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Are you growing blueberries? If so, walk out to your garden and pick a cup to snack on. Guess what you just did? You gave yourself a boost of antioxidants. In fact, they have the highest concentration of antioxidants of any of the common fruits that people eat around the world. But how do the antioxidants help your body? Here are five ways that snacking on blueberries can benefit your health.

Reduced Cancer Risk

The body needs a variety of antioxidants to combat the damaging effects of free radicals. Blueberries are particularly high in a group of flavonoids known as anthocyanins, which are known to interact with the oxygen radical that causes damage to your DNA. Reducing this has many benefits to the body, including improved skin health and anti-aging qualities. Perhaps most significantly, it considerably decreases the risk of many types of cancer, such as that found in the breast, colon or on the skin.

Help Prevent Heart Disease

Blueberries are an excellent source of nutrition to help ward off the risks of developing many types of cardiovascular disease. The plaque that forms on the inside of the arteries is caused by the oxidation of LDL cholesterol (commonly known as ‘bad’ cholesterol) by free radicals. This narrowing of the arteries can result in life-threatening issues such as heart attack or stroke. The antioxidants in blueberries are particularly useful in not only preventing this buildup, but also removing the deposit once it has developed.

Increased Brain Function

Free radicals affect all parts of the body, and the brain is no exception. The antioxidants that are present in blueberries are understood to congregate around the centers of the brain linked to intelligence. Research suggests that regularly consuming blueberries directly improves cognitive ability, while also reducing the rate of age-related mental difficulties.

Prevent Urinary Infections

Like the closely related cranberry, blueberries are also excellent at preventing urinary tract infections. Both berries contain compounds called anti-adhesives, which act by preventing bacteria collecting on the bladder wall. This stops the buildup of any unwanted bacteria in the urinary tract and prevents infection.

Reduce Diabetic Effects

Like all fruits, blueberries contain a relatively high level of sugar compared to other food types. However, the benefits of blueberries seem to outweigh any negative effects this sugar brings about in people with diabetes. The anthocyanins within blueberries are known to have a beneficial effect on glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity, which aids both people with diabetes, and those at risk of developing type-2 diabetes.

As well as these benefits, blueberries also contain a variety of vitamins and nutrients that help keep your body in top shape. However, like all healthy options, the key is incorporating them into a balanced diet and not assuming that the handful of blueberries at breakfast means you can get away with a fast food dinner.  Nevertheless, alongside other nutritious foods, and coupled with a regular exercise routine, blueberries can have a positive impact on your health.

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Here’s How To Deal With Your Oily Summer Skin

Even if you don’t have oily skin year-round, summertime can bring out the grease monster in all of us. In an ideal world, you could stay in the A.C. all day and night, but when you do have to venture into the heat, use these tips and tricks to keep the shine at bay.

Use an acne cleanser

Switching to an acne-controlling cleanser in the summer helps minimize oil production. Even if pimples aren’t your problem, a face wash with salicylic acid can help your oily summer skin.

Use sunblock to help control oil

Sunscreen is important for preventing skin damage and health problems, of course, but did you know it also controls oil production? Use an oil-free, mineral-based sunscreen in place of moisturizer in the morning.

Go (more) bare

It’s important to lighten up your skin care and makeup routine in the summer. Whatever you usually use to moisturize your face at night, go a step lighter – no creams, please!

If you usually wear a full face of makeup, try a simple tinted moisturizer instead of foundation. Mineral foundation can also help matte-ify the skin.

Blot it all away

Use blotting papers with translucent powder for best results. Ideally, you want papers that absorb oil without stripping too much moisture from your skin.

Scrub, scrub, scrub

Exfoliate once a week to fully cleanse your pores. Clean pores produce less oil. Voila!

Use a gentle scrub, a DIY scrub like sugar, or a skin cleansing brush like the Clarisonic.

However, be careful not to over-exfoliate! Stripping your skin of all moisture just encourages your skin to produce more oil to make up for the loss. Don’t be too rough on your skin, and don’t exfoliate or wash too often. Once a week is enough.

Avoid certain foods

Sometimes folk remedies are actually legit. Certain foods and drinks cause you to sweat more, like hard liquor and spicy foods. Go easy on the cocktails, and avoid super-hot foods. Instead, opt for foods that are high in vitamin A, like carrots or spinach. These foods actually help slow oil production.

Embrace the shine

Let’s face it – a little bit of summer shine is inevitable during this time of year. Luckily, shine is in right now. It’s not shiny, it’s “dewy”! When all your tricks are failing you and you’re feeling oily, try to embrace it rather than criticize yourself for something that’s totally natural.


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