Free radicals pose a serious threat to our health.
Free radicals are atoms, molecules, or ions with unpaired electrons on an open shell configuration. They are believed to be involved in degenerative diseases and cancers. Free radicals attack our cells thousands of times a day, opening the door to long-term, degenerative health concerns and contributing to the aging process. Free radicals damage the cells by causing oxidation - the same process that makes nails rusty and apple slices brown.
Research has shown that the most effective way to defend against free radical damage is to boost the body's immunity with antioxidants. Mistica accomplishes this with powerful ingredients like acai. The acai berry and other fruits found in Mistica are natural sources of anthocyanins and other antioxidants, which can neutralize harmful free radicals before they cause damage.
The indigenous peoples of the Amazon call acai the "Tree of Life" and for centuries have used the tall, slender plant as a food and comforting balm for many health conditions.
Amazonian warriors reputedly drank the juice before battle to increase their stamina and strength, and local legends claim the juice has magical potency to enhance sexual desire. No other fruit can claim its extraordinary combination of antioxidants, amino acids, anthocyanins, and essential fatty acids. Synergy's Mistica captures this mystical energy in a high-powered fruit blend that fortifies your body with essential life-giving nutrients. Savory and delicious, Mistica gives you what you need to accomplish more each day.
We've all heard of free radicals and the negative effects they can have on our health. Free radicals occur everywhere in our environment, including our food and in the air we breathe. The acai berry and the other fruits found in Mistica are natural sources of anthocyanins. An extremely potent type of antioxidant, anthocyanins are the pigments found in berries, red grapes, and other healthful foods. These compounds offer numerous health benefits, including the ability to support the circulatory and cardiovascular systems.
In addition to powerful antioxidants, acai also contains essential fatty acids, amino acids, and plant sterols, which are compounds that resemble cholesterol. Sterols help maintain proper cholesterol levels that are already in the normal range. They are also useful in maintaining a healthy prostate and in aiding the immune system.
Tell the Antioxidant Story
Scientists determine the nutritional and health related value of food in many ways. One important measure is the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) test. This test analyzes a product's antioxidant strength and ability to scavenge free radicals.
Mistica contains naturally occuring high amounts of antioxidants that fight the free radical threat. In addition to anthocyanins, Mistica contains powerful antioxidants like phenolics and catechins. Phenolics and catechins are both biologically active compounds found in plants that provide antioxidant protection.
An independent clinical test performed by Brunswick Laboratories proved that Mistica is the superior product. Click here for the detailed results.
Packed with tropical goodness, Mistica tastes great and provides your bodily systems with a dazzling array of health-enhancing properties. Including a daily serving of Mistica in your nutritional regime may help to enhance vitality and energy, while guarding against the ravages of free radical damage. Mistica is truly the nectar of the gods!
The Straits Times, 4 November 2010
Include berries in your diet because they are great sources of antioxidants and vitamins.
To most Singaporeans, fruit like strawberries and blueberries are foreign, unlike the familiar tropical fruit they grew up with.
But they would do well to make them a regular part of their diet, for berries pack a health punch far beyond their size.
They offer a wide variety of health benefits, boosting heart health and visions, and preventing cancer.
A 2007 study by the Harvard School of Public Health reported that people who ate more strawberries experienced lower blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a biomarker for inflammation in the blood vessels. High levels of the protein have been linked to heart disease and stroke.
Women who ate at least two daily servings of strawberries were found to have less elevated CRP levels, compared to those who ate none. One serving of berries is 100g (about 1/2 cup).
And berries, with their bright colours and juicy bite, add a welcome tang to meals, either as toppings on salads, as a dessert, or blended in smoothies.
There are far more choices now when it comes to berry picking at supermarkets here.
According to FairPrice, the main berries available in the supermarket chain a decade ago were strawberries and blueberries. However, the selection at FairPrice Finest, its high-end supermarkets, now includes raspberries, blackberries and gooseberries, due in part to increased demand.
At Cold Storage, customers can also buy cranberries, golden raspberries and kiwiberries.
However, blueberries and strawberries are the stalwarts. Sales for these two fruit have shown a steady increase of close to 10 per cent every year, said a FairPrice spokesman.
"Berries are naturally sweet and pack an amazing amount of nutritional goodness," said Ms Jaclyn Reutens, a clinical dietitian at Aptima Nutrition & Sports Consultants.
To reap maximum benefits, one should eat a wide variety of fruit, including berries, she said. General recommendations are two servings of fruit a day.
It is the vibrant colours of most berries that are characterestic of a group of antioxidants called anthocyanins, which have been shown to protect the heart, said Ms Reutens.
They imporve the lining of heart arteries by increasing their production of nitric oxide, a compound that helps to improve blood flow and prevent the formation of clots, said Dr Jimmy Lim, a cardiologist at Novena Heart Centre.
Besides anthocyanins, berries also contain ellagic acid, another antioxidant, said Ms Reutens.
Ms Fahma Sunarja, a senior dietitian at Parkway Cancer Centre, said ellagic acid is thought to protect cells from free redicals, compounds which can damage cells. Damage from free radicals is believed to play a role in cancer formation.
