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Berries

BERRIES  =  DIVINE FOOD Scientists have found berries have some of the highest antioxidant levels of any fresh fruits (measured as ORAC), and kale and spinach are the only vegetables with ORAC values as high as fresh, delicious berries. Fresh berries are some of the most powerful (and delicious) disease-fighting foods available.

Not only are they fantastic tasting, but berries are incredibly beneficial to our health in more ways than one. For starters, the antioxidants in berries may have positive effects on our brain. Antioxidants act as a powerful line of defense inside our bodies against free radicals that damage our cells and promote disease. Higher intake of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory micronutrients from sources like berries have been shown to possibly reduce cognitive decline in older adults

Berries are also rich in micronutrients such as polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that helps prevent cancer and heart disease. Their mineral and vitamin content is small in comparison to some other foods, but their micronutrient profile is so rich that despite their size, their effect on our health is particularly noteworthy. Their antioxidant power lies in the pigment anthocyanin, which is associated with inhibiting tumors as well as stopping the spread of cancer cells

In addition, berries are potentially beneficial for heart health. A study published in 2010showed that when berries were consumed, healthy individuals as well as those with diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and smokers had: 

  • Lower risk of cardiovascular disease, 
  • Greater glucose metabolism, 
  • Improved cholesterol levels, 
  • Greater antioxidant capacity.

However, how you consume berries determines whether or not you receive such health benefits. Berry juices and extracts do not have the same nutritional profile as whole berries. Juicing removes fiber, which contains the high micronutrient profile, especially the cancer fighting pigment anthocyanin. Berry extract also misses out on the rest of nutritional spectrum of the whole fruit. In addition, cooking berries damages antioxidant compounds and pigments. It is therefore important that you eat your berries whole and uncooked in order to receive all their health benefits. 

When you dig into the facts behind berries, it’s quite fascinating to discover that such tiny and delicate fruits are a storehouse of power for the human body.

Cranberries, blueberries, boysenberries, raspberries, strawberries, and fresh currants are just some of the SuperFoods that contain phytonutrients and vitamins that inspire the body’s cells to communicate with each other more efficiently.

This means that they have to power to decrease your chance of cancer and protect the body in numerous ways — including the following.

5 Health Benefits of Berries

  1. Decrease Your Chance of Cancer

    One of the best ways to decrease your chances of forming cancer is to enrich your diet with blueberries. A serving of blueberries offers the body massive amounts of antioxidants, nearly 1800 IU of vitamin E and more than 1200 milligrams of vitamin C.

     
  2. Lower Your Risk of Type-2 Diabetes

    According to a 2013 study published in the British Medical Journal, those who consume at least two servings of blueberries, have a 23 percent lower chance of developing type-2 diabetes. There are multiple reasons for this, but one includes the high amount of fiber found within berries.

     
  3. Maintain a Healthy Heart

    A study published in PLoS Medicine found that by eating a diet rich in fruit (including berries) you can modify the 9p21 gene, which has been directly attributed to heart disease.

     
  4. Stay Mentally Sharp

    The Annals of Neurology discovered that by eating two servings of strawberries or a single serving of blueberries per week, mental decline is slowed. More specifically, it found that study participants who ate the most berries postponed cognitive decline by 2.5 years.

According to Elizabeth Devore (the author of the study) it was concluded “the effect might be related to a class of compounds called anthocyanidins … found almost exclusively in berries, are known to cross the blood-brain barrier and locate in learning and memory centers in the brain.”

  1. Prevent Parkinson’s

    Finally, the journal Neurology published a report that states people who eat at least two servings of berries per week are 25% less likely of developing Parkinson’s disease. It also found that men who take in the highest level of flavonoids in their peer group reduce their risk by 40 percent.

There are numerous other reasons to regularly incorporate berries to your diet. They can do everything from improve digestion, to help you lose weight, and even clear urinary tract infections.

When selecting berries for your diet, it’s important that you choose organic. These Super Foods tend to have the most pesticides of any other fruit. Make every effort to find a great supplier, even if it means you purchase frozen, organic berries.

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