Five Health Benefits of Berries
Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, boysenberries, cherries, and cranberries are just some of the wonderful berries that come into season this time of the year. And there are so many ways for you to enjoy the health benefits of berries. Most are delish on their own and make a wonderfully healthy snack or top with a dollop of whip cream for a light summer dessert.
Berries are naturally low in calories, fat, and sugar so they complement any eating style. Adding a few servings of berries into your daily diet is a great way to get some added nutrition with very few calories.
All berries are not a created equal. The health benefits of berries can be unique to the type of berry, however, all berries do share a few common health benefits. They are little powerhouses of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, flavonoids, and fiber. Let’s take a look and see just how good for you they are.
Berries are chock full of powerful cancer-fighting antioxidants like anthocyanins, ellagic acid, and resveratrol. These antioxidants help to keep cancer-causing free radicals under control while reducing oxidative stress and chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is believed to be at the root of all disease. So eat those berries!
Regulate Blood Sugar
If you are looking to control blood sugar, there is no better whole food than berries. Berries are naturally low in sugar and are packed with blood sugar stabilizing fiber that burns slower and requires less of an insulin response. Studies have also shown that blueberries improve insulin sensitivity in insulin-resistant patients.
Fills You Up
Fiber keeps you fuller, longer. Pound for pound, berries are a great source of fiber. Adding fiber-rich foods like berries to your diet is very helpful for natural appetite control because you stay satisfied longer. And, fiber has been shown to benefit both heart and digestive health.
Boost Vitamin Intake
Berries are a nutrient-dense food which means you get more nutrition contained in fewer calories. This is the exact opposite of the way most of us eat choosing high-calorie foods with little or no nutritional value. Berries give you so many choices for good nutrition. For example, one cup of strawberries gives you an entire day’s supply of vitamin C.
Studies have shown that people who consume berries daily can experience significant reductions in LDL (bad cholesterol). Berries also help to keep LDL from becoming oxidized which is believed to be a major risk factor for heart disease. And the high fiber content of berries helps to “brush” cholesterol from the digestive tract before it can be absorbed.
There are so many more health benefits of berries, far more than I can mention here. So, be sure to look for a variety of berries at your local farmers’ markets and farm stands during the coming weeks. Many varieties of berries will be coming into season throughout the summer.
Here’s a great gluten-free recipe for fresh blueberries. You’d have a hard time finding a muffin recipe with more protein and fiber that is naturally low glycemic.
Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins
2 cups raw rolled oats – ground in blender or food processor
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp fructose or stevia
9 egg whites
¾ cup blueberries
Combine eggs, cinnamon, baking powder, vanilla, maple flavoring, fructose or stevia, and eggs. Add ground oats and blueberries. Divide batter into 6 lightly greased muffins, using large muffin tins. No muffin papers. Bake 29 minutes in a preheated 350° oven.
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As a Certified Holistic Health Coach, I’ve taken more than twenty-five years of client work and personal life experience to create a proven system to help you live the vibrant healthy life you desire.
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