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Which low-acid foods may improve bone health?

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Numerous nutritionists sometimes recommend eating low-acid foods for healthier bones and to possibly protect against macular degeneration, and even dementia. The present emphasis on low-acid diets differs from the standard Food Pyramid taught in most Sacramento university and community colleges when taking nutrition classes. Rather than look at fad diets, it's more important to see the collective work of studies that examine how blueberries help bones, brain, and eyes. You may wish to check out the website, "Simplifying Key Details For Lower Blood Pressure."

Should you be eating a low-acid diet for healthier bones? According to the World's Healthiest Foods site, the article posted there on blueberries notes that, "In laboratory animal studies, researchers have found that blueberries help protect the brain from oxidative stress and may reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer's disease or dementia."

Here's how to use blueberries to possibly help prevent bone loss and dementia. When you cook with family members and friends remember that dairy is acidic. If you drink milk and eat animal protein to excess, include a lot more alkalizing foods--vegetables and fruits. Otherwise your acidic, high-protein diet will draw the calcium right out of your teeth and bones, causing bone loss and later, possibly dementia.

Researchers found that diets rich in blueberries significantly improved both the learning capacity and motor skills of aging animals, making them mentally equivalent to much younger ones." In Sacramento one way that you can emphasize an alkaline diet for healthier bones by attending any of the holistic wellness through food classes or associations that run events throughout the year where you can learn how to eat for energy or use berries in moderation for wellness. One way to start is to learn how to cook with kids using berries and other alkaline foods in moderation to help inspire children to eat more varieties of berries.

Serving seasonal meals means usually featuring local organic produce

Regarding the eating of more low-acid foods in moderation and balance for healthier bones, scientific studies show that there's too much protein causing osteoporosis in the USA and Europe. The question is should you be eating a low-acid, higher alkaline diet for healthier bones? Scientific studies recommend eating seven to thirteen of vegetables and some fruits, but more vegetables than fruits.

Some people are born with a gene that makes vegetables taste bitter on the back of their tongue. Others don't taste any bitter qualities of vegetables. Children usually will let you know if they are tasting bitterness in vegetables. Those that don't taste bitterness in vegetables such as broccoli, usually eat more vegetables without protesting.

The minerals in fruits and vegetables in more than 100 studies showed improved bone mineral density in 85 percent of cases studied compared to 52 percent improvement of cases studied for persons taking calcium supplements, according to the article, "The Calcium Myth," by Michael Castleman, published in the August 2009 issue of Natural Solutions magazine. Check out, "The Calcium Myth | Natural Solutions." Or see, "Acid and Alkaline in Your Diet - AdduHealth.com."

The article notes the 16 nutrients needed for healthier bones. A largely animal-protein based diet is acidic. A largely vegetable and fruit diet is alkaline. That's the big picture--that a low acid diet helps prevent bone loss. The article emphasizes that meat and dairy contain five to 10 times more protein per serving than fruits and vegetables.

The alkaline materials from vegetables and fruits neutralizes some of the acids you get from eating animal protein. When your body has too much acid from eating animal proteins, your body draws calcium from your bone and dumps it into your bloodstream. That's how bone loss occurs from eating too much animal protein.

According to Dr. Christopher's Herbal Legacy site, “American women have been consuming an average of two pounds of milk per day for their entire lives, yet thirty million American women have osteoporosis. Drinking milk does not prevent bone loss. Bone loss is accelerated by ingesting too much protein, and milk has been called 'liquid meat.'"

Balance is the answer

Also see the book, Building Bone Vitality McGraw Hill Professional (May 2009) by Amy J. Lanou, Ph.D and Michael Castleman. The book's overview notes, "Calcium pills don't work. Dairy products don't strengthen bones. Drugs may be dangerous." The answer is balance.

Interestingly, eating fresh blueberries is not as good as eating frozen or cooked blueberries because the oxalates in the fresh blueberries may interfere with the absorption of calcium from your body. But frozen blueberries don't have this problem.

Blueberries do protect against macular degeneration and bone loss. In recent studies, fruit intake has been shown to be definitely protective against the severe form of this vision-destroying disease.

The statements about blueberries being protective for your brain are true, but if you look at the studies, they were done on animals with the opinion that if blueberries prevent bone loss on rats, usually blueberries also will prevent bone loss with humans.

Bone Loss Prevention and Blueberries

Check out many medical and scientific articles at the Free Library by Farlex with more than five million articles and books. It's the anthocyanidins in the blueberries that help to recycle the rest of the vitamins in your body. Anti-inflammatory properties of blueberries work to strengthen your blood vessels.

Some of the blueberry studies on bone loss prevention were done on rats. To read more on the subject, see scientific and medical journal articles studying the effects of blueberries on preventing bone loss, such as the following: "Blueberry prevents bone loss in ovariectomized rat model of postmenopausal osteoporosis," Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 19:694-99, 2008.

