Stone fruits could stump weight gain

 
By Shayna Brouker • Published: September 26th, 2012
Category: Health in a Heartbeat
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If you’re trying to maintain that lean bikini body beyond this summer, look to fall’s harvest of nectarines, peaches and plums for a boost. The sweet, succulent stone fruits could offer a step up in your effort to stay or get slim.

A new study by Texas AgriLife Research found that these stone fruits possess bioactive compounds that can potentially ward off obesity, diabetes and heart disease. These compounds somehow work together to battle metabolic syndrome, the term for a collection of conditions including obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, unhealthy cholesterol levels and excess fat in the abdomen.

Having these risk factors significantly raises your risk of diabetes, and blood vessel and heart disease. But snacking on stone fruits can help keep metabolic syndrome at bay and could help keep bad L-D-L cholesterol from becoming oxidized, which is linked to the development of cardiovascular disease.

In fact, the study showed that different groups of these compounds work on different cells — fat cells, macrophages and vascular endothelial cells. Researchers believe it’s the first time compounds have been found to work in concert together to combat the risk factors for disease.

What else can you do to battle metabolic syndrome? Besides eating purple potatoes, another stone-like food that has been shown to lower blood pressure, be sure to eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and don’t smoke. Schedule regular visits with your doctor to keep an eye on blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar. If you’re overweight, slim down; losing as little as 10 percent of your body weight can help reduce your risk factors.

So pick up some plums and nosh on nectarines for a peachy keen metabolic syndrome-free lifestyle.