Health News of note: Herbs/Spices, Exercise and memory, Freeze-Drying, Aronia Berry

Some interesting and helpful health related research and news articles that coughs my attention.


  • Bioavailability of herbs and spices in humans as determined by ex vivo inflammatory suppression and DNA strand breaks.

According to this research paprika, rosemary, ginger, heat-treated turmeric, sage, and cumin protected against DNA strand breaks. Paprika also appeared to protect cells from normal apoptotic processes (the programmed death of some of an organism’s cells as part of its natural growth and development). Clove, ginger, rosemary, and turmeric were able to significantly reduce oxidized LDL-induced expression of TNF-α. Serum from those consuming ginger reduced all three inflammatory biomarkers. Ginger, rosemary, and turmeric showed protective capacity by both oxidative protection and inflammation measures.

I use turmeric practically on daily basis, not so much with he others herbs mentioned here. From the market today, I brought home pots of sage and rosemary 🙂



  • Researchers have found further evidence that exercise may be beneficial for brain health and cognition. The findings suggest that certain hormones, which are increased during exercise, may help improve memory.

source Science Daily


  • Freeze-drying had no significant impact on nutrient content, but refrigerated fruit experienced large losses. Refrigerated Fruit Loses Over 80 Percent of Its Antioxidants!

I knew that frozen produce usually will have the highest content of nutrients then fresh, unless you pick it from your garden or get it at the Farmer’s Market. The more time passes from the moment produce is harvested, the more have bought freeze-dried fruit at Trader Joe’s, and now I will make a point of adding to our daily diet. They sure do make great snacks.

source, image from


  • The Next Big Berry! Aronia berry, otherwise called the chokeberry. With off-the-charts antioxidant levels (two to four times as high as rivals the acai berry, goji berry, wild blueberries, and cranberries, according to USDA studies), the aronia berry is an aggressive fighter against free radical damage caused by stress, poor diet, sun exposure, environmental pollution, and illness.

Aronia berries are very common in my native Russia, as kids we would just pick it off the shrub and eat fresh, as a snack 🙂 Now I order it frozen online and add to my shakes/smoothies in the morning. The great thing is that aronia is actually also native to U.S. and since it’s local, aronia doesn’t have to travel extreme distances. Its eco-friendly credentials are boosted by the fact that it’s remaking farming on a smaller scale in the Midwest, where the plant was reintroduced in the late nineties, starting with the Sawmill Hollow Farm in Iowa’s Missouri Valley. Pick up a supply on Amazon or, if you’ve got some land and the inclination, try your hand at growing your own sustainable, low-maintenance shrub. [$25;]

sources:, image from

To your health,


  1. Thx Elena- I’m really looking forward to reading the articles- always something to learn ( after I put a post it that says “no fruit zone” on my refrigerator door!).


  2. Thank you Elena for all the info on spices/herbs, freeze dried fruit and berries. I will have to look out for the aronia berry, haven’t come across it up to now but you did mention you could get it via Amazon. Trader Joe’s freeze dried fruit is also new to me but I will look out for it, although it might only be obtained in the U.S. Was surprised to read that refrigerated fruit experienced such large losses. I always try and buy Organic fruit where possible but I suppose the same applies to the organic fruit as well



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