Blueberries: the new Weight Loss Genie?

The benefits of eating blueberries have been demonstrated several times over in various nutritional studies. Blueberries have shown potential to have a positive effect on everything from aging to metabolic syndrome and cardio-protection due to their high polyphenol content.

However, recent research from Texas Woman’s University (TWU) looks blueberries’ role in reducing weight.  Most specifically, Shiwani Moghe, a graduate student at TWU, is evaluating blueberry’s role in reducing one of our country’s greatest health issues: obesity. She evaluated whether blueberry polyphenols play a role in the process that enables cells to synthesize and store fat.  In previous research, plant polyphenols have been shown to fight adipogenesis, the development of fat cells, and induce lipolysis, the breakdown of lipids/fat. But the race is on to explore the effects in humans.

We still need to test this dose in humans, to make sure there are no adverse effects, and to see if the doses are as effective. This is a burgeoning area of research. Determining the best dose for humans will be important, said Moghe. The promise is there for blueberries to help reduce adipose tissue from forming in the body.

These preliminary results contribute more items to the laundry list of benefits related to blueberries. For instance, blueberries have been shown to improve metabolism, prevent UTIs, reducing cholesterol, and, or course, being a great source of antioxidants.

Smart Workout suggests this recipe for a quick, healthy way to incorporate blueberries into your daily diet…for dessert!

Mixed Berries with Ricotta Cheese:

Try this healthy snack!

1 cup of blueberries (can substitute other berries as well)

1 cup of fat free ricotta cheese

1-3 packs of artificial sweetener

Cinnamon stick (optional)

1. Clean fresh blueberries (raspberries, blueberries, strawberries etc) place in a bowl and set aside for later.

2. To make ricotta topping: You need to have fat free ricotta cheese, strained as much as possible. Ideally use cheese cloth, but you can use a paper towels. Mix in artificial sweetener such as Splenda or Equal in a ratio of one packet per ounce or just add to taste.

3. When you are done mixing, it should have the taste and consistency of canolli cream.  Take a big dollop (approximately 2 ounces) and put it on top of the bowl of berries. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Enjoy!

Information adapted from Jonathan Kantrowitz, Health News Report; recipe courtesy of Elaine Platt, Smart Workout owner.

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