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Planet Earth

7 Proven Reasons To Eat More Blueberries

Spring and summer are prime seasons for fresh blueberries.  But there are good reasons to eat them all year round.  Blueberries pack huge health benefits in a tiny package.

Research confirms that eating even less than a cup of blueberries a day helps fend off heart disease, cancer, brain aging, and much more. Here are seven great reasons to eat more blueberries every day.

1. Berries Stop Heart Attacks

According to a study published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association eating at least three servings of blueberries and strawberries every week can save women from heart attacks.  Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of East Anglia reviewed the berry-eating habits of 93,600 women between the ages of 25 and 42 over 18 years.  The women were part of the Nurses’ Health Study II. Researchers concluded that women who ate three or more servings of blueberries and strawberries per week reduced their risk of heart attack by as much as one-third.

And it really had to be berries.  Women who ate a diet rich in other fruits and vegetables did not enjoy the same reduced heart attack risk.

2. Lower Blood Pressure With Blueberries

Blueberries can lower your blood pressure.  Researchers conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial on 48 post-menopausal women with pre-hypertension or stage one hypertension.  Every day half the women were given 22 grams of freeze-dried blueberry powder equivalent to one cup of fresh blueberries.  The other half received a placebo. The results were published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

After just 8 weeks the women who took the blueberry powder had significantly lowered their systolic (5.1%) and diastolic (6.3%) blood pressure.  Those on the placebo had no change.

In addition, the blueberry powder reduced arterial stiffness on average by 6.5%.  No change was seen in the placebo group. Arterial stiffness is a symptom of atherosclerosis and predicts cardiovascular risk.  It indicates that the heart has to work harder to circulate blood to the peripheral blood vessels.

The researchers attributed the beneficial effects to an amazing 68.5% increase in blood levels of nitric oxide in the women who took the blueberry powder.  Nitric oxide is known to widen blood vessels to increase blood flow and lower blood pressure.  Those on the placebo had no changes in nitric oxide levels.

3. Wild Blueberries Boost Vascular Health

A study from Florida State University found that a daily serving of blueberries could be key to fighting cardiovascular disease in women.

And in another study, researchers from England and Germany proved that less than a cup of wild blueberries can have an almost immediate and long lasting effect on how well your vascular system is circulating blood. The more easily blood flows through your arteries and veins, the less your heart has to work.

They conducted two randomized, controlled, double-blind crossover studies in 21 healthy men between 18 and 40 years old.  In the first study, some of the men drank varying amounts of blueberry polyphenols, ranging from the equivalent of 240 grams (3/4 cup) to 560 grams (1.25 cups) of wild blueberries.  Others were given a drink with the same macro and micronutrients but no blueberry polyphenols.

The researchers then measured changes in the men’s “flow-mediated dilation.”  FMD is the gold-standard to measure endothelial function.  The endothelium is the lining of the blood vessels.  FMD is considered a good predictor of cardiovascular disease risk.

They found that as blueberry polyphenols were broken down by enzymes into various metabolites, endothelial function in the men improved.  The benefits lasted at least 6 hours.

A second study showed that FMD improved in a dose-dependent manner up to the equivalent of about 240 grams of wild blueberries.  Then the effects plateaued.  In other words, the men didn’t get any additional benefit in endothelial function by eating any more than the equivalent of three-quarters of a cup of wild blueberries.

4. Prevent Cancer With Blueberries

A study in the journal Nutrition Research found that daily blueberries increase natural killer (NK) cells.[i]  NK cells are white blood cells that play a critical role in the immune system’s defense against foreign invaders like viruses and tumors.  They scan the body for abnormal cells and destroy them before they can develop into actual cancers.

The researchers divided 25 sedentary men and post-menopausal women in two groups.  Every day one group received a placebo while the other was given 38 grams of blueberry powder.  The powder was equivalent to 250 grams of fresh fruit.

After six weeks the blueberry group saw significant increases in NK cells.  The results were consistent with earlier research by the same team finding that blueberries improve NK cell counts, oxidative stress, and inflammation in trained athletes.

Other research shows that blueberries are rich in antioxidants that help prevent cancer.  Antioxidants work by neutralizing free radicals, atoms that contain an odd number of electrons and are highly unstable.  Free radicals can cause the type of cellular damage that is a big factor in cancer development.

