There are many types of berries, all with a wide range of fantastic health benefits. Berries contain antioxidants called flavonoids, which have a positive impact toward your overall health. It is best to buy organic options for berries, as those do not contain any harmful pesticides. If you are unable to purchase the organic fruit, wash them before eating them. Berries are delicious, easily accessible, and can be included to your food in a number of different ways. Below are 7 health benefits of berries.
1. Promote heart health
Eating berries has been shown to have a number of cardiovascular health benefits. Berries contain flavonoids that help lower stress, blood pressure, and cholesterol. The flavonoids decrease the atherosclerosic plaque in the blood thus decreasing oxidation of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Berries also have anti-inflammatory properties. A higher berry intake reduces C-reactive protein, which is a main cause for inflammation in the body.
2. Keep your brain healthy
Along with heart health, berries can also keep your brain healthy. Berries contain compounds that protect the cell from harmful free radicals in the body. Berries change the way the brain communicates and stops inflammation in the brain that leads to diminishing cognitive and motor skills. All of this can lead to a lower chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia as you get older.
3. Lowers blood pressure
As we mentioned earlier, berries can lower your blood pressure. Blood pressure is often referred to as “the silent killer” due to the fact that many people who suffer from hypertension are not aware of their condition. However, one way to ensure that the silent killer does not sneak up on you is to eat berries. Berries contain flavonoids, which have antioxidant properties and can help lower your blood pressure. Flavonoids get the blood vessels to relax. Blueberries and strawberries are two of the types of berries that are especially effective in lowering blood pressure.
4. Great source of fiber
Getting sufficient amounts of fiber does more than help your bowel movements, and berries are an excellent source of fiber. Their seeds are the primary source of fiber. One cup of blackberries contains 8 grams of fiber, which is nearly ⅓ of the daily recommended intake for women, one cup of strawberries contains 4 grams of fiber. Add these berries to salads, or have them on its own as a snack to get a great source of fiber.
5. Helps manage diabetes
Despite containing sugar, berries can be beneficial to those afflicted with diabetes due to the fiber content. While juicing does have its benefits, if you are diabetic, you’ll want to eat fruit rather than drink juice due to the juice being higher in sugar and less fiber. It is important to watch how much you eat, if you eat too many berries you will lose much of the health benefits that come with berries and your blood sugar will spike as well. Doctors recommend the following serving amounts for a few notable berries:
¾ cup blackberries
1 cup raspberries
1 ¼ cup strawberries
6. Aid in weight loss
Berries are successful in helping people lose weight. The antioxidants in berries help control weight. A University of Florida showed that people who ate more antioxidants, regardless of their caloric intake, weighed less and were able to maintain their weight. Another way berries help us lose weight is that they help us feel full. One of the main causes of weight gain is overeating, and eating berries help you feel full to make sure you do not overeat.
7. Help lower the chances of cancer
Berries have long been highly regarded as a helpful combatant of cancer. Flavonoids along with other compounds in berries have been shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer. Blackberries specifically have been shown to reduce tumor angiogenesis. Angiogensis is the process of blood vessels forming to progress tumors from benign to malignant.