Health Benefits of Blueberries an Native North American Fruit

Introduction

Current trends are leaning heavily towards healthy and environmentally friendly foods. As a result more people are choosing to grow their own fruit and vegetables organically. Blueberries are one of the healthiest fruits you can eat and are also easy to grow organically.

Blueberries are native North American fruit. These little blue dynamos are wonder workers when it comes to your overall health. They are full of phytochemicals and flavonoids from Mother Nature. Blueberries are low in calories full of flavor and nutrients. They are anti-cancerous, can aid in night vision, delay aging, help in preventing plaque in the brain, help in cardiovascular protection. Blueberries are in the same family as azaleas, rhododendrons, cranberries and bilberries. Both of these berries are also native North American fruit.

North America’s earliest inhabitants treasured blueberries, which they gathered and used both fresh, dried and as an ingredient of other dishes. Valued as a flavoring and revered for their therapeutic benefits, they sustained and nourished health. They were one of the staples in the North American Indian’s diet.

Preventing cancer and reduce the effects of aging

In studies by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and researchers at the University of Illinois have reported on the health benefits from eating blueberries. The beneficial effects may include preventing cancer and reducing the effects of aging including the loss of memory and motor skills.

It has been documented that blueberries contain the highest antioxidant capacity of most fruits and vegetables that have been tested. Antioxidants neutralize the free radicals produced during metabolism, which can damage DNA molecules and lead to cancer. Blueberries also thwart environmental carcinogens, and protect against cardiovascular disease, and may put a stop to the effects of Alzheimer’s. The list of other health benefits include:

1) fight sun damage to skin

2) Neutralize free radicals which can affect diseases in the body

3) help reduce belly fat

4) Promote urinary tract health. The blueberry has power to fight urinary tract infections. A constituent found only in blueberry and cranberry juices inhibit bacteria from attaching to the bladder wall of the urinary track and help reduce infection.

5) restoring health of the central nervous system – Blueberries can help prevent and heal neurotic disorders by preventing degeneration and death of neurons, brain-cells and also by restoring health of the central nervous system.

6) Retard the effects of aging and loss of memory and motor skills.

7) beneficial for diabetics – Blueberry juice can be beneficial for diabetics. By improving glucose tolerance, blueberry juice could improve glucose absorption.

8) Help prevent cancer

9) Reduce the risk factors for cardiovascular disease

10) enhances memory and learning> -. A recent study reports that blueberry juice enhances memory and learning in older adults. A cup and a half of juice a day was suggested or you can eat the equivalent amount of fresh blueberries.. It also reported a reduction in blood sugar and symptoms of depression.

Grow your own

Choose blueberries that are organically grown to avoid the possibility of getting blueberries that may contain pesticides and herbicides ingesting pesticides. You can also grow your own in your yard on in containers on your patio to insure your blueberries are pesticide free. Avoid blueberries that are dull in color or are soft and runny in texture. Blueberries should be kept free from moisture because water will wash of their protective coating and cause the berries to decay. You can freeze blueberries you grow and have them for year around use. In addition growing your own can be enjoyable as well as rewarding. You can purchase your plants free of pesticides from a reputable nursery. The “wild” (lowbush) blueberry plants with fruit smaller than those from cultivated highbush plants are prized for their intense color and high antioxidant levels. Rubel is an example of one of these plant varieties that is very popular. Another is Top Hat; Top Hat is perfect for border plantings or growing on the patio in containers. It also makes an outstanding nominee for a bonsai project. Friendship is a true wild blueberry that grows about 2 to 3 ft tall. Friendship also lends itself to container culture (USDA zones 4-7). It needs a large pot. It’s Ornamental use is excellent. It is superior in its bloom and vigorous growth. Friendship is known for its superb flavor of the wild blueberry. Patriot is a low growing bush reflecting its partial lowbush parentage. Patriot makes an excellent container and landscape variety.

