Eating Blueberries Prevents Some Health Problems

November 24, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. obesity [oh-BEE-si-tee] (n.) – the condition of being very fat or overweight in an unhealthy way
ExampleObesity has become a big problem in the US as many Americans now prefer fast food.

2. hypertension [hahy-per-TEN-shuh n] (n.) – the state of having abnormally high blood pressure
Example: Being overweight and lack of exercise may cause hypertension.

3. equivalent [ih-KWIV-uh-luh nt, ee-kwuh-VEY-luh nt] (adj.) – equal or has the same effect or value as another thing
Example: One kilogram is equivalent to 1000 grams.   

4. raw [raw] (adj.) – uncooked or fresh
Example: One can get more nutritional benefits when eating raw carrots rather than the cooked ones.

5. maximize [MAK-suh-mahyz] (v.) – to increase something to the greatest amount or level possible
Example: Eating raw vegetables maximizes the nutrition one can get.


Read the text below.
A new study claims that eating a bowl of blueberries a day could prevent various kinds of health problems, such as obesity, heart diseases, and diabetes.

The study revealed that eating berries regularly in more than eight weeks can ease or even prevent metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors characterized by obesity, hypertension, inflammation, and glucose intolerance. This condition increases the probability of having heart diseases, stroke, and other conditions affecting blood vessels.

The study was conducted by feeding specially bred obese rats with blueberries equivalent to two cups a day for humans. Eating the berries improved the relaxing and constricting in the blood vessels of the rats, which are crucial on the blood flow and blood pressure. According to the co-author of the study, blueberries contain many substances that can prevent metabolic syndrome.

Blueberries are a rich source of antioxidants called polyphenols that could protect the cells in the heart and aid in lowering blood pressure. This antioxidant also reduces the damage to the lining of blood vessels and deals with glucose intolerance, a condition of having too much sugar in the blood that leads to diabetes.

The researchers emphasized that berries are best eaten when raw. When the fruits are heated, the polyphenol levels are cut by up to a fifth. Baking the berries into pies or muffins also reduces their disease-fighting nutrients. Thus, eating the berries raw is recommended to further maximize the nutritional benefits.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         After reading the article, would you want to eat more blueberries? Why or why not?
·         Which do you prefer, eating raw berries or eating the cooked ones? Share your view.

Discussion B

·         In your opinion, why do some people suffer from health problems? Please explain.
·         What do you think are the ways to be healthy? Share your thoughts to your tutor.


November 24, 2013