You’ll get a blast of sweetness in your mouth after eating a handful of berries. They’re as delicious for breakfast or dessert. However, studies suggest that berries provide a slew of health benefits, including improved cognition, cancer prevention, and blood pressure reduction.So,which berry is the healthiest?
Berry’s appearance alone should be enough to convince you that this natural sweet is beneficial to your health. “The highest levels of nutrients, particularly antioxidants, are found in vibrant, brilliantly coloured fruits and vegetables.
“Berries are among of the most vibrantly coloured fruits you’ll discover,” says Anna Binder-McAsey, RD, of Manhattan, Kansas-based Rethink Nutrition. Anti-inflammatory qualities of these antioxidants may help protect your body from disease as you become older.
“Berries should be thought of as a healthy part of an anti-inflammatory lifestyle for both chronic illness prevention and management,” she says.So go ahead and pick up some cherries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries and go snacking. Here are nine berry-related advantages.
#1 Anthocyanidins in berries keep your mind sharp.
According to research published in the Annals of Neurology, women who ate roughly two servings of strawberries or one serving of blueberries each week had less mental loss over time than women who did not consume these nutrition powerhouses.
Researchers looked at the data of 16,010 women above the age of 70 for this study. The people who ate the most berries had a two-and-a-half-year head start on cognitive impairment.
“We think the effect is related to a class of compounds called anthocyanidins, which is a type of flavonoid,” says study author Elizabeth Devore, a doctor of science and associate epidemiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, as well as an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School.
“These chemicals, which are virtually exclusively present in berries, have been shown to pass the blood-brain barrier and accumulate in the brain’s learning and memory centres.”
#2 Berries are a fantastic way to prevent or manage diabetes.
Berries are sweet, but not in the way that diabetics should be. “People with diabetes can include them in their diet as a serving of fruit because they include fibre,” explains registered dietitian Nancy Copperman, RD, of Georgetown, Texas. Raspberries, which are high in fibre, are one of the greatest berries to eat.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, raspberries include 15 g of carbs and 8 g of fibre per cup (USDA).
Blackberries are a fantastic option as well. According to the USDA, one cup of these berries has 14 grammes of carbohydrates and 8 grammes of fibre. Instead of eating berries in a carb-rich muffin, choose for fresh fruit, as juice is devoid of fibre. Eat berries on their own or when combined with another beneficial item (such as oatmeal).
Berries will also fit into your healthy diet if you are trying to avoid diabetes. In fact, according to a study published in PLOS Medicine in April 2017, people who ate fresh fruit on a regular basis were 12 percent less likely to acquire diabetes than those who did not.
The researchers suggest that fruits with a lower glycemic index, such as berries, are the best choices for controlling blood sugar levels. These foods have a low glycemic load when eaten whole, which means they are unlikely to produce blood sugar changes.
#3 The Flavonoid Content in Berries May Help to Prevent Parkinson’s Disease
According to research published in the journal Neurology, those who consume at least two servings of berries each week have a 23% lower risk of getting Parkinson’s disease than their peers.
Men who consumed the most flavonoids, which are prevalent in berries, had a 40% lower risk, according to the same study. You can get your berry servings by adding fresh or frozen berries to other high-nutrient foods like yoghurt and salads, in addition to eating them plain.
#4 Berries Can Help You Avoid Heart Disease and Reduce Inflammation.
Berries are abundant in flavonoids, antioxidant plant components linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, and are considered a superfood by the American Heart Association.
(They belong in the same group as salmon, oats, dark leafy greens, and nuts and seeds.) Berry consumption may reduce the risk of heart attack in women, according to the organisation.
Furthermore, a meta-analysis of 22 randomised, controlled trials published in March 2016 in Scientific Reports found that eating berries helped lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels while also lowering systolic blood pressure, body mass index, and blood sugar levels.
According to Binder-McAsey, berries’ antioxidants “support healthy cell activity and defend against inflammation.” Underlying inflammation is a driver of disease, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes, she explains (which doubles the odds of developing heart disease).