Health Education Certificate Study Options

Studying for a career in health education can be done by enrolling in an accredited school or college. Students can receive the training they need to pursue a career in the health care field. Gaining an education in this field will allow for numerous career opportunities. Students can receive a number of accredited degrees by completing the educational requirements.

Professionals in this field are trained to provide an education to various individuals and groups. These professionals teach about nutrition, fitness and exercise, drugs, human health, immunizations, STD’s, and many other subjects. These types of educators are trained to provide knowledge to the community for a variety of reasons. Those who choose to can gain an accredited education in the field by enrolling in a number of schools and colleges.

Bachelors Degree

Obtaining an accredited bachelors level degree in health education can be done through a variety of medical education training programs. Completion of a program at this level typically requires four years of study. Students can gain the knowledge and skills to pursue the career they desire. Bachelor level degrees allow students to learn how to work individuals and groups to teach a variety of subjects. Obtaining knowledge in certain areas will help students with their career. Coursework may cover subjects such as:

  • Human Health
  • Sex and Drug Education
  • Fitness
  • Nutrition
  • Leadership
  • Health Communication

…and many other related areas of study. By gaining an education in these specific areas students will be prepared to enter into the workforce ready to succeed. By receiving an accredited bachelors degree students can begin employment or pursue a master’s level education.

Masters Degree

Masters degree studies will train students for their desired career as a health education specialist. Students can earn an accredited degree by completing an additional four years of study. Gaining a masters level education in health education will prepare students to work with a variety of people teaching them about a number of health related subjects. Coursework can have students studying subjects like:

  • Education
  • School Health
  • Foreign Language
  • Psychology
  • Human Development
  • Science

…and more. With an education in these areas student will have the knowledge needed to find employment in their desired area of the field. By gaining an accredited masters degree in the field students can enter the workforce prepared for the career of a lifetime.

Whether an education is received at the bachelor or master degree level career possibilities can include working in a variety of places. Students can find work in health care clinics, schools, hospitals, nonprofit organizations, and more. Possible career options can also include work in rehabilitation therapy, education, health care, government, and much more. Studies will allow a world of opportunities to open in the workforce allowing students to enter the workforce in their desired area.

Gaining accredited health education training will allow students to receive the quality education and training they deserve. Accreditation is provided by agencies like the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools ( http://www.abhes.org/ ) and more. Training in the health care field will provide students with the opportunity to pursue a number of exciting career positions. Students can learn more by requesting information from their programs of interest.

DISCLAIMER: Above is a GENERIC OUTLINE and may or may not depict precise methods, courses and/or focuses related to ANY ONE specific school(s) that may or may not be advertised at PETAP.org.

Copyright 2010 – All rights reserved by PETAP.org.

5 1/2 Essential Minerals for Hormone Balance and Women’s Health

Minerals are essential nutrients that are required for optimal health in both women and men. Mineral imbalances can lead to osteoporosis hot flashes, infertility, anemia, fatigue, PMS, hormonal imbalance, and a variety of other health care concerns. Mineral requirements vary for women at different stages of their health life. For example, a woman during her reproductive years is more likely to have an imbalance in iron levels due to her menstrual cycle. On the other hand, a woman that has entered menopause may need to avoid iron supplementation as it could lead to oxidation, an inflammatory process that affects women’s health. Although there are a variety of minerals, and trace minerals that are needed for optimal health, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, selenium and iodine (usually) are the 5 1/2 essential minerals for women’s health and hormone balance.

Women’s health and Calcium:

When most people hear the word calcium, they think of bones. It is estimated that 98-99% of all of the calcium in our bodies in located within our bones and teeth. Osteoporosis affects about 55% of Americans over the age of 50. Of these that have been diagnosed, nearly 80% are women. Poor bone health is responsible for millions of fractures throughout the world annually. Studies indicate that calcium, when used with vitamin D, can decrease the risk of fracture by nearly 20%. Osteoporosis, and calcium imbalance is aggravated by hormonal imbalances, specifically with estrogen in menopausal women. In addition to bone health, calcium is also needed for muscle activation, immune health, nerve signaling, and cellular health.

