Berries refer to a set of fleshy fruits that are juicy, brightly colored and sweet or sour to taste.
They are fiber rich, low in calories and supply substantial vitamins and minerals to our body. 100 milligrams of vitamin C is provided by 1 cup of strawberry.
Blueberries have 20 types of antioxidants. 1 cup of raspberries, blackberries or boysenberries supply about one-third of recommended daily amount of our fiber.
Cranberries help to fight variety of bacterial infections and keep us healthy. Similarly other berries like gooseberry, loganberry, blueberry etc. have many health benefits.
Health benefits of berries:
- Boost heart health: As berries are rich in antioxidants they prevent oxidative stress of cells thereby promoting the health of our blood vessels and arteries which in turn curtails the risk of atherosclerosis, heart attacks and stroke. The fiber content of berries is also beneficial in reducing blood cholesterol levels which subsequently has a positive effect on our heart health.
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- Helps in weight control: Being rich in fiber and liquid content, even a small serving can make you feel fuller and control your hunger pangs. Moreover as they are low in calories they don’t even add on to your weight.
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- Beneficial in controlling hypertension: Berries especially blue berries which are abundant in anthocyanins have been found to be beneficial in controlling high blood pressure.
- Anti-carcinogenic benefits: Rich in flavonoids, berries keep a check at hyperactivity of certain oxygen related enzymes in our body that cause cellular oxidative stress leading to cancer. Moreover the antioxidants of berries also help excrete toxins out of our body.
- Good for our brain health: Being rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants berries are beneficial for overall brain health, boost memory and inhibit degeneration of brain cells caused by harmful oxygen free radicals. Polyphenols in berries also help prevent Alzheimer’s.
- Controls urinary tract infections: Berries, especially cranberries and blueberries are rich in proanthocyanidins that inhibit attachment of E. coli bacteria to the walls of the urinary bladder and urethra. This subsequently prevents and heals urinary tract infections.
- Anti-aging benefits: Anti-oxidant rich berries prevent premature aging by removing oxygen free radicals from the blood and making our skin soft, supple and radiant. This also improves functional capacities of our internal organs.
- Regulates blood sugar: Berries especially strawberries are associated with lowering blood sugar levels thereby reducing risks of type 2 diabetes. Ellagitannin, a type of polyphenol present in strawberries inhibit the activity of alpha-amylase enzyme that breaks amylose starches into simple sugars. This helps to keep a check at our rising blood sugar levels.
- Being rich in fibers berries are beneficial in easing constipation and irritable bowel syndrome.
- Berries are also beneficial to improve our bone density, enhance our eye health, safeguard us from harmful ultraviolet radiations of the sun, fight infectious diseases like cold and flu and prevent Parkinson’s disease.
Wash them well before use and you can even eat a combination of berries together to reap the health benefits of these colorful fruits.
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