Berries are tiny summer fruits that come with astounding health benefits. Imagine being offered a small tablet that could fulfill your Vitamin A, Vitamin C, antioxidant, folic acid requirement in addition to being great for your heart, brain and would also assist in weight loss! Well, it’s not a tablet but a delicious fruit that you would want to savor this season once you know the health benefits it has to offer.
Here are some nutritional facts about the most common berries:
Strawberries: loaded with antioxidants, folic acid and Vitamin C; one cup of strawberries alone fulfills you daily requirement of Vitamin C. They are also rich in fiber, manganese, biotin, copper, potassium, magnesium. 1 cup- 45- 50 calories
Raspberries: these are one of the richest source of phytonutrients and have great antioxidant properties. They are known to have ‘Ellagic acid’ which has anti cancer properties. They also have abundant Vitamin C, manganese, fiber, biotin, potassium and folic acid. 1 cup- 60-65 calories
Blueberries: blueberries are packed with phytonutrients, anthocyanins, Vitamin C, fiber, copper, Vitamin K and manganese. 1 cup- 60-65 calories.
Blackberries: blackberries are a rich source of Vitamin C, fiber and anthocyanosides which strengthen the immunity.1 cup- 40-45 calories.
Cranberries: cranberries have excellent antioxidants levels and are also rich in pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5), Vitamin C, fiber, Vitamin E, potassium and copper. 1 cup-45- 50 calories.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF BERRIES
1 . Improve Heart Health
Berries are high on fiber and antioxidants which help in lowering the blood cholesterol , blood pressure and prevent cellular damage thus promote overall cardiovascular health. Strawberries are a good source of folic acid that helps in reducing the homocysteine level in the body which is usually high in people at risk of developing heart diseases.
2 . Help In Weight Loss
Berries composition includes 85% water alone and a cupful of these will give you about 4 gm of dietary fiber which keeps you full for long thus preventing binge eating. Raspberries , blueberries or strawberries are excellent fruits to add to your diet plan if you are on a weight loss regime.
3 . Regulate Blood Sugar Levels
Berries are one of the very few sweet things that the diabetics can enjoy without any guilt! Having low glycemic index, berries do not spike the blood sugar levels. Being high on fiber content and water, they are known to keep you full for longer and maintain normal blood glucose levels.
4 . Fight Cancer
Berries, especially raspberries and blackberries are known to fight cancer due to their antioxidant properties and abundance of Vitamin E and C which removes the free radicals from the body and protects the cells from damage. A phytonutrient called ellagic acid found in the seeds of these berries has antiproliferative properties which prevents fast progression of cancer cells.
5 . Boost Brain Health And Memory
The anthocyanins found in berries are known to improve learning, memory and motor responses. They also have neuro protective properties. Regular consumption of blueberries has shown to slow down the cognitive decline and improve mental health thus reduces the chances of developing age related diseases like Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
6 . Protect Joints And Bones
Berries have anti inflammatory properties thanks to the abundance of ellagic acid, anthocyanins, antioxidants which help in reducing inflammation and joint pains. Women who regularly have berries have been reported to be protected from bone loss.
7 . Strengthen Immune System
Owing to the high levels of antioxidants and phytonutrients, berries have been bestowed with a natural ability to strengthen the immune system and keep infections at bay. Cranberries and blueberries in particular are known to fight urinary tract infection.
So, relish these nature’s gifted health pills that can up the nutritional value of your food bowl. Toss them in your salads, add them to your cereals, prepare smoothies using them or just enjoy a cupful of fresh berries this season! Eat Healthy! Stay Healthy!