Blueberries are also rich in anthocyanins.  These compounds give blueberries their beautiful color. They also help explain why blueberries may help prevent the free-radical damage associated with cancer.

5. Berries Protect Lungs

Anthocyanins in blueberries also protect your lungs as you get older.  A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition followed 839 participants from the VA (Veterans Affairs) Normative Aging Study.  Over 16 years it found that men who ate two or more servings of blueberries a week had up to 37.9 percent less decline in their lung function compared to those who ate no or very little blueberries.

6. Berries Improve Insulin Sensitivity

A double-blinded, randomized, and placebo-controlled clinical study in The Journal of Nutrition found that bioactive compounds found in blueberries improve insulin sensitivity.

Twice a week researchers had 32 obese, non-diabetic, insulin-resistant patients drink smoothies with or without 22.5 grams of blueberry bioactives.  After six weeks the blueberry group improved their insulin sensitivity by a factor of four over the placebo group.

In another randomized controlled study from Oklahoma State University 48 people consumed either a freeze-dried blueberry beverage or a placebo drink once a day. The freeze-dried drink was equivalent to about 350 grams (3.5 cups) of fresh blueberries. After eight weeks researchers found that the blueberries improved measures of metabolic syndrome.

7. Blueberries Keep Your Brain Young

A study in the Annals of Neurology found that anthocyanins in blueberries can slow brain aging by up to 2.5 years.  Harvard researchers measured cognitive function in 16,010 participants 70 years and older in the Nurses’ Health Study.  Based on dietary questionnaires, they concluded that eating more blueberries slowed cognitive decline by up to 2.5 years.

It works for young people too.  In a crossover study in the journal Nutrition 14 children aged 8 to 10 years old consumed a blueberry drink or placebo. Two hours later they completed a battery of five cognitive tests.  The blueberry drink significantly improved delayed recall of a list of words.

Eat Blueberries More Often

Making one simple change to your diet by adding blueberries could have a significant impact on cardiovascular health, cancer prevention, and brain power.

In addition to polyphenols, blueberries are an excellent source of vitamins K and C, manganese, and fiber.

Wild blueberries are particularly potent.  They are smaller than the cultivated versions most often found in your supermarket, with about twice the number of berries per pound.  They also have less water and a higher skin-to-pulp ratio.  That means the wild versions have more intense flavor and double the antioxidant content.

During the spring and summer months enjoy blueberries fresh.  Out of season you can easily find them frozen or dried.  Add them to salads, yogurt, oatmeal, or smoothies.  Or just eat them by the handful.

But many berries are heavily treated with pesticides.  Always choose organic blueberries to be safe.

For more information visit GreenMedInfo’s page on blueberries.

Additional References


[i] McAnulty LS et al. “Six weeks daily ingestion of whole blueberry powder increases natural killer cell counts and reduces arterial stiffness in sedentary males and females.” Nutr Res. 2014 Jul;34(7):577-84. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2014.07.002.

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Planet Earth

Volcanologists discover “domed magma uplift” in the Yellowstone caldera

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The last time a major eruption of Yellowstone occurred 640 thousand years ago. The supervolcano is currently under close scrutiny by scientists who are trying to recognize the slightest signs of a possible future catastrophe. 

According to some experts, the eruption is unlikely to happen again, since the volcano is quite “old”, while others are sure that it will definitely happen again, the question is only in time.

Volcanologist Robert Smith of the University of Utah made an amazing breakthrough in understanding the Yellowstone system when he noticed a change in water levels in a local lake. The study focused on looking for signs of deformation in its caldera, which could indicate an impending eruption, Express reports.

“He recognized some of these signs, especially in the changes in the level of Yellowstone Lake, and saw that his basin was tilting, which caused the water level to rise at one end of the lake and fall at the other,” geologist Robert Christiansen said.

According to the data received, over the past 50 years, the caldera has risen by about two-thirds of a meter. This was later found to be normal for Yellowstone, as scientists observed periods of upswing followed by declines.

The experts explained that this is a rather impressive “domed uplift”, which indicates magmatic activity. 

“Either the magma invaded the crust or it heated the hydrothermal system, causing it to expand and lift the crust,” Christiansen said. 

Later it was found that the periods of rise last for about ten years, then a period of stability begins – about a year, after which the water level falls.

