The soft and small round fruits that come in varied hues are the delicious berries that most of us love. The sweet and sour taste of these delicious fruits are not just a treat for the tongue but also, very healthy. They have an amazing range of healthy nutrients and are often used in jams, preservatives, and desserts as well.
Berries are high in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidant polyphenols. When you incorporate berries to your diet, you prevent and reduce the symptoms of many chronic diseases as well. Here is a list of berries known for their amazing health benefits.
Blueberries are popular in many places around the world and are a great source of vitamin K. A cup of blueberries (148 grams) provides the following nutrients:
Vitamin C: 24% of the RDI
Vitamin K: 36% of the RDI
Manganese: 25% of the RDI
Fiber: 3.6 grams
Blueberries contain anthocyanin, an antioxidant polyphenol. Anthocyanins help in reducing oxidative stress, lowers the risk of heart disease in healthy people as well in those people who run a high risk for heart diseases. Blueberries also lower the LDL cholesterol in the blood and reduces the risk of getting a heart attack by enhancing arterial function. Blueberries have been found to lower the risk of diabetes as well and people who eat blueberries have shown slower rates of cognitive decline, which means that their brains stay healthy for long.
Raspberries are a very good source of fiber. A cup of raspberries (123 grams) provides the following nutrients:
Vitamin C: 54% of the RDI
Vitamin K: 12% of the RDI
Manganese: 41% of the RDI
Fiber: 8 grams
Raspberries contain ellagitannin, an antioxidant polyphenol that helps in the reduction of oxidative stress. Raspberries increase the hormone called leptin which also makes a person feel full. Raspberries come in different varieties like American red, European red, and also, black. Black raspberries have shown numerous health benefits. Black raspberries reduce the risk factors for heart diseases that include high cholesterol and high blood pressure. They can also help in reducing inflammation in people with metabolic syndrome and reduce the size of polyps in the colon; polyps lead to abnormal cell growth in the colon resulting in cancer.
3. Goji Berries
Goji berries are also known as wolfberries, and they are native to China. These berries are used in traditional medicine and have become popular in the Western world only recently. An ounce of dried goji berries (28 grams) provides the following nutrients:
Vitamin C: 9% of the RDI
Vitamin A: 50% of the RDI
Copper: 28% of the RDI
Fiber: 2.2 grams
Goji berries are known to contain high levels of vitamin A and zeaxanthin, two compounds which are beneficial for the eye health. Goji berries have found to prevent the decline in eye health that happens due to aging and eating them can help in raising the levels of blood zeaxanthin as well. Goji berries too contain antioxidant polyphenols and help in increasing the antioxidant levels in old, healthy people as well. It has also been proved that drinking goji berry juice for two weeks regularly boost metabolism and reduce waist size in people who are overweight.
One of the most common varieties of berries, strawberries are high in vitamin C content. A cup of strawberries (152 grams) provides the following nutrients:
Vitamin C: 150% of the RDI
Manganese: 29% of the RDI
Fiber: 3 grams
Strawberries are beneficial for heart health and have been found to lower the risk of heart attacks. Strawberries also reduce certain risk factors for heart diseases such as oxidative stress, triglycerides, and blood cholesterol. These berries help in reducing inflammation caused by chemicals in the blood as well. Strawberries can also help in controlling blood sugar levels and prevent diabetes.
Grapes too come under the family of berries and as we all know, they are widely consumed around the world in different forms. Grapes are either consumed whole as a raw fruit or juice and in the form of raisins, wine, or vinegar. A cup of whole, raw grapes (151 grams) provides the following nutrients:
Vitamin C: 27% of the RDI
Vitamin K: 28% of the RDI
Fiber: 1.4 grams
It has been found that the skin and seeds of grapes are high in antioxidant polyphenols, which can help lower both blood pressure and the heart rate. It has also been proved that eating grapes or raisins three times in a week can reduce the risk of getting type 2 diabetes by almost 12%. Eating 17 ounces (500 grams) of grapes daily for a period of eight weeks have also found to reduce blood cholesterol and oxidative stress in people. Grapes are also beneficial for the brain health and it has been proved that drinking 12 ounces (335 ml) of grape juice in a day for 12 weeks in continuity can significantly improve memory.
Now that you know how berries can help you stay fit and healthy, include these small-sized, sweet and sour delicious fruits in your diet and see wonders happen to your health.