By Maryse IsmaSpecial to CSMS MagazineThe secret that makes the blueberry one of nature’s strongest antioxidant foods can be found in its deep purple-blue color. It is produced by natural dyes called anthocyanins, which are antioxidants that may help reduce your risk of cancer, arthritis, memory loss and other effects of aging. Several studies have shown that people with diets that are high in antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables can substantially increase the amount of antioxidant in their blood. Although strawberries, raspberries and cherries also contain anthocyanins, the level found in blueberries is among the highest of all pigments studied so far. Want a fun and easy way to get fit? Get on a bike. Cycling has numerous health benefits; among them is easier weight control. And because cycling is a weight-supported activity, it’s easier on the joints than some activities. Cycling is an especially good choice of exercise for people of all ages.
Fiber is important for you
Fiber is one of the most ingredients of a healthy diet, and one of the best ways to get it is by eating more fruit. Of the hundreds of plants foods that provide fiber, the luscious apricot is but one tasty example. Like most fruits, it fiber content is intensified when dried. (Of the 20-35 grams of fiber we need daily, three fresh apricots provides almost two grams, while three and one half ounces of dried apricots provides, nearly eight grams.) Fiber is essential tract health, and some forms even help to lower LDL-cholesterol levels. While many people appreciate the spiritual benefits, they may not realize that it is as good for the body as it is for the soul. Carrying garden tools and supplies helps build muscle. Squatting strengthens lower legs and hips, while digging strengthens the arms and upper body. Your skin soaks in sunshine to help it produce vitamins D, and you steadily burn calories. The bottom line? Gardening, like all exercise, may help reduce heart disease risk and high blood pressure. And for people with diabetes, it can help control blood levels and weight.Also see The Blood Pressure-Banana Connection