It is currently at a low point. The results were based on an analysis of volcanic deposits scattered tens of thousands of miles across the region.

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Planet Earth

Piraha – people who live for the day and are considered the happiest on Earth

In the wilds of the Brazilian jungle, the people of Piraha live, which is difficult to understand for a modern person. They do not know the past and the future, consider prolonged sleep dangerous and have no idea what stress is. The missionary who came to the piraha to teach them life, came to the conclusion that these people are the happiest on Earth. And years later, he completely realized that he needed to learn from them, and not vice versa.

We are publishing rare pictures of these mysterious people and also tell the most shocking facts about Pirah people, who see the world absolutely differently from most people on the planet.. And we can also tell the most shocking facts about the people of Pirah, who see the world absolutely differently from most people on the planet.

Live here and now

The essence of the Pirah culture is explained very simply: “Live here and now” In their language there is only the present tense, because, according to the people, the only important thing that is worth communicating to others is what is experienced at that very moment.

Who are Piraha - people who live one day and are considered the happiest on the planet
©  bad.planet / Instagram

Piraha believe that sleep is harmful 

They were shocked when they found out that someone was sleeping for 8 hours. The people are sure that if you fall asleep for a long time, you can wake up as a different person. However, there is also an opinion that such a regime was formed due to the fact that the area where the people live is teeming with snakes. Therefore, they sleep in fits and starts for half an hour and no more than two hours a night.

They only distinguish between dark and light colors. Red and yellow confuse people, as well as green and blue.

Who are Piraha - people who live one day and are considered the happiest on the planet

The number of Pirah is only 800 people

Usually, representatives of primitive tribes would rather take their own lives than lose their honor and respect. But not a feast. They basically don’t understand what anger or despair is . “If Haaiohaaa dropped the fish into the water, that’s bad. No fish, no dinner. But what does Haaiohaaa have to do with it? ” – they just think.

The concepts of “century”, “time” and “history” are empty phrases for pirah, and almost none of them remember their grandparents. When asked what was the tribe before they laconic answer: “Everything is the same’.

Mothers don’t tell their children bedtime stories. In addition, here, in principle, no one remembers any stories: collective memory is built only on the personal experience of the oldest living member of the tribe.

Also, the piraha do not know what guilt and shame are. A husband can easily leave his wife if she is no longer young and pretty. Moreover, the woman will not be angry with him and will simply say something in the spirit:

“It happened because it happened, that’s all. So, we need to look for a new man.”

Who are Piraha - people who live one day and are considered the happiest on the planet
©  Smithsonian Channel Smithsonian Channel / YouTube

In their language there are no words for the left and right sides, and the people do not understand why this is necessary.

Piraha mothers do not know how many children they have

But they distinguish them by their faces. The point is that this nation cannot count. Piraha do not even perceive the word “one”. However, they have concepts of “several” and “many”. That is, they can say that they have several children, but they cannot give the exact number.

Who are Piraha - people who live one day and are considered the happiest on the planet

Piraha show no interest in the achievements of modern civilization. Moreover, they completely do not understand the way of life of modern people. “ How can you sleep and eat so much? “- this is how the people think about white people. However, they began to wear clothes, and also used aluminum utensils, threads, matches and fishing tackle.

This culture lacks religion and the concept of God. Although belief in the otherworld is common in most cultures, piraha is useless.

Who are Piraha - people who live one day and are considered the happiest on the planet
©  Smithsonian Channel Smithsonian Channel / YouTube

Every few years, the inhabitants of the people take a new name for themselves, which corresponds to the next period of their life.

Due to the peculiar perception of time, this unusual people do not see the need to store food for future use. What’s more, they don’t treat food as significant at all. If you could not find something for lunch, then  you can skip lunch and eat the next day.

Кто такие пираха — люди, которые живут одним днем и считаются самыми счастливыми на планете

In the Pirah, everyone is equal 

There is no social hierarchy. Perhaps that is why researchers note the amazing vitality of these people. In their tribe there is no envy, anger, theft, conspiracies and intrigues.

They don’t say thank you, sorry and please. In other words, they don’t have any courtesies. Piraha are perplexed why all this is needed, because they all treat each other so warmly without any formalities.

