Life is wonderful. And so are you!

Life is wonderful. And so are you!

Every day I am trying to add more fruit to my diet.  Here is a mind-body make-over with summer fruits.

Strawberries let you sidestep sickness by containing ellagitannin, a compound shown to stop the growth of tumors.  Also Vitamin C which energizes infection-fighting white blood cells – and counteracts the health-sapping effects of stress.

Blueberries turn off hunger and boost memory, fight cancer and cure urinary tract infections, and curb cravings, so you can eat less without even trying.  Pigments responsibile for the berries’ deep blue color also turn on your brain’s “I’m full” signal and activate genes that regulate belly-fat burn and reduce fat storage.

Peaches make your skin radiant.  It’s no wonder a beautiful complexion is called “peachy”.  These sweet, round stone fruits are packed with phytochemicals that counteract damage caused by the sun’s UV rays and aging, leading to more elastic, smoother and younger skin.  One key vitamin they deliver: beta-carotene, which prevents the breakdown of collagen, a protein that keeps skin firm and supple.

Watermelon helps you relax.  The juicy melon is rich in argnine, an amino acid that ups production of nitric acid, naturally relaxing blood vessels and lowering blood pressure.  Plus, watermelon is 98% water, providing mood-brightening hydration.  Eating two cups daily of watermelon can cut your risk of sunburn 26%, thanks to its abundance of lycopene, a tissue healing, sunscreen-like antioxidant.

Cherries fight pain with anti-inflammatory powers that rival those of pain medications like aspirin.  The pigments that give cherries their bright red color also block arthritis-specific pain and inflammation enzymes.  Eating two cups of cherries daily significantly cut arthritis-related swelling and pain, and triggered a 15% drop in blood levels of uric acid, a top trigger of joint inflammation.

Plums optimize your brainpower.  Need a brain boost?  Eat a plum.  Plums owe their deep bluish-purple color to anthocyanins, pigments that speed the transfer of neural messages through the brain, keeping you sharp and focused.  And plums contain two more compounds that rev mental processing, plus help protect brain cells from damage.  They may protect against age-related dementia.

Nectarines protect your vision.  These golden nuggets are a solid source of lutein, a natural chemical that protects the eyes from age-related damage; specifically, it lowers the risk of macular degeneration (the most common cause of vision loss in folks over age 50) an amazing 43%.  Nectarines also pack a lot of beta-carotene, which helps shield both your eyes and skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays.

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