Strawberries have some of the highest ellagic acid content among fruits, said Ms Reutens.
"When you choose berries, choose those that have a richer and deeper colour.
"Faded looking berries have lost a lot of its vitamins and antioxidants," she said.
Chinese wolfberries get thumbs-up from East and West
Berries are also held in high regard in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) - even perceived "Western" ones lke strawberries and raspberries.
Ms Jin Jinhua, a consultant acupuncturist at Raffles Hospital, said strawberries are believed to support the functioning of the heart and small intestines. They also help to lubricate the lungs and strengthen the spleen.
Raspberries are said to nourish the kidneys in TCM. However, being "cooling" in nature, those with a damp constition, that is, poor blood circulation and a weak digestive system, should avoid eating too many of them.
They may end up with worse cases of the shivers or diarrhoea, said Ms Ma Meng Yin, a senior consultant at TCM clinic IAG HealthSciences.
In TCM, "heatiness" is a concept often associated with fever, sore throats and irritability. Conversely, "cooling" foods are associated with diarrhoea and cold hands and feet.
Another berry which merits a thumbs-up from both TCM practitioners and Western health experts is the Chinese wolfberry (gouqizi).
The bright, orange-red berry helps to nourish the liver and kidneys. It also helps improve one's vision, said Ms Jin.
Ms Ma said that wolfberries are neutral foods and are suitable for most people.
However, she said that wolfberries may be too strong to be consumed alone. In Singapore's hot weather, they may worsen one's "heatiness". To alleviate this, some chrysanthemum, which is "cooling" in nature, can be added to a wolfberry brew, said Ms Ma.
Ms Jaclyn Reutens, a clinical dietitian at Aptima Nutrition & Sports Consultants said wolfberries contain lutein and zeaxanthin, phytochemicals known for reducing age-related macular degeneration. This condition occurs when the macula - the centre of the retina - deteriorates, resulting in blurred vision and even blindness.
Dr Jacob Cheng, an opthalmologist at Eagle Eye Center @ Mount Alvernia Hospital, said that people with age-related macular degeneration usually do not have enough lutein in their diets, though it does not mean that eating more food with lutein will result in better vision.
* Antioxidants to help counter cell inflammation and premature aging.
* Anthocyanins to support the cardiovascular system.
* Essential fatty acids to aid in digestive tract function.
* Phytosterols to help maintain normal cholesterol levels.
* Amino acids for enhanced muscle activity.
Shake well before using. Drink one ounce, once or twice a day. Refrigerate after opening.
Acai (Euterpe oleracea)
Acai contains powerful antioxidants and anthocyanins, as well as a naturally occuring array of essential fatty acids, amino acids and plant sterols.
Pomegranate (Punica granatum)
Promegranate delivers antioxidant activity that was measured three times higher than red wine and green tea. Good source of anthocyanins and ellagic acid.
Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon)
Cranberry contains a wide variety of compounds, but proanthocyanidins may be responsible for their beneficial effects on the urinary tract. It is also said to prevent kidney stone formation
Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum)
Blueberry was rated as the No. 1 antioxidant over 40 fruits and vegetables tested by the USDA Human Nutrition Center. High in manganese, vitamins B6, C, K and dietary fibre. Possesses the flavonoid Kaempferol, which can reduce the risk of ovarian cancer. Contains lutein, which helps maintain good vision. Contains proanthocyanidins that can prevent harmful bacteria from adhering to the walls of the urinary tract.
Elderberry (Sambucus nigra)
Elderberry may stimulate the production of cytokines, compounds that play a role in the immune response system.
Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus)
Bilberries, or occasionally European blueberries, are a primarily Eurasian species of low-growing shrubs in the genus Vaccinium (family Ericaceae), bearing edible, dark blue berries. British pilots during World War II ate bilberries before night flights to support their vision.
Red Raspberry (Rubus idaeus)
Research has linked the anthocyanins in red raspberries to enhanced vision, circulation and slowing the effect of aging. Rich source of vitamin C, magnesium and dietary fibre. Also good source of antioxidants, polyphenols and phytonutrients.
Lycium (Lycium barbarum)/Wolfberry/gouqizi
Also called wolfberry, the Chinese have used lycium for centuries to help strengthen muscles and bone, enhance liver function, and help the eyes. Contains lutein and zeaxanthin, phytochemicals known for reducing age-related macular degeneration. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), wolfberries are also said to be able to prevent osteoporosis.
Red Grape (Vitis vinifera)
V. vinifera contains many phenolic compounds. Red grapes contain antioxidant pigments called anthocyanins.
Concord Grape (Vitis labrusca)
The Concord grape is a cultivar derived from the grape species Vitis labrusca that are used as table grapes, wine grapes and juice grapes. The purple grape juice has been shown to protect the cardiovascular system.
Decaffeinated Green Tea Leaf Extract (Camellia sinensis)
Green tea catechins have been found to have a number of antioxidant activities, especially EGCG.
Grapeseed Extract (Vitis vinifera)
Grapeseed extract has a concentrated source of oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPC). Studies have shown OPC to be more powerful antioxidant than vitamin C, E and beta-carotene.