We all know eating fruit is good for us. And the health benefits of berry fruits stand head and shoulders above the rest. The polyphenol compounds they contain can boost immunity and help fight serious health problems, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer and age-related cognitive decline.1 If these were commercial drugs, every doctor in the country would be prescribing them!
Wild berries from natural, unpolluted environments have higher amounts of these health-giving plant chemicals than their cultivated cousins.2 They provide a real natural pharmacy that includes hundreds of potent, bioactive compounds, with dozens of beneficial actions in the body.3 But wild berries are only in season for a short time, they don’t keep for long once picked, and most of us don’t have time to go tramping around the countryside looking for them.
Now, the goodness of wild berries from the pristine wilderness of northern Finland can be yours all year round. New to the UK market are Arctic Power Berries – 100 per cent pure and natural berry powders, with nothing added. The berries are hand-picked from the wild in the Land of the Midnight Sun, gently dried at a low temperature to preserve their nutrients, then ground to a powder.
One serving of Arctic Power Berries is the equivalent of eating a handful of the fresh berries, an easy and delicious way to get more essential vitamins, minerals and health-promoting polyphenols into your daily diet. The range currently includes four varieties: blueberry, blackcurrant, cranberry and lingonberry. Each of these berries has been shown in scientific studies to have incredible benefits for your health:
1. Arctic Midnight Sun Blueberry Powder
Wild European blueberries are also known as bilberries. They’re packed with polyphenol compounds called anthocyanins, which have been the subject of much recent research. The anthocyanins in bilberries and cultivated blueberries could help prevent cancer, cardiovascular disease, eye problems, cognitive decline, diabetes and obesity.
Studies have shown that compounds in dried bilberries are strongly antioxidant and help inhibit the growth of breast, cervical and colon cancer cells.4 Anthocyanin-rich bilberry and blueberry extracts could also help reverse all aspects of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions that increase your chances of developing heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
Bilberries have been found to correct high blood pressure and reduce blood levels of LDL cholesterol and triglyceride fats.5 They also slow down carbohydrate absorption in the gut, so helping to lower blood-sugar levels. In one clinical trial, a single capsule of concentrated bilberry extract reduced after-meal peaks in blood glucose and insulin, in people with type 2 diabetes.6
The compounds in bilberries and blueberries could also help reverse cognitive decline. In a recent clinical trial at the University of Cincinnati, older adults who took a blueberry supplement for 24 weeks had significant improvements in memory and cognitive function.7
2. Arctic Midnight Sun Lingonberry Powder
Bright red lingonberries grow throughout the Arctic forests and they have always been an important part of the Finnish diet. New research findings show that the anthocyanin compounds they contain protect the heart muscle from oxidative stress, a condition that can lead to heart failure.8
In northern Quebec, the Cree Indians traditionally used lingonberries to treat diabetes, and recent animal trials confirm their antidiabetic and anti-obesity properties. When diabetic mice were given a lingonberry extract for 10 days, their blood-sugar levels improved, they ate less and their average body weight reduced.9 The researchers showed that lingonberry extract acted by increasing the uptake of glucose into muscle cells.
The powerfully antioxidant properties of lingonberries have also been found in animal studies to protect the liver, kidneys and eyes from damage by toxic chemicals and radiation. Other research showed that lingonberries help to reduce blood pressure, by increasing nitric oxide production and relaxing the walls of arteries.10
3. Arctic Midnight Sun Cranberry Powder
Apart from being a great accompaniment for your Christmas turkey, cranberries have been found in a meta-analysis of seven clinical trials to help prevent and treat urinary tract infections (UTIs).11 And the same antibacterial properties that make cranberries an effective treatment for UTIs could also help in the treatment of gum disease.12
Cranberries have been under the spotlight for anti-cancer benefits, too. A recent review concluded that cranberry compounds helped block the growth and multiplication of many different kinds of cancer, including breast, colon, cervical, ovarian, lung, skin, prostate and kidney cancer cell lines.13
In addition to these promising results in laboratory tests, cranberries have also shown good results in placebo-controlled clinical trials. For instance, when men with advanced prostate cancer took cranberry powder for 30 days, their levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA, a marker for progression of the disease) dropped by 22.5 per cent.14
4. Arctic Midnight Sun Blackcurrant Powder
Blackcurrants can help control high blood pressure. In a placebo-controlled trial involving middle-aged people, a berry juice enriched with blackcurrant polyphenols significantly lowered blood pressure, with the greatest reductions in those having the highest blood pressure at the start of the trial.15
The polyphenol compounds in berry fruits have also shown promise against neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. In a study at the University of Eastern Finland, researchers using a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease showed that both blackcurrant and bilberry extracts had beneficial effects on memory-related behaviour and on amyloid-beta deposits in the brain (one of the characteristic signs of the disease).16
What to take for best results
Because Arctic Power Berries are a pure, natural food, they don’t come with precise dosage instructions. The suggested intake is one or two teaspoonfuls of the powder a day, sprinkled onto your muesli or porridge, or mixed into yoghurt or a smoothie.
If you’re being treated for any medical condition, you are advised to tell your doctor before making Arctic Power Berries a regular part of your diet, particularly if you’re taking medication to lower your blood pressure, blood sugar or cholesterol levels.
Disclaimer: This article is part of the Agora Health's extensive research archive. The research and information contained in this article was accurate at the the time of publication but may have been updated since the date of publication. Full references and citations for this article are available in the downloadable PDF version of the monthly The Journal of Natural Health Solutions issue in which this article appears.
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