Thursday, February 28, 2013

Dr. Fuhrman's nutrient-packed "Skinny Shake"

Strawberries and pomegranate help to regulate your blood sugar and fill you up without packing on the pounds. Enjoy this summer treat from Dr. Fuhrman as a shake or make popsicles by pouring it into paper cups and popping them in the freezer.

Antioxidant phytochemicals:
  • Anthocyanins (the most abundant antioxidants in berries) provide antioxidant protection on their own, plus they increase the production of cells’ own antioxidant enzymes. A 1.5 cup serving of strawberries increased antioxidant capacity in the blood of human subjects, building protection against oxidative damage.
  • Pomegranate contains a unique antioxidant called punicalagin; it is the most abundant antioxidant in pomegranate, responsible for more than half of the antioxidant activity of pomegranate juice. Pomegranate juice has been found to reduce oxidative stress markers in healthy humans.
  • Ellagic acid, an antioxidant derived from berries and pomegranate interacts with a protein called Nrf-2 to increase expression of the body’s natural detoxification enzymes.
Anti-cancer effects:
  • Strawberry and pomegranate extracts slowed cell growth and induced cell death in human cancer cells from several cancer types.
  • Pomegranate and strawberries are both anti-angiogenic – strawberry extracts help to prevent growing tumors from acquiring a blood supply – preventing those tumors from receiving the nutrients that would allow them to grow larger.
  • Pomegranate is one of the few foods (mushrooms are another) that contain natural aromatase inhibitors – this means that they inhibit the production of estrogen, which can reduce breast cancer risk.
  • Strawberries and pomegranate have anti-inflammatory effects that may protect against cancer and other chronic diseases.
  • Patients with precancerous esophageal lesions ate strawberries each day for six months. The results were amazing – 29 out of the 36 patients in the study experienced a decrease in the histological grade of their lesion – this means that the progression toward cancer began to reverse, and the risk of the lesions becoming cancerous had decreased.
Cardioprotective effects:
  • Higher strawberry intake is associated with reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
  • Human trials have found that daily consumption of strawberries decreases total and LDL cholesterol, and pomegranate phytochemicals reduce LDL oxidation (a contributor to atherosclerotic plaque development).
  • Strawberry and pomegranate phytochemicals have blood pressure-reducing properties.
  • In a study of patients with severe carotid artery blockages, after one ounce of pomegranate juice daily for one year, there was a 30 percent reduction in atherosclerotic plaque. In striking contrast, in the participants who did not take the pomegranate juice atherosclerotic plaque increased by 9 percent.
Anti-diabetes effects:
  • Strawberry and pomegranate phytochemicals have actions on certain digestive enzymes that can result in reduced glucose levels following a meal.
  • Ellagic acid, which can be derived from berries or pomegranate, reduced secretion by fat cells of an inflammatory molecule that is thought to contribute to insulin resistance.
  • Adding strawberries to a meal was shown to reduce the insulin response in overweight adults.

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