(CARLSBAD, CA) – Variety is not only the spice of life; it may just save your life! That’s because people who eat a wider variety of fruits and vegetables have significantly increased health benefits, according to a study published by Colorado State University.
There are no forbidden fruits when it comes to maximizing the amount of life-saving antioxidants in your body. Yet, while most of us daily enjoy an apple or banana, dozens of choices are sometimes ignored altogether. Among the most notable of these choices are antioxidant-rich power fruits that do everything from fighting cancer to staving off memory loss.
- Blueberries – The U.S. Department of Agriculture ranks blueberries number one in antioxidants. In fact, just one cup of blueberries packs 13,427 antioxidants, which fight harmful free radicals in your body. These championship berries are also directly linked to better cognitive and memory function, according to the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging. When filling your grocery cart, go for wild blueberries, which generally pack more of a punch than other versions. And if you grow weary of blueberries on a daily basis, remember that cranberries, blackberries, and raspberries also get top billing on the USDA antioxidant list.
- Strawberries – While strawberry shortcake isn’t typically viewed as a health food, you may have reason to indulge once in a while. Strawberries actually have more vitamin C than oranges. These tasty treats also boast a high level of antioxidants that are helpful in reducing cell damage related to cancer. In fact, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences recently showed that strawberries slow progression of both breast and colon cancers. Jazzercise Founder and CEO Judi Sheppard Missett recommends tossing a few strawberries into your smoothie or yogurt to add both antioxidants and colorful flavor to your daily diet.
- Tomatoes – The most frequently asked question about tomatoes, besides pronunciation (Is it “to-may-to” or “to-mah-to”?), is the age-old debate about its status as a fruit or vegetable. Regardless of its category, tomatoes are packed with a substance called lycopene. This powerful antioxidant not only protects heart health and encourages muscle recovery, but also protects against numerous forms of cancer. Harvard University researchers recently produced 57 studies that demonstrate lycopene-rich tomatoes protect the human body against cancer.
- Mangosteen – It looks like popping ibuprofen is not the only means to stop inflammatory pain. The lesser-known powerhouse fruit called mangosteen has recently made headlines for its anti-inflammatory benefits. Mangosteen, a dark purple fruit with white flesh, generally grows to the size of a tangerine and tastes like a cross between a grape and a strawberry. While it’s been used for hundreds of years by natural healers throughout Southeast Asia, the mangosteen fruit is just recently making its debut as a healthy giant in the United States. Patients with fibromyalgia and arthritis report reduced symptoms with an increased intake of mangosteen.
So, toss in a few new fruits into your grocery cart this week. You may just find that the antioxidant-rich powerhouse you’ve been neglecting is also a rather tasty treat.
Jazzercise, created by Judi Sheppard Missett, is the world's leading dance-fitness program with more than 7,500 instructors teaching 32,000 classes weekly in the U.S. and around the globe. Since 1969, millions of people of all ages and fitness levels have reaped the benefits of this comprehensive program, designed to enhance cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility. For more information on Jazzercise go to jazzercise.com or call (800)FIT-IS-IT or (760)476-1750.