Include as many different-colored fruits and vegetables as possible in your diet, in addition to berries.
#5 Berries Can Aid Weight Loss and Maintenance
Berries offer us a sense of fullness because of their fibre and liquid content, according to Copperman, and feeling full is a key element of diet management. Berries are also low in calories, making them a healthy option for those on a diet.
Which Berry Is The Healthiest?
According to the USDA, 1 cup of raspberries has 64 calories, 65 calories for blackberries, 86 calories for blueberries, and 48 calories for strawberries. Even if you’re following a very low-carbohydrate diet, such as the ketogenic diet, you may be allowed to eat berries in moderation. 10 raspberries, for example, provide 2.3 g carbohydrates and 1.2 g fibre.
When it comes to weight loss, there may be more to it than meets the eye. In a small randomised, controlled trial published in August 2018 in Nutrients, overweight and obese men who ate a high-fat diet along with just under an ounce of blackberries per day for a week burned more fat and had improved insulin sensitivity compared to the control group burned more fat and had improved insulin sensitivity.
Allow your kitchen creativity to lead you to try berries in nutrient-dense recipes like fresh fruit sauces and salad dressings, mix them with almonds for a quick snack, or simply eat them plain.
Instead of using a lot of oil, Copperman proposes emulsifying them and incorporating them into a fruit vinaigrette.
#6 Berries can help you lower your blood pressure by increasing blood vessel function.
In your effort to lower blood pressure, there’s some exciting news: According to a study published in The Journals of Gastroenterology: Series A in February 2019, anthocyanins in blueberries circulate in the bloodstream and can improve blood vessel function.
Researchers discovered that consuming slightly over a cup of wild blueberries every day for a month enhanced blood vessel dilatation, which reduced systolic blood pressure. (There was no effect from a control drink.)
“The blood pressure benefit is due to the antioxidant characteristics they all share, as well as your genetic propensity,” Copperman says, adding that a berry-rich diet may be especially beneficial for persons with a family history of heart disease (high blood pressure itself is a heart disease risk factor).
Berries include chemical ingredients that reduce systemic inflammation, which can accompany high blood pressure and contribute to general wellness.
#7 Adding Berries to Your Diet Can Help Fight Cancer
Blueberries and raspberries, which are high in flavonoids, are essential components of a cancer-prevention diet. According to a review published in the journal Antioxidants in October 2016, berries have been proven to help protect against gastrointestinal, breast, and probably liver, prostate, pancreatic, and lung cancers.
This could be because substances like anthocyanins and flavonoids have been shown to lower inflammation, protect cells from DNA damage that leads to cancer, and prevent cancerous cells from spreading.
Berries are a good addition to any cancer-prevention diet because they are high in fruits and vegetables. Any cancer-prevention advantage, Copperman emphasises, is boosted by eating a variety of fruits and vegetables in various hues.
#8 For a Healthy Gut, Eat Prebiotic-Rich Berries
Prebiotics are just as important as probiotics in maintaining the health of your microbiome (the collection of bacteria in your gut). “Berries are prebiotic-rich foods, not probiotics.”
“Fiber-rich foods provide fuel to the gut’s bacteria,” Binder-McAsey explains. According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, a healthy microbiome is important for the immune system and defends against infections that might cause illness.
Furthermore, according to her, dietary fibre helps to maintain regular bowel motions.So,which berry is the healthiest?
#9 Berries Can Help You Fight UTIs
The berry most closely linked to urinary tract health is cranberries. Binder-McAsey argues there’s a reason for this. “Anthocyanins present in cranberries have been demonstrated to protect against an E. coli bacteria strain that causes UTIs.”
A systematic review and meta-analysis of seven randomised, controlled trials published in December 2017 in The Journal of Nutrition indicated that eating cranberries reduced the risk of UTIs by 26% among women who are more susceptible to the infections.