Health updates: White tea and blueberries

The following is new information regarding white tea and obesity, and how blueberries can reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome.

White tea fights obesity, scientists report

German scientists say that drinking white tea may be a natural way to battle the bulge. The tea contains compounds that appear to break down existing fat cells and prevent new ones from forming.

White tea is made from the buds and first leaves of the tea plant. Like green tea, it undergoes very little processing and no fermentation. White tea has special qualities that could help fight obesity. Compounds in white tea are capable of breaking down fat cells and preventing new ones from developing, German scientists recently noted.

Researchers studied the biological effects of an extract of white tea and found compounds that appear to impede the growth of new fat cells, as well as target existing stores. “We’ve shown that white tea may be an ideal natural source of slimming substances,” said Marc Winnefeld, who led the team of researchers.

Blueberries reduce belly fat and diabetes risk

Eating blueberries could help you get rid of belly fat, and a blueberry-enriched diet could stem the conditions that lead to diabetes. New research gives tantalizing clues to the potential of blueberries in reducing risk factors for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome. The effect is thought to be due to the high level of naturally occurring antioxidants, called phytochemicals, contained in blueberries.

Researchers studied the effect blueberries had when added to the diet of rats. After 90 days, rats that ate a blueberry-enriched diet had less abdominal fat, lower triglycerides, lower cholesterol, and improved fasting glucose and insulin sensitivity.

Blueberries contain vitamins A and C, zinc, potassium, iron, calcium and magnesium, and are high in fiber and low in calories. Additionally, researchers at the USDA Human Nutrition Center have ranked blueberries number one in antioxidant activity when compared to 40 other fresh fruits and vegetables. With all of these many benefits, why not add blueberries to your diet?

 

Resource: www.organicconsumers.org and mercola.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 28, Number 3, Jun/July 2009.

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