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Update: berries and cancer

acai berries According to a University of Florida study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry this week, "extracts from acai (ah-SAH’-ee) berries triggered a self-destruct response in up to 86 percent of leukemia cells tested." Although researchers caution that the study was done on cells in vitro, they also note that "compounds that show good activity against cancer cells in a model system are most likely to have beneficial effects in our bodies.”

The New York Times' Tara Parker Pope also highlights berries and their health-promoting antioxidants in her blog this week.

I'm a big fan of berries—ORGANIC berries, that is, because conventionally grown berries are some of the most pesticide-laden produce out there (check out the Environmental Working Group's dirty dozen list). It's hard to find fresh organic berries at this time of year, so I buy mine from the freezer. Note: Because the berries are frozen shortly after picking, they may actually retain more nutrients than their produce shelf counterparts which may have been shipped thousands of miles at varying temperatures.

Learn more about acai and other superfood berries.

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