects of aging, their potential may be very great."
Terry Johnson, a resident of Grand Rapids, Mich., munches on dried blueberries for the convenience and taste. “I work behind a computer for eight hours a day and I like to snack. I began eating dried blueberries instead of a candy bar from the vending machine. Now I feel good when I snack because I am eating fruit instead of candy.”
Studies have shown that strawberries can help promote a healthy digestive system and may help lower cholesterol. A handful of strawberries can go a long way toward helping you maintain a healthy lifestyle.
The Michigan-based company Traverse Bay Farms www.traversebayfarms.com offers free shipping on all 3-pound orders of several types of dried fruit.
If you are interested in learning more about the natural health benefits behind simple everyday fruit, you can enjoy a relaxing stroll though the Orchard of Health www.orchardofhealth.com. Orchard of Health is the Internet’s first directory devoted exclusively to the natural health benefits of everyday fruit.
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