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Summer is Here! So are Blueberries! So is Erythritol!

It is the first day of summer today and I am hoping we all have three months of sunshine and flowers, warm friendly days, and cool comfortable nights! Do something you love this summer and enjoy it!

I have been discussing endlessly with myself what to write in today’s blog, and indeed what you would like in these blogs, and this one will be a bit disjointed. If there are topics you want to hear about, please call or email me.

Let’s talk about anthocyanins first. The dietitian’s Academy website has articles and recipes about the value of anthocyanins, which are plant compounds which provide a vibrant red, blue, or purple color to fruits and vegetables.    Anthocyanins are believed to help improve cognitive performance in older adults – why, they could even help me think more clearly!

Blueberries are one of these anthocyanin rich fruits, and they are highly nutrient rich fruits. They have lots of fiber and important nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese and polyphenols. Blueberries can actually support brain health! Like all fruits and vegetables do, they help reduce the risk of chronic diseases of all kinds; so, enjoy your cup of blue fruit plain or with yogurt or oatmeal!

Here is a neat recipe for blueberries:    Summer fruit salad with Jalapenos, Mint, and Lime.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 2 tablespoons shaved coconut (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon scallion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1 cup pineapple, chopped
  • 1 cup mango, chopped
  • 3 kiwis (1 cup), peeled and sliced in half moons

In a bowl, whisk olive oil, lime juice, scallion, mint leaves, lime zest and kosher salt until blended.

Stir in blueberries, pineapple, mango, kiwi and jalapeno.

Top with shaved coconut, if desired.

This should give you about five cups of salad (30 ounces) – enough to share with family or last for a few days. If you don’t like the hot stuff, leave the jalapeno off. The mixture blends so nicely; I hope you enjoy it.

Other World News:

Two of my favorite newsletters had articles about erythritol this month. Here is what they said.

Tufts University Nutrition and Health Letter says that a new study found that higher levels of blood erythritol are associated with higher risk of heart attacks and stroke. Did you know that our bodies naturally make erythritol? (I didn’t) And blood levels of erythritol rise for several days after we eat foods containing erythritol. Erythritol increases clotting. It is considered “Natural” because the body can make it, and it does not have to be listed on food labels as an added sugar.

And the study reported in CSPI from the Cleveland Clinic said that Researchers studied over 4,000 people in the U.S. and Europe and found those with higher blood erythritol levels were at elevated risk of experiencing a major adverse cardiac event such as heart attack, stroke or death.

The articles say that erythritol is made when cells produce the building blocks of DNA, the body’s antioxidant defense system, and more. Higher blood levels can come from increased production of decreased elimination. And people with high blood erythritol often also had compromised kidney function.

“Sure enough, the link between erythritol levels and cardiovascular events was stronger in people with poorer kidney function. So high erythritol levels could be caused by the body’s inability to excrete erythritol normally. And oxidative stress caused by cardiovascular disease could also be increasing erythritol.” (CSPI)

CSPI recommends “Until we know more, do not panic. But to play it safe, aim for no more than a few grams of erythritol a day. It is mostly in keto or low-sugar sweets.”

Just wanting to keep you informed about the new research into these sweeteners. Please use as little of all of these as you can. And enjoy the beautiful fresh blueberries instead!

Blessings to you,

Theresa

References:

Tufts Health and Nutrition Newsletter July 2023 page 1

Center for Science in the Public Interest; https://www.cspinet.org/article/what-know-about-latest-erythritol-study?utm_source=everyaction&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=HealthyTips.053123&=&emci=d3a6f906-1aff-ed11-907c-00224832eb73&emdi=78749ab0-aaff-ed11-907c-00224832eb73&ceid=393796

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwimvYHXhdP_AhURFVkFHT55Ce4QFnoECBIQAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.eatright.org%2Ffood%2Ffood-groups%2Ffruits%2Fa-very-berry-summer&usg=AOvVaw2ls8ZdoKVuWH1BklwezpzQ&opi=89978449

 

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