Also see: "Phenolic compounds and antioxidant capacity of Georgia-grown blueberries and blackberries," Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, 50: 2432-8, 2002. And also check out the article, "Potential role of dietary flavonoids in reducing microvascular endothelium vulnerability to oxidative and inflammatory insults," Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 13:282-8, 2002.

Blueberries and blackberries not only help prevent bone loss in animals (and hopefully in humans as well) but also cleanse your guts. If you have a choice, buy locally-grown blueberries.

Blackberries also are similar their effects. But they have those little seeds that are harder on your teeth. You can put blackberries in smoothies. Try a shake or smoothie in your blender using locally-grown and home-frozen organic blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, and a banana.

Use a mixture of water and pomegranate or cherry juice for the liquid part of the smoothie and toss in a handful of raw almonds. What you're really trying to do with berries is repair cell membranes and prevent bone loss.

Before you jump to the conclusion that the studies were done with rats and don't apply to humans, think again. Blueberries really are good for the human body, including the brain, eyes, and bones, in moderation, of course.

Just a quarter of a cup serving will do the job. You don't need to eat two cupfuls of blueberries daily. That's too much fruit sugar, resulting in a rush of insulin into your bloodstream. Less is more. Blueberries also make a great topping for other foods.

Heating changes the polyphenol content of blueberries and possibly their health benefits

Baking the super food, blueberries changes their polyphenol content -- and possibly their health benefits, says a recent study, "Berry (Poly)phenols and Cardiovascular Health," published in print in 2014 and online September 23, 2013 in the the American Chemical Society (ACS') Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. That article is part of the 2013 Berry Health Benefits Symposium special issue. Anthocyanin levels decreased during cooking, proving, and baking. When eating blueberries, you want to keep their healthy phyto nutrients, properties such as anthocyanin, procyanidin, flavonol, and phenolic acid contents of berries, for example, wild blueberries.

Blueberries are called a "superfood" for their high polyphenol content, but when served as warm, gooey pie filling or when lending bursts of sweet flavor to a muffin, their "super" health benefits change. Scientists studied how cooking and baking affect the increasingly popular fruit's polyphenols and reported their mixed findings — levels of some of these substances rose while others fell.

Ana Rodriguez-Mateos and colleagues note that eating blueberries is associated with several health perks including improved thinking, reduced risk for heart disease and reduced inflammation, according to the October 30, 2013 news release, "Baking blueberries changes their polyphenol content -- and possibly their health benefits."

Research suggests that a set of natural plant compounds called polyphenols lend the fresh fruit these benefits. But consumers don't always enjoy blueberries raw. Some methods of processing, such as juicing and canning, lower polyphenol levels by 22 to 81 percent. However, no studies have tested whether using blueberries in breads, muffins or pies affects their polyphenol content. Rodriguez-Mateos' team sought to test the stability of these health-promoting compounds during cooking, proofing (when the dough rises before cooking) and baking.

The researchers found that all three processes had mixed effects on blueberries' polyphenols including anthocyanin, procyanidin, quercetin and phenolic acids. Anthocyanin levels dropped by 10 to 21 percent

The levels of smaller procyanidin oligomers got a boost while those of the larger ones dipped. Phenolic acid levels increased. Other compounds such as quercetin remained constant. They say that the good retention of polyphenols observed in their study might be due to the use of yeast, which may act as a stabilizing agent during baking. "Due to their possible health benefits, a better understanding of the impact of processing is important to maximize the retention of these phytochemicals in berry-containing-products," the researchers state, according to the October 30, 2013 news release, "Baking blueberries changes their polyphenol content -- and possibly their health benefits."

The authors cite funding from the Alpro Foundation. You also may wish to check out another research article, "100 Years of the Maillard Reaction: Why Our Food Turns Brown."

What happens when blueberries are heated?

In research published online October 2, 2013 in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, "Impact of Cooking, Proving, and Baking on the (Poly)phenol Content of Wild Blueberry," Accumulating evidence suggests that diets rich in (poly)phenols may have positive effects on human health. Currently there is limited information regarding the effects of processing on the (poly)phenolic content of berries, in particular in processes related to the baking industry, say the researchers, according to the study's abstract.

This study investigated the impact of cooking, proving, and baking on the anthocyanin, procyanidin, flavonol, and phenolic acid contents of wild blueberry using HPLC with UV and fluorescence detection. Anthocyanin levels decreased during cooking, proving, and baking, whereas no significant changes were observed for total procyanidins. However, lower molecular weight procyanidins increased and high molecular weight oligomers decreased during the process.

Quercetin and ferulic and caffeic acid levels remained constant, whereas increases were found for chlorogenic acid. Due to their possible health benefits, a better understanding of the impact of processing is important to maximize the retention of these phytochemicals in berry-containing products.

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