Blueberries Don't Get Sunburns... Growing Evidence Shows that Certain Fruits May Play a Major Role in Stopping Cellular Damage

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The role of flavonoids in certain fruits may play an active role in stopping cellular damage.

It's meeting a need in the market for people either too busy or too stressed to find all the different fruits and vegetables research shows they should be consuming each day. I'm hoping it makes a real difference in the health of many Americans.

While physicians, and especially dermatologists, routinely warn us to stay out of direct sunlight for more 15 minutes without a high SPF sunscreen, more and more interest is developing in how certain fruits and vegetables thrive in the same sunlight with no adverse effect. And the secret may not be locked deep inside the fruit itself, but right on the surface.

The visible sun damage done to our bodies, as well as to the paint on our homes and cars, is due to a process called oxidation. This ongoing chemical exchange results in the loss of crucial electrons in our atoms, producing what is known as "free radicals". These scavengers then look to steal electrons from other atoms. The result is a chain reaction of electron stealing atoms which, over time, can damage the body's cellular structure.

But blueberries don't seem to have this problem.

That's because they are rich in naturally occurring antioxidants, according to Ron Slavick, founder of Allmera, a nutraceutical research and development company. "What more and more researchers are finding is that the bioflavonoids in certain fruit skins are natural fighters of oxidation." Slavick goes on to explain that these flavonoids contain spare electrons in their atomic structure that resupply the damaging free radicals with the missing electrons they need, thus stopping the destructive chain reaction.

The flavonoids were first isolated in the 1930s by Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Ph.D., the Nobel laureate who discovered vitamin C. Researchers have now identified over 4,000 of them in plants. The best dietary sources of these plant pigments come from fruits, teas and soy. The more colorful the fruit, the more likely it contains a high amount of flavonoids. That may explain how they are able to retain their bright colors.

Just how much of these fruits and vegetables we need to consume to realize their benefits is a matter of debate. The National Cancer Institute recommends seven servings a day for women and nine a day for men. And according to http://5aday.gov, "Only 4 percent of men say they eat the 9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day recommended as part of an active lifestyle." Women did not fair much better with only 19% getting their recommended fruit and vegetable intake daily.

"That confirms our findings as well", states Slavick. "Men especially aren't getting the nutrients in their diets that hold some of the greatest promise for continued health." To counter this trend, Slavick's research team recently developed a bioflavonoid rich supplement made from extracts of grape seed, blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, pomegranates and green tea. "Our goal was to design an easy-to-take supplement that delivered the equivalent of six servings of fruits, while focusing on those foods highest in their antioxidant properties." The result was a two tablet a day product called Proleva. (http://Proleva.com)

"The initial anecdotal feedback we've received has been very positive", Slavick continues. "It's meeting a need in the market for people either too busy or too stressed to find all the different fruits and vegetables research shows they should be consuming each day. I'm hoping it makes a real difference in the health of many Americans."

With obesity, heart disease and certain cancer rates climbing, many health professionals share Slavick's desire to counter the effects of free radical damage on the human body. But if mother knows best, then Mother Nature has already found a way to protect her most colorful offspring just fine.

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