Women’s health and Magnesium:

Magnesium is also needed for optimal bone health. Additionally, magnesium assists in energy production, hormonal development, making new proteins, muscle activation, and nerve communication. The Journal of the American College of Nutrition (Vol. 12, NO. 4, 442-458) demonstrated significant applications involving magnesium and women’s health. For pregnant women, magnesium can help delay preterm birth, and prevent eclampsia, or seizure activity in a pregnant woman that was not epileptic before conception. Preeclampsia symptoms include headaches, increased blood pressure, and vision changes. Magnesium has also been shown to help in PMS, muscular cramping and spasm, and migraine headaches.

Women’s health and Iron:

Anemia occurs when an individual has less than normal red blood cells, or when the red blood cells do not have enough hemoglobin. In both instances, the blood is not able to carry oxygen efficiently throughout the blood, and the cells of the body do not work as well as they could. Women and individuals with chronic diseases are at a higher risk of anemia. One of the most common causes of anemia in women, is iron deficiency anemia, as a result of blood loss during their menstruation cycle. Common symptoms of anemia include fatigue, weakness, headaches, cold hands and feet, rapid and/or irregular heartbeats, shortness of breath, and numbness. The most effective way to screen for iron deficiency is with a ferritin blood test.

Women’s health and Zinc:

Zinc deficiency can be a result of certain medications, excessive alcohol consumption, poor dietary habits, hormone replacement therapy, and birth control. Vegetarianism and individuals with digestive imbalances can also be at risk of zinc imbalances. Zinc deficiencies can lead to a variety of symptoms, including altered smell and taste, craving sweets and salty foods, fatigue, brain fog, ringing in the ears and poor bowel function. Low zinc levels can lead to increased estrogen activity, infertility, PMS, and leads to a decrease in sex drive. Zinc imbalances also increase the effects of aging and makes it it harder to tolerate stress.

Women’s health and Selenium:

Dietary selenium comes from a variety of nuts, seeds, meat, fish, and eggs. Selenium is most known for its antioxidant properties, and protection from free radicals. Free radicals are natural byproducts from oxygen metabolism and have been linked to a variety of chronic conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and autoimmune conditions. Selenium also helps to regulate thyroid hormone activity, and immune health. The Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology reports that selenium has a strong relationship between the regulation of glutathione (antioxidant), estrogen, progesterone, follicle-stimulating hormone, luteotropic hormone, and thyroid hormone activity.

Women’s health and Iodine:

Iodine strongly influences nutrient metabolism in both men and women. It assists in detoxification, nerve activation, and hormone regulation. Iodine can help to create stronger hair, nails, and skin health. As important as iodine can be, women with hypothyroidism may need to avoid this nutrient it supplemental forms. Some researchers estimate that women with hypothyroidism have a 90% chance of generating an autoimmune response to iodine. Blood testing for thyroid peroxidase (TPO) is essential for women experiencing hypothyroid activity before increasing iodine consumption. For women with positive TPO antibodies, additional iodine can aggravate fatigue, hormonal imbalance, and stimulate autoimmune activity.

Women’s health and Essential Minerals for Hormone Balance

Mineral deficiencies can dramatically affect the hormonal balance of women. Symptoms such as fatigue, PMS, menopause, thyroid imbalance, weight gain, brain fog, decreased sex drive, poor hail and nail quality, hot flashes, and more can all be the result of mineral deficiencies. Analyzing a patient’s medical history, laboratory tests, and dietary habits will provide a trained clinician the information needed to support the symptoms that result from mineral deficiencies.

Unsure if your symptoms are a result of mineral deficiencies? Stop suffering, and contact a trained clinical nutritionist today.