Green foods for immune support

As we pass through the short days of winter, which also brings the cold and flu season to those of us in the northern hemisphere, our thoughts may turn to fortifying ourselves with a good diet, making it as healthy as possible till that day when the arugula sprouts in the garden or the new crop of berries arrives (ok, getting a little poetical here!)

Anyway, here are NYBC suggestions for green foods and green/red foods combinations, which many use to boost the nutritional content of their diet when that boost is most needed:

Organic DAILY 5 (Jarrow). A mix of greens and reds (fruits). Used as directed, it is a 30-day supply, at $23.40/month. It is a blend of high quality, organic (USDA seal) fruits and vegetables, rich in antioxidants such as proanthocyanidins.

Each single (6 g) scoop provides 3,240 mg of a blend of organic fruits and vegetables, including apple, carrot, raspberry, strawberry, cranberry, blueberry, beet powder acerola powder, broccoli and spinach. In addition, each scoop includes 1,720 mg of organic flax seed powder as well as 110 mg of a blend of organic barley grass, wheat grass and oat bran powders.

Green Vibrance is a more complex mix of probiotics, greens, and immune supportive nutrients. The list of ingredients is long, so please follow the link to see how this green food supplement is structured. A month’s supply is $38.50, and a 60-day Green Vibrance is also available for the savings-conscious. (The large size will save you about 20% off the one-month version, if our calculations are correct.)

Reviewing “Resveratrol Synergy” from Jarrow

Jarrow Formula’s supplement “Resveratrol Synergy” is a combination of several plant-derived nutrients that have been intensively researched in recent years, including resveratrol (the famous component of red wine), grape seed extract, and green tea. This phytonutrient blend provides the body with antioxidants, anthocyanins, polyphenols and catechins, which are generally acknowledged to support cardiovascular health, as the Jarrow label states.

But there is more to these plant-derived nutrients, as you may know from hearing news reports, especially about resveratrol. Typically found in the skin of red grapes and in red wine, resveratrol has been the subject of scientific investigations suggesting that it possesses unique life-extending and anti-aging properties. Some of the recent studies draw a causal connection between gene protection and high levels of resveratrol consumption; other research has focused on how resveratrol may switch on a particular “survival gene” that offers a whole host of health benefits, from cardiovascular support to diabetes prevention.

As far as product quality goes, NYBC noted that a recent Consumer Labs report found that the ingredients matched the label claim–one good measure of integrity for “Resveratrol Synergy.”

For more information, see the NYBC entry:

Resveratrol Synergy

Berries and cancer prevention

You may have caught some recent reports about new research findings on berries and cancer prevention. For example, our hometown newspaper, The New York Times, featured an interesting piece entitled “The Power of Berries,” on Jan. 22 2009, which detailed the accumlating evidence for the efficacy of these fruits in warding off development of cancers of the colon, esophagus, and mouth.

This article paid special attention to investigations conducted by Prof. Gary D. Stoner of the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center. Professor Stoner’s research, like that of others in the field, has built on the well-studied general association between consumption of berries (including black and red raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and elderberries) and lower rates of cancer. It has also been widely recognized that certain compounds within berries, such as anthocyanins (which give berries their color), may be responsible for their most significant cancer prevention effects.

Dr. Stoner’s research has given him even deeper insights into berries and cancer prevention, as he’s come to conclude that berries may exert a “genome-wide” anti-cancer effect, meaning that, unlike many cancer treatments that target only one cancer-promoting gene at a time, the consumption of berries may target a whole spectrum of cancer-promoting genes, causing them to shut down development of pre-cancerous and cancerous growths. All of which leads him to a recommendation: “We know berries have so many effects on processes related to cancer development. They are one of the food stuffs you probably should consider consuming every day, or at least a few times a week.”

There’s one additional, practical note to these studies of berries and cancer prevention: recent investigations have shown that freeze dried berries and berry powders can be just as effective as fresh fruit in terms of anti-cancer effects. Since it’s not always possible to eat loads of fresh berries several times a week, using a powdered berry supplement would seem to make a lot of sense for anyone interested in cancer prevention.

Here is a low-cost berry powder supplement that NYBC has carried for several years:

Berry High (Jarrow)

Berry High includes powdered forms of fruits rich in antioxidants, as well as ellagic acid, anthocyanins and other polyphenols. Each scoop (1 tablespoon) of 6 grams contains:

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) – 58 mg
Apple juice powder – 3,130 mg
Raspberry – 372 mg
Blueberry – 50 mg
Mountain cranberry – 250 mg
Strawberry – 400 mg
Black currant powder – 200 mg
Grape juice powder – 200 mg
Lemon juice powder – 220 mg
Pineapple juice powder – 150 mg
Guava juice powder – 150 mg
Peach juice powder – 150 mg
Quercetin – 130 mg
Passion juice powder – 100 mg