Nutrition

Berries: these small fruits with 6 extraordinary health benefits

Even the pickiest eaters rarely need to be coerced into eating a bowl of strawberries or raspberries. After all, berries are nature’s candy. Luckily, berries are as healthy as they are delicious. Whether you add a handful of blueberries to your breakfast cereal or add a few strawberries to your smoothie, adding berries to your diet benefits everyone.

The berries are small fruits with even smaller seeds and can be eaten whole without being peeled or pitted. Some of the most common berries include blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. But there are many other types of berries, such as acai berries, cranberries, currants, elderberries or goji berries.

Why are berries so healthy?

As a rule, all berries are nutritious. Consider these powerful health benefits:

– Berries help improve your cholesterol levels and lower your blood sugar levels. You can thank all the fibers for that. A single cup of raspberries or blackberries contains about 8 grams of fiber. A cup of blueberries or strawberries contains about 3 grams of fiber.

– And despite their sweet taste, berries generally have a low glycemic load. This means that they are digested quite slowly thanks to their fiber content, which helps limit the rise in blood sugar levels, and your insulin response, after consumption.

– Berries are full of vitamins and minerals. Berries provide a wide range of vitamins, including vitamin A, B vitamins, and vitamins C and K. And minerals? Look no further, you’ll find healthy amounts of potassium, magnesium, calcium, and iron.

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– Berries have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects and more. Berries are rich in phytonutrients, plant chemicals that have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects. Some of the best phytonutrients in berries are anthocyanins, which are the pigments that give berries their color.

– The antioxidants and phytonutrients in berries also help fight infections and boost the immune system, improve blood vessel function, cholesterol levels and blood pressure, and protect nerve cells and the brain.

– Berries may reduce your risk of heart attack. Research suggests that a few weekly servings of anthocyanin-rich berries, such as strawberries and blueberries, can significantly reduce the risk of heart attack and cardiovascular disease. They may also delay cognitive decline associated with aging and reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The queen of berries: the blueberry

The power of blueberries lies largely in their color. The dark blue hue comes from anthocyanin, an antioxidant that may help protect the body against heart disease and cancer, as well as reduce inflammation and increase immune function. Research also suggests that compounds found in blueberries may delay the effects of vascular dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

A half cup serving of blueberries contains 25% of the daily recommended value of vitamin C and 3 grams of dietary fiber and only 30 calories. Additionally, blueberries are a juicy fruit, which means they contain mostly water. Juicy fruits are great for weight loss or weight maintenance because they fill you up quickly with their high water content and minimal calories. »

Whether you eat blueberries for their health benefits or love their taste, or both, blueberries can easily be eaten plain. They can also be added to cereal or yogurt, or incorporated into baked goods for added sweetness and nutrition. To extend their shelf life, Wergin advises keeping fresh blueberries in the refrigerator.

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During these summer months, be sure to take advantage of blueberries when they are plentiful and on sale by buying them in bulk and freezing them. Simply wash and dry the berries, arrange them on a plate and freeze them until solid. Pack frozen blueberries in freezer safe storage bags, so they are ready for the winter months. You can easily replace frozen berries with fresh berries. »

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