Berries are one of the healthiest groups of fruits due to their incredible nutritional profile. Blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, strawberries, and blackberries are some of the best sources of phytonutrients. All of these berries have a natural substance called ellagic acid, which has been shown to defend the body against carcinogens by suppressing the development of tumors.
For the purposes of this blog post – I have chosen to focus on the healthy aspects of two of the most common berries: blueberry and raspberry.
Here are eight incredible health benefits of consuming blueberries on a regular basis:
- Blueberries have an extremely high antioxidant content, which helps the body deal with the negative effects of cell damage caused by free radicals.
- The red and blue pigments that gives the blueberry its rich color are anthocyanins. Studies have shown that anthocyanins help the cardiovascular system by lowering blood pressure.
- High in flavonoids, they provide powerful protection for men against prostate cancer.
- Recent studies have indicated that blueberries could have a positive effect on the nervous system and brain health, including improvement of cognitive function and memory.
- Blueberries are considered medium glycemic, but have a lower glycemic load (which means they have less tendency to spike blood sugar levels) when combined with other berries. This makes berries in general, including blueberries, a good choice for diabetics.
- They contain Vitamins A, C and K, and the minerals manganese, copper, iron and zinc.
- The vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients in blueberries are beneficial for the eyes, helping with such vision problems as macular degeneration, cataracts and diabetes related retinopathy
- Blueberries are a good source of fiber, which is beneficial for the digestive system (especially the colon), and can assist in weight loss by keeping a person feeling full or satisfied longer after eating, resulting in consuming less food overall.
Six reasons that make raspberries a very healthy fruit:
- Contain Vitamins A, C, K and E, manganese, B Vitamins, folic acid, magnesium, copper and iron
- Raspberries are considered to be low glycemic, which means they have little or no negative effect on blood sugar making them a healthy choice for diabetics
- They are high in fiber, which is helpful for slower digestion of food, and helpful for moving digested food through the colon
- Preliminary research is indicating that a phytonutrient in raspberries called rheosmin (also known as raspberry ketone) could increase the metabolism in our fat cells, which would help with weight loss. (read more here)
- Raspberries are high in antioxidants and phytonutrients, which makes them a powerful ally for the body against free radicals and oxidative stress on our cells, cancer, inflammation, and degenerative disease related to aging.
- Red raspberry leaves are reputed to have medicinal qualities such as helping to ease sore throats and colds, and digestive issues such as diarrhea.
When it comes to boosting your immune system, fighting inflammation, and giving your body energy it can really use – blueberries and raspberries are hard to beat!
Interested in learning more about highly nutritious whole foods that will build your health, balance your blood sugar, normalize your weight and give you lots of energy? Contact me – I’d love to help you discover the other foods, besides the blueberry and raspberry, that will give you optimal nourishment for your unique body.
Copyright © 2013 Cathy Ormon – All Rights Reserved