Who are Piraha - people who live one day and are considered the happiest on the planet

Missionary and linguist Daniel Everett wanted to teach Pirah all the benefits of civilization and lived for many years among these unhurried, constantly laughing and knowing no sins people. During this time, he suddenly became an atheist and changed his worldview. After all, the Pirahaha absolutely did not understand why to believe in someone whom no one saw, and why this someone influences the happiness and life of an individual.

Piraha do not suffer from mental disorders and depression. According to Everett, this nation has a phenomenal degree of life satisfaction, and without banned substances and antidepressants.

Piraha are sometimes called the happiest people on the planet.

 According to some experts, while some people remember the past or spend time studying the features of other cultures, this people simply lives their own lives, smiles, laughs and knows no troubles.

Do you think a person from a civilized society cannot understand the inhabitants of the jungle? Or is there something attractive in their principles of life?

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Planet Earth

How to create a “heaven on earth” for all mankind?

We ask ourselves this question and tried to answer it. Of course, by “paradise” we do not mean “paradise booths” somewhere in the mythical nooks of the past, but a very real place – our home called planet Earth.

Moreover, this is our only home at the moment, since the prospects for the colonization of other planets of the solar system for us are still rather dreams, and very far from being realized.

Two main problems for humanity

Do you know what we like about people? The fact that even being in difficult living conditions, they do not limit their interests only to how to earn a living for themselves – no, they are interested in more global issues: political, social, philosophical or scientific in nature. But what worries them the most?

In our opinion, most people on our planet are preoccupied with two main problems:

1) Security (in every sense of the word, including economic)

2) Happiness (in the broadest sense of the word)

While these problems may seem very different at first glance, they actually boil down to caring for your own well-being.

In this context, it is quite easy to understand why humans do not live in paradise on Earth.

There are many problems that are prevalent all over the world today, such as wars and crime (with all the associated problems), as well as various health problems, both physical and mental.

It seems obvious that no one wants to live in a world where they are constantly under the threat of violent crimes, wars or other disasters, and it is also clear that many people want to find love and happiness not only, and not so much for themselves, but rather for those who are very dear to them.

Hence, the most obvious way to create a paradise on earth would be to increase safety for all people and increase the possibilities for human relationships.

When it comes to security, there are a number of obvious things that can be done. For example, many people are concerned about pollution and environmental degradation, as well as related issues such as global warming and overpopulation.

There is an obvious solution to this in the form of cleaner energy sources (such as solar energy) and more efficient modes of transportation (including space travel). This would help reduce fears about climate change at least partially.

Another issue that is widely discussed is the possibility of a nuclear war between large countries. This could potentially lead to the extinction of all of humanity, if it happened at the moment, given the advances in technology and weapons compared to previous generations.

In addition to these issues, there are a number of other issues that seem to be at least somewhat predominant, such as privacy, economic insecurity and social inequality.

What we can do?

If we digress from philosophical reasoning and look at the real situation that has developed in the world over the past ten years, we can see that the world has ceased to live by the rules.

If earlier, there were official and unofficial rules of “behavior of states in international relations”, now these “gentlemen’s agreements” are completely ignored.

One possible solution to this could be the creation of a “world government” that would control all aspects of human life (including economy and technology). However, this will almost certainly have some negative consequences.

World government: pros and cons

Pros : One government of all human civilization, by definition, will save us from wars, economic inequality, social inequality and the likelihood of global destruction in the event of a nuclear war. In fact, on planet Earth, there will be one huge country in which the entire population of the planet will live.

Cons : There is a risk that people will come to power who will turn the good goal of “heaven on earth” into the possibility of establishing a dictatorship in which all the disadvantages of the previous type of government will remain, when “everyone was for himself”, but already without the opportunity to defend their interests as it was when there was a system of scattered but sovereign states.

How, then, to create a paradise on earth for everyone?

1) Develop future technologies that will help us save the planet and stop global climate change.

2) To develop medicine in the direction of increasing the life expectancy of a person, which will entail an increase in the quality of life, and an increase in “happiness” for each individual citizen.

3) To achieve maximum protection of people from any threats . The safety of citizens in all spheres of life should become a priority for the state.

4) Revive the system of “international rules”, which must be observed by all countries, without exception.

5) Limit the proliferation of nuclear weapons in order to increase the overall level of the sense of security of all mankind, and save it even from hypothetically possible mutual destruction in the event of a conflict with the use of nuclear weapons.

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