- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
Eat More Berries To Improve Your Health and Live Longer
Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, boysenberries, and cranberries - yum! Berries are some of the best foods for our bodies and they are delicious too. Berries are easy to love and easy to eat, which is good because they are extremely beneficial to our health. Berries might be small, but they are packed with nutritional goodness.
Here is a list of things that berries provide our bodies.
- Vitamins C and E
That is quite the list, but what do those things do for our bodies. Berries are loaded with antioxidants which reverse a lot of the damage we do to our bodies each day. Berries improve our cardiovascular health and prevent diseases such as cancer. Berries also have anti-aging properties. Blueberries in particular have even been shown to reverse the effects of aging, including improving dementia and Alzheimer's Disease.
Berries also are loaded with the flavonoid quercetin (especially cranberries). Quercetin has serious anti-inflammatory properties, which is good for our entire body. Berries also help our skin stay firm and elastic. Another thing that the nutrients in berries do is to help our cells communicate better. This is good for our entire bodies, but particularly our brains. So have I sold you on berries yet?
Unless you live in a tropical climate it can be difficult to get fresh berries all year long. That's OK though because the berries don't have to be fresh to be beneficial. Fruit juice that is 100% fruit is an excellent source of these health benefits. Whole fruit jams are also good sources. Another thing to remember is that many times frozen foods have higher nutritional value than fresh foods.
Fresh foods are picked usually before they are ripe and trucked thousands of miles to sit on grocery store shelves until purchased. This can take a week or more. Frozen foods are picked when they are ripe, washed immediately and frozen within hours when the nutritional content is higher. Frozen berries are available year round. You can eat them in smoothies, yogurt, baked goods, etc. I eat a bowl full of raspberries almost every day. I set them out to thaw about a half hour before lunch and they are delicious.
I am not a nutrition expert, but I love to read nutrition books so I can learn as much as I can about feeding my family healthy foods. If there was one food I would recommend you eat more of, it would be berries. If you want to read further about the nutritional benefits of berries (and many other foods) an excellent book I read recently is SuperFoods Rx by Steven G. Pratt, M.D., and Kathy Matthews.