As far as superfoods go, it's hard to compete with berries. They contain vitamins, minerals and other amazing compounds that keep the entire body healthy. One such berry that should be on your radar is the lingonberry.
What Is Lingonberry?
Also known as the cowberry, lingonberries (Vaccinium vitis-idaea) are native throughout the Northern Hemisphere and are common in countries like Finland and Sweden. They grow on a shrub like plant and are bright red in color. A relative of the cranberry and blueberry (which also have amazing health benefits), the lingonberry is also rich in anthocyanins, a type of polyphenol that gives the berries their deep color.
Benefits of Lingonberry?
Let's go back to those anthocyanins. These compounds also function as antioxidants within the body. Antioxidants are essential to defend the body against free radicals, which are a byproduct of energy production that can cause oxidative stress and damage that results in premature aging. Antioxidants also help prevent the damaging effects of inflammation throughout the body. Lingonberries are abundant in anthocyanins that also support the production of other antioxidants.
Most studies surrounding lingonberries at this time have been conducted on animals. However, their results have been encouraging and show further investigation with humans should be conducted to determine the exact functions and benefits of the berry's active compounds within the body. According to a 2012 study published in the International journal of environmental research and public health, the anthocyanins helped prevent immunosuppression associated with radiation. A study conducted back in 2005 and published in the Journal of agriculture and food chemistry also observed these antioxidant benefits and found the anthocyanins within lingonberries inhibited activator protein-1 and also promoted cancer cell death, also in mice.
Lingonberry juice and lingonberries can be found in stores, but it's easiest to find in supplement form to be taken on a daily basis. As with all supplements, check with your primary care physician before adding one to your daily routine, as some supplements may interfere with prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should also consult their doctor first.
Other Tips for Longevity
While we still haven't found the fountain of youth, there are many ways to support your longevity naturally. Here are some suggestions to keep in mind:
Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day for cardiovascular support, lean muscles, strong bones and flexible joints.
Meditate daily, even if only for five minutes, to reduce stress that can raise the blood pressure and cause weight gain and a weak immune system.
Eat a balanced diet of mostly plants and limited processed foods.
Keep alcohol consumption in moderation.
See your dentist and primary care physician annually for preventative measures.
Sleep at least seven hours per night, nine if you can.
Challenge your brain on a daily basis by completing a puzzle, learning a new language or relying on your non-dominant hand.
Making these changes and adding a lingonberry supplement to your routine can help you protect your entire body against free radical damage that can age you. For more health tips and supplements, check back at eVitamins tomorrow!