Can Certain Berries Help with Weight Control?
Could a simple measure like throwing a handful of berries in your morning cereal help prevent weight gain? A study comparing the obesity-fighting power of different fruits and vegetables found berries were among the ones that proved to be the most helpful for weight loss.
Some people in their 20s can eat like a horse and stay slim. But most find this advantage disappears when they approach midlife. As we get older, pounds creep up more easily due to the slowing of metabolism and decline in hormones. If fact, few people escape at least some degree of the middle-age spread. Fighting this is an uphill battle, but a new discovery gives hope.
Flavonoid Consumption From Berries Linked to Less Weight Gain
Flavonoids are natural compounds in fruits and vegetables. Earlier research suggests they may potentially help in weight control. The compounds can be divided into several subclasses. But the one that has been the focus of most weight loss studies is flavan-3-ol in green tea. Although it shows promise, the research has been limited to small numbers of overweight participants.
In the new study published in the journal BMJ, the largest of its kind to date, scientists examined whether other subclasses of flavonoids are of value in preventing weight gain. They monitored the dietary habits and weight of more than 124,000 men and women for up to 24 years. The findings showed the consumption of most flavonoid foods was associated with less weight gain. But the greatest benefit was seen in the subclasses of anthocyanins, flavonoid polymers and flavonols. Foods rich in these compounds include apples, pears, grapes, cherries, berries, black currents, radishes, peppers, celery and green tea.
Why Are the Weight Loss Results Significant?
Instead of promoting large amounts of weight loss, the value of the flavonoids lays in preventing weight gain. This is significant because even a small reduction in weight can enhance health. The loss of only 11 to 22 pounds is linked to optimized blood pressure. And a seemingly minor loss of body mass is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular events.
Likewise, the prevention of small amounts of weight gain can have a marked influence on health. Gaining 10 pounds between the ages of 40 and 60 even increases the risk of several cancers by 24 to 59 percent.
Current dietary guidelines advise eating two cups of fruit and two and a half cups of vegetables per day. The researchers advocate following this recommendation, but they also say the benefits can be maximized by including varieties that are flavonoid-rich.
Aside from the weight advantage, these foods are extraordinarily healthful. They have potent antioxidant and ant-inflammatory properties. Moreover, since preventing a small weight gain or facilitating a small weight loss can affect the risk of illness, it is well worth the effort to include these foods in the diet. The positives associated with them illustrate the old adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.