You can’t eat your cake and have it too, but when it comes to keeping your waist tiny and your figure trim science dictates — you can!
Eat all you want and still keep flab away, sounds more like fiction and less likely fact, but research has proven that certain food groups can help us stay svelte even if our culinary choices defy diet and calorie myths. Lets follow the scientific breadcrumbs that ultimately lead us to tiny drupelets of blue or bilberries, and look closer how this transpires.
Blueberries are a prime example of the fact that amazing things come in tiny packages. This itsy- bitsy fruit is packed with huge health benefits, it provides us with tasty ways to stay healthy, young and according to the recent research — slim–n-trim. Low in fat, coming in at about 80 calories per cup and practically fat-free — blueberries are loaded with fiber to keep you feel fuller longer. Just a handful can satisfy your daily fiber requirement plus, these tiny powerhouse berries are an excellent way to trim belly fat. According to latest research, you can enjoy all different types of food guilt-free by adding blueberries to your diet. The beneficial health effects of blueberries are attributed to high levels of polyphenols, a disease-fighting chemical component.
Recently researchers at the University of the Basque Country, Spain have completed a study to assess the effects of pterostilbene in rats fed on fattening diet. Pterostilbene is a phenolic compound (the same family as resveratrol) that is found abundantly in blueberries. In this study pterostilbene was found to reduce the accumulation of body fat. The study authors have concluded that: “Pterostilbene shows antiobesity properties due, at least in part, to reduced lipogenesis in adipose tissue and increased fatty acid oxidation in liver.” Thus in a nutshell, Blue Berries discourage fat storage and help burn fat.
More Proof In The Pudding
Bilberries are a special variety of blueberries found in North England and Nordic countries and they reportedly contain significantly higher percentage of polyphenols compared to commercially cultivated blueberries.
In a study, carried out by the University of Eastern Finland, mice were fed high-fat diet for a period of three months. Some of the mice were also fed either 5 per cent or 10 per cent of freeze-dried blueberries in the diet.
The researchers assessed the effects of the diets by looking at levels of inflammation in cells. Obese people have higher levels of inflammation, and even low levels are often associated with obesity-related diseases. They measured inflammation levels by looking at cytokines, substances produced from white blood cells, which trigger the body’s immune response. High levels are a marker of inflammation. The researchers also measured levels of glucose in the blood, as high levels can lead to diabetes, and insulin sensitivity (whether the body is sensitive to the hormone, which breaks down sugar).
Lastly, they measured blood pressure and weight gain.
During the study as expected, the mice on the high-fat diet gained significant amounts of weight. Researchers noted detrimental changes in their glucose, fat metabolism, blood-pressure and inflammation levels.
Watching the group of mice fed on bilberries along with high fat diet, researchers found very little inflammatory effects of the high-fat diet. Bilberries also prevented the raised blood pressure caused by the fatty foods. The researchers explained that this is probably due to high levels of the disease fighting chemicals polyphenols present in blueberries; specifically because of polyphenols called anthocyanins — which give bilberries and blueberries their blue color.
A previous study presented at the American Society for Nutrition’s Experimental Biology meeting in 2011, advised weight watchers should start snacking on blueberries and other foods with high levels of polyphenols (cranberries, grapes, potatoes, pop corn) as these fruits slash the number of fat cells in the body by up to three-quarters.
During their research scientists have found that polyphenols can cut the number of fat cells in the body by 73 per cent with large doses and 27 per cent with smallest dose.
There is significant body of evidence supporting polyphenols as a key substance that can change the way body processes and stores fat. The golden rule prevails “Eat healthy to stay healthy and fit”, but the blue and bilberries offer a unique fail-safe against weight gain even if we succumb to naughty over indulgent food urges.
Eating right matters!