Who doesn't love berries? These versatile fruits are a great snack, and they're good for you too! In fact, new research has revealed that blueberries, cranberries, huckleberries, and related plants all contain a special cancer-fighting compound called resveratrol. Resveratrol (3,5,4-trihydroxystilbene) is also found in grapes and has been examined extensively by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS). Studies indicate that the compound protects fruits from fungal diseases. It also provides health benefits for consumers by reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and possibly even cancer.
The ARS team's studies showed that several fruit samples of blueberries, cranberries, and huckleberries contained varying amounts of the compound. Analysis of the extracts of the skin, juice/pulp, and seed of muscadine grapes showed that that concentration of resveratrol in the skin was highest. Levels in the juice/pulp were much lower than in the skin and seeds. That's why it is better to consume the whole fruit instead of just the juice.
Analysis of more berry and grape samples is continuing. For more information, visit www.ars.usda.gov and search for the word "resveratrol."
This article is brought to you by the Nutrition Education Store. Check out our incredible handouts, PowerPoints, books, games, and posters for even more information about the health benefits of fruits and vegetables.
Judy’s passion for cooking began with helping her grandmother make raisin oatmeal for breakfast. From there she earned her first food service job at 15, was accepted to the world famous Culinary Institute of America at 18 (where she graduated second in her class), and went on to the Fachschule Richemont in Switzerland where she focused on pastry arts and baking. But after learning that the quality of a croissant directly varies with how much butter it has, Judy sought to challenge herself by coming up with recipes that were as healthy as they were tasty.
Judy received The Culinary Institute of America’s Pro Chef II certification, the American Culinary Federation Bronze Medal, Gold Medal, and ACF Chef of the Year. Her enthusiasm for eating nutritiously and deliciously leads her to constantly innovate and use the latest in nutritional science to guide her creativity, from putting new twists on fajitas to adapting Italian brownies to include ingredients like toasted nuts and cooked honey. Judy’s publishing company, Food and Health Communications, is dedicated to her vision that everyone can make food that tastes as good as it is for you.