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Originally published July 26 2004

Blueberries, cranberries, strawberries all contain powerful phytochemicals that fight cancer, heart disease, high cholesterol and more

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

Here's more good news on how nature can help you prevent and reverse chronic disease. Berries such as blueberries, cranberries, strawberries and raspberries are rich in disease-fighting phytochemicals that prevent and even reverse serious diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stomach ulcers and even help lower cholesterol levels. The key is to be eating these berries in their raw, whole fruit form rather than trying to eat processed berries or drink fruit drinks made from berries. In order to get the healing phytonutrients, you must get the berries in the freshest form possible -- that means no processed berries, just raw berries, right off the bush or straight from the grocery store.

What is so interesting about these berries is why are they such powerful disease fighters. Berries contain a variety of phytochemicals and antioxidants -- many of these are what give the plants their color but they also add a sense of flavor to the berries. These phytonutrients are extremely powerful compounds for supporting optimum human health; in fact they are far more powerful than any pharmaceutical in terms of providing healthy benefits without dangerous side effects.

Plants are pharmaceutical factories, but unlike human-built pharmaceutical factories, when edible plants create healing phytochemicals they are precisely the compounds that your body needs to be healthy, and they are available without the negative side effects that are frequently associated with prescription drugs. Compared to other fruit sources, berries offer the highest content of antioxidants and phytochemicals for fighting disease. Berries are also rich in many vitamins and minerals, including calcium, magnesium and zinc -- minerals that are frequently deficient in the diets of most Americans.

Now let's take a closer look at the different berries and discuss what's so good about them. Blueberries are perhaps the most powerful berries in terms of antioxidant content: they are high in flavonoids and are known to help protect against prostate cancer, urinary tract infections and cataracts. They are also known to protect against brain damage from strokes and heart disease.

Cranberries are perhaps best known for preventing urinary tract infections, but they have also been shown to prevent breast cancer and reduce stomach ulcers. Cranberries can also be used to help decrease LDL cholesterol levels.

Strawberries are high in antioxidants and vitamin C. They are known to fight heart disease and provide a number of vitamins and minerals that support overall human health.

Raspberries are known for their ability to fight cancer thanks to the phytochemical content and abundant supply of vitamins and minerals. The bottom line is that berries can be an extremely powerful disease-fighting part of your daily diet. Simply choose a variety of berries -- blue, red, and purple -- and be sure to get them into your body on a frequent basis (at least a couple of times each week.) Remember, nature provides everything that your body needs in order to be healthy and prevent chronic disease, but you have to trust nature in order to experience a disease-free life. To do that it's important to give your body the optimum nutrition provided by the fruits and vegetables found in nature... these include not only the berries that have been discussed in this article but also vegetables like broccoli, garlic, ginger, carrots, cabbage and onions.

There exists a dietary system that suggests we should eat a variety of food colors, and this makes a lot of sense from a nutritional standpoint -- as long as you are eating foods that are colored naturally and not colored with artificial colors. It's a fantastic idea to eat a little bit of orange, a little bit of green, a little bit of blue and so on in order to get all of the phytochemicals and antioxidants that your body needs. Attention to the color of foods is especially noted in Asian cultures, where foods are prepared with particular attention to their color content and sometimes food ingredients are added merely for their colors.

In the American diet, however, we tend to eat foods primarily based on their taste, not necessarily on their color. And when we choose foods based on colors, it's typically the colors provided by chemical additives such as sodium nitrite or artificial colors such as FD&C yellow number 2. In reality, these colors are only added by food manufacturers in an effort to trick human consumers into believing their foods are fresh or healthy. In fact there is a strong correlation between the perceived colors of foods and drinks and your body's desire for them. That's because in nature, foods with strong saturated colors such as berries are extremely good for you, so the body possesses a built in wisdom to choose foods that have deep, rich, saturated colors.

Pay attention to this innate desire by choosing foods with these colors (and that includes berries and vegetables I have already discussed), but don't let food manufacturing companies fool you into purchasing their products by simply adding artificial colors or printing pretty packaging that shows highly saturated colors for a food item. That's a deception. One of the best examples of this is the sports drinks that look neon red or neon green. This is a consumer deception: the color is simply added as a chemical and has nothing whatsoever to do with the nutritional content of such drinks.


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