Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Benefits of Berries

Sometimes I feel like berries might be some kind of secret weapon that most of us forget to use.  They're naturally sweet, and actually one of the more low-carb options for fruit out there.  They're perfect for a quick snack, to satisfy a sweet tooth, or even serve up as desert!

I mean, I used them yesterday to make my perfect parfait-which is low calorie, low carb, and amazing!

Also, little known fact-berries aren't just bright and colorful so they'll be pretty to look at, or so our ancestors could use them for paint pigment-the colors contain phytochemicals and flavonoids that may help prevent some forms of cancer.

Berries are very high in antioxidants, which protect your cells from "free radicals" which are molicules produced by toxins in food, smoke, etc.  Antioxidants help fend that off illness, and certain forms of cancer. Many berries also contain lutein, which is good for your vision, and Cranberries and Blueberries help with your urinary tract and help fend off infection. 

A quick rundown of berries and their benefits:

There are over 600 different types of strawberries, how's that for variety. One cup of Strawberries offers a 140% your daily recommended intake of Vitamin C, which can help boost your immune system and help fight off colds.  They're also high in phytoneutrients (phenols) that help fight off cancer and support your heart.  Studies show that strawberries may also help prevent our brains as we grow older, and that they help protect the muscular function of your eyes.

These pretty little gems are practically packed with antioxidants.  Blueberries have the highest amount of anthocyanidins, which are phytonutrients that fight off the free radicals, and in turn it helps prevent serious deterioration to our skin.  They decrease your risk for cancer, cataracts, ulcers, glaucoma, varicose veins, hemmoroids, and much more.  It's also believed they aid in the reduction of belly fat.

Raspberries are a source of ellagic acid, which is added to a lot of dietary supplements.  High in anti-oxidants, they help prevent damage to cell membraines..  They also have the ability to prevent the overgrowth of bacteria and fungi in the body.  One of those certain bacterias is "candida albicans" which is a leading culprit in yeast infections and irritable bowl syndrome.

Yes, Blackberries are high in antioxidants like the other berries, but these intoxicating little morsels really pack a punch when it comes to fighting off chronic disease with their little cancer fighting bunch of vitamins.  They are also high in fiber and have been linked to the lowering of cholesterol.

Acai berries have recently taken the health and weight loss energy and ran with it.  Everyone is scrambling for the newest product containing these petite beauties.  How beneficial are they really?  They seem to be quite similar to red wine in the way they reduce cholesterol and benefit your health.  They're extremely high in antioxidants. One acai berry holds ten times the amount of antioxidant vitamins as grapes, and two times the amount of blueberries.  See: Acai Berries & Acai Berry Juice What are the health benefits?

Other Berries can be great for you too.  Check out Bilberries, Cherries, and many others!

Other Sources:
7 Berries You Should Eat Every Day - Global Healing Center
Health Benefits of Eating Berries -

Which is your favorite Berry and why?
Have any good berry related recipes to share?


.:Bree:. said...

You totally inspired me today.
I bought berries. The little 6oz containers were $2.50 at sunflower...but man oh man, I really need to eat more fruit!

Beth said...

Don't forget cranberries, too! And stone fruits. Nomnomnom!

For snacking, strawberries are my favorite. But I LOVE putting blueberries into baked goods. LOVE.

Gift said...

Omg I wanna go buy tons of berries now! Woo!


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