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Issue 161: Fruits Gone Wild

Fruits Gone Wild

Perhaps you’ve heard of superfoods. They’re foods that are naturally concentrated in important nutrients. In fact, we can take that a step further. They’re foods that have an incredible array of health benefits that go well beyond their impressive nutrient value.

Many health experts emphasize the necessity of superfoods for good health. Steven Pratt, M.D. is one of them. Pratt, an ophthalmologist who specializes in ocular plastic surgery at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, California, says he became convinced of the power of these basic foods when he saw the positive results of a few simple diet changes in his patients.

“Whether you’re trying to prevent cataracts, macular degeneration, cancer or cardiovascular disease, the same type of preventive dietary measures apply,” Pratt says. “The whole body is connected:  a healthy heart equals healthy eyes and healthy skin. You’ll hear about all these special diets for special health needs, but really, the same diet and the same lifestyle choices support extraordinary health. With rare exceptions, you don’t need 20 different preventive modalities—just one really good diet.” Among the superfoods Pratt suggests are: beans, blueberries, broccoli, oranges, pumpkin, wild salmon, spinach, tomatoes, turkey, walnuts and probiotic-rich yogurt.

Likewise, when you select superfoods, you’ll want to think in terms of color like deep blue, purple, red, green or orange because they contain health-enhancing nutrients. That’s what Bonnie Minsky, a licensed and certified Nutrition Specialist, Public Health educator and certified menopause educator with a private practice in Northbrook, Illinois, says. She also suggests including pomegranates, cinnamon, avocados, flaxseeds, turmeric and algae— including chlorella, spirulina and blue-green algae.

Now that we’ve set the stage, let’s get back to those other superfoods—the wild fruits Indian gooseberry and African mango.

Indian gooseberry, also known as Amla, is an antioxidant powerhouse. It’s rich in vitamin C and essential bioflavonoids that enhance the benefits of vitamin C while synergizing to protect and strengthen cell membranes. On top of that, Indian gooseberry also contains phytonutrient antioxidant phenols. Phenols protect plants from oxidative damage and, when ingested, do the same for humans. Phenols do a lot, but one outstanding feature is how they block specific enzymes that cause unhealthy inflammation. Indian gooseberry also contains unique nutrients like z-riboside, zeatin and z-nucleotide, which have a powerfully positive effect on the immune system.

But wait! There’s more.

Experts say that Indian gooseberry’s nutrient synergy enhances food absorption, balances stomach acid, flushes toxins, strengthens the liver, supports healthy joints and bones, supports healthy blood sugar and triglyceride levels, supports pancreatic and liver function, protects the brain from free radical stress and promotes healthy blood flow to the skin and to the hair follicles.

Now on to the African mango.

Also known as a wild mango or bush mango, its benefits come largely from its seed extract, which contains healthy fats and fiber. Researchers say that the African mango seed extract powerfully enhances leptin sensitivity—and that’s significant for a healthy weight. Leptin is a hormone that fat cells release, interacting with receptor sites in the brain to support fat burning and feelings of satiety. An inflammation-inducing diet (a typical American diet) fuels C-reactive protein and can damage the sensitive leptin receptor—creating something called “leptin resistance,” which can lead to increased hunger and weight.

The African mango, however, appears to lower C-reactive protein, thereby supporting healthy leptin sensitivity, satiety and metabolism. The African mango also increases a hormone called adiponectin, which is known to support healthy glucose and fat metabolism. An added bonus is that adiponectin can support healthy insulin sensitivity. By the way, increased levels of adiponectin go hand-in-hand with lower body fat percentage.

Indian gooseberry and African mango. . .those are some wild fruits you’ll want to check out!


This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.

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