What superfoods we have in the little fruit we call ‘berries’. Our hunter gather ancestors would have had such pleasure from eating these mostly sweet little fruits and it would have alleviated their symptoms of ‘fight or flight’ syndrome or as we call it today Stress.
They may be little but the thrust of benefits derive mostly the high antioxidant levels. Antioxidants are powerful little substances that can prevent oxidative stress damage to cells in our bodies. Cell damage occurs in health conditions such as cancer and the aging process where free radical activity damages the body at a cellular level. I advise eating a nutritious diet rich in antioxidants, as a prevention against certain diseases, they also assist in improving overall health, protecting skin and hair. Nearly every fruits and vegetable in our grocery store contains antioxidants, but nutrient rich berries are some of the complete best sources.
We find several powerful antioxidants in berries, including vitamin C, anthocyanins, and quercetin. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant found in berries. It is mainly responsible for the health of collagen, which helps maintain cartilage stores and aids in joint flexibility. Eating vitamin C rich berries will result in radiant skin and healthy hair and may reduce the risk of arthritis, cataracts, and macular degeneration.
Anthocyanins bestow the vibrant color of berries. They also reduce inflammation, and may help prevent and manage arthritis. Anthocyanins work together with quercetin to help slow age related memory loss. Quercetin can also decrease the inflammatory effects of chemicals in the synovial fluid of the joints for people with inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.
We know that berries are “juicy” meaning that they contain high levels of water. Juicy foods are especially beneficial for losing weight because you feel full quicker and since their high water content increases the volume they also decrease the calories. Berries also contain fibre and folate. A health weight benefits from fibre which also helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Folate has been shown to protect against cardiovascular disease and age related memory loss, and it also contributes to the production of serotonin, so it may help to prevent depression and improve your mood. IBS sufferers should note that some people with IBS experience discomfort after eating berries.
Berries should be a part of your diet because they’re loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, plus they’re rich in antioxidants that can protect your cells from free-radical damage. And best of all, they’re low in calories, so they’re perfect for weight-watching diets.
Beautiful, delicious, and good for you. Read on to learn more about these perfect nutritional gems.
When your sweet tooth needs satisfying, you can’t beat a bowl of berries. Besides being loaded with fiber, which helps fill you up, berries contain magnesium, a mineral that relaxes nerves and muscles to speed slumber.
Serve your berries plain, or add some chopped nuts or granola, or a splash of milk.
James O’Sullivan - that's me, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving my patients, my students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to diagnose or assess. The information provided is not to be considered a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care practitioner.