In The News: Green Tea and Blueberries May Help Fight Alzheimer's

| 1/28/2011 2:04:30 PM

S.CollinsEvery morning I wake up, head to my kitchen and put on a cup of green tea for my morning pick-me-up. I find that green tea is the perfect blend of sweet and earthy flavors with just the right amount of caffeine. And the best part—it’s great for you.

Not only may the wonder-drink promote weight loss, help strengthen bones and even reduce acne, it can also greatly benefit your health in the long-run. Recent studies from Newcastle University in the United Kingdom show that the healthful tea may help protect against Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers wanted to see if the protective chemicals in the tea continued to stay active even after digestion. They received some exciting news after the tests. The results showed that when the stomach’s enzymes digested the tea, the chemicals that were produced were more effective, compared to undigested tea, in fighting key elements of Alzheimer’s disease. The study also found that the digested chemical had cancer-fighting properties that may slow down the growth of cancerous cells.

Green teas contain certain compounds called polyphenols that have neuroprotective agents. This means that this chemical binds to toxic compounds, called hydroxol radicals, which are thought to cause degenerative diseases, and protects brain cells.

A different study published in the Archives of Toxicology shows that blueberries, and most other brightly-colored fruits, also have a toxin fighting property polyphenols.

1-28-2011 Blueberries 
Blueberries are a tasty, cancer-fighting fruit!
Photo by The Shifted Librarian/Courtesy Flickr

So, after learning about these delicious cancer-fighting foods, I think I will change up my morning routine. After looking through previous articles from The Herb Companion, I found this great (and easy!) blueberry syrup recipe to go along with a stack of whole-grain pancakes and my daily cup of green tea.

Blueberry Pancake Syrup 

For the original recipe, click here. Makes 1 1/2 cup. 

• 1 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
• 3/4 cups water
• 2 tablespoons sugar

1. Rinse the berries, and simmer with water and sugar in a small saucepan until soft. (About 5 minutes).

2. Puree in blender.

Who knew that fighting degenerative diseases would be so tasty!