Berries are a delicious treat and what’s even better is that they come with excellent health benefits. Berries are easy to include in your diet as snack foods, breakfast meals or simply added to smoothies. While fresh berries are always nice you can easily use frozen ones for convenience. So let’s look at some of the health benefits of berries, here’s 7 wonderful berries you may add to your diet:
1) Health Benefits of Acai Berries
Acai berries are enjoying a lot of popularity at the moment. Acai berries are high in anthocynanin — a form of plant antioxidant that is capable of lowering the levels of cholesterol in one’s bloodstream. In addition to that, acai berries are known to give the skin a healthier glow and improve the health of the cells due to the high antioxidant content which in return help combat harmful free radicals.
Acai berries are also high in Vitamin C and ellagic acid. These two are a great combination which helps boost the immune system. Studies indicate that these two have also displayed anti-cancer properties but further studies still need to be done.
2) Benefits of Bilberries
Just like acai berries, bilberries contain anthocynanins that can help in a number of conditions such as cancer, heart diseases, and eye conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
For people living with diabetes, bilberries may help in controlling blood sugar levels. Bilberries help in reducing the body’s glucose response after a meal which is high in sugar content. Although studies have suggested that the effects are more effective when mixed with oatmeal, more research is still needed.
Lastly, bilberries contain resveratrol and quercetin. Along with anthocynins, they help protect against damage from free radicals. Bilberries are also known to help protect against toxin damage, particularly from potassium bromate.
3) Health Benefits of Blackberries
The anthocynanins in blackberries helps reduce inflammation by combatting free radicals that might only destroy the cells and lead to heart disease when left alone. Blackberries also contain a high amount of vitamin C (half the daily recommended amount) and ellagic acid to help protect the skin against UV light. It is also responsible for repairing sun-damaged skin and in the healing of wounds. Also, blackberries contain vitamin K which is needed by the body for blood clotting and effective absorption of calcium by the bones.
Furthermore, blackberries help in keeping the digestive system healthy by maintaining the regularity of bowel movements.
4) Benefits of Blueberries
A study on rats showed that feeding them frozen blueberries resulted in less abdominal fat, cholesterol, and blood fats. This led to a conclusion that blueberries may affect fat storage and burning.
The blue-red pigments found in blueberries (anthocyanins) are said to protect against hypertension; reducing the risk of attacks by 10%.
Blueberry intake also helps improve the function of memory. A study has showed that daily consumption of blueberry juice for 12 weeks helps increase the neuronal signaling in the brain.
Blueberries also contain pterostibene, a compound which has the potential to protect against colon cancer. According to studies, it helps in suppressing tumor growth in colon cancer and protect against inflammation.
5) Health Benefits of Cherries
Regular intake of cherries may help reduce belly fat. A study showed that rats who ate a high-fat diet with cherry powder gained less weight than rats who didn’t have cherry powder. The rats also had lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Cherries were also documented to provide significant effects to those who have gout. A medical study showed that people who had cherries in their diet had 75% lower risks of developing gout. Also, there were 35% lower risks of attacks.
In addition to the above mentioned, cherries also help in preventing intense post-workout soreness, reducing the risks of stroke, and improving the quality and amount of sleep.
6) Benefits of Goji Berries
The antioxidants in goji berries help fight against free radicals. In addition, goji berries contain Lycium barbarum polysaccharides — complex starches that help improve the immune system and reduce the onset of fatigue due to high altitude living. Goji berries also contain vitamin A to help protect the skin against sun damage and improve night vision.
Goji berry intake is also claimed to improve one’s mood and protect against age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s. However, further medical evidence is still needed to support this.
7) Benefits of Strawberries
Strawberries are rich in nutrients such as vitamin C, potassium, folic acid and fiber.
Strawberries contain flavonoid quercetin which is a natural anti-inflammatory that may help in protecting against damage due to LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol in studies involving animals. Quercetin may also have anti cancer properties.
Additionally, strawberries may also reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, stroke and high blood pressure due to its high content of polyphenol. All berries, including strawberries are low in calories, and when it comes to strawberries you get to enjoy a whole cup (166g) for only 50 calories, which will get you 160% of your daily needs for vitamin C!
For some healthy smoothies, you may want to try these refreshing Berry Smoothies or Green Smoothies with Berries.
Are you including some of these berries in your diet?
Global Healing Center | University of Maryland Medical | HowStuffWorks | Best health Magazine | Huffington Post | WebMD | Medical News Today
Healthy living hub enthusiasts are passionate about well-being and healthy lifestyles, and we aim to help people return to their best by motivating and promoting simple changes in lifestyle and food habits. We encourage the mind body connection and believe in an all-round approach to health and personal well-being.
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