Healthy Berry Body Boost

Healthy Berry Body Boost

Healthy Berry Body Boost

Berries are some of the best things for a healthy diet. Let’s look at the Healthy Berry Body Boost.   They contain lots of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. These little fruits are packed with power.  Berries are second only to herbs and spices as the most antioxidant food category.

They average nearly 10 times more antioxidants than any other fruit and vegetable category and 50 times more than animal based foods. Special antioxidant pigments in berries and dark green leafy vegetables make them the brain foods of the fruit and vegetable kingdom.

Research results suggest that simply eating a handful of berries every day may slow our brains aging by more than two years.

Blueberries anyone?

Blueberries are considered a super food. They’re packed with antioxidants that are wonderful for keeping your memory sharp as you age.  Raspberries contain ellagic acid. This is a compound with anti-cancer properties.   All berries are a great source of fiber which is essential for a healthy digestive system.  Need more reasons to dig into these little fruits?  Studies sugges  that they may also be good for your heart and bones.

There was a study done with 72 middle-aged people. The findings that were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition said that eating just 1 cup of mixed berries daily for eight weeks was associated with increased levels of “good” HDL cholesterol and lowered blood pressure. There’s two of the best reasons when it comes to heart health. The mixed berries included strawberries, red raspberries and blueberries. The study was conducted in Finland so their berry mixture also included black currents, ligonberries and chokeberries.

Researchers are not sure which berry was the most active.  The diverse range of polyphenols – which is a broad class of healthy promoting plant compounds – as provided by the mixture of the berries is most likely responsible for the observed benefits. Polyphenols are believed to increase the levels of nitrous oxide – a molecule that produces a number of heart healthy effects. One of these effects is helping to relax the blood vessels which results in lowered blood pressure.

Polyphenols are also believed to help bone density after menopause. Our bones are constantly breaking down and building back up. After menopause the estrogen level plummets. Thus, the bone breakdown outpaces the bone formation.  This results in bone loss which is a rish for osteoporosis.

Fact Sheet

As mentioned earlier, berries have some of the highest antioxidant levels of any fresh fruit. Kale and spinach are the only vegetables with high antioxidant levels. Fresh berries are some of the most powerful disease fighting foods available. The best berries are blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries.

Anthocyanins

Color pigments in the berries that are powerful antioxidants. Blue, purple, and red colors have been associated with a lower risk of certain cancers, urinary tract health, memory function, and healthy aging.

Antioxidants

These are substances that protect the body by neutralizing the unstable oxygen molecules (or free radicals) which can damage the cells. This is one of major source of disease and aging.

Catechins

These are flavonols that support the antioxidant defense system. They’re mostly found in cranberries but can also be found in green tea. Studies show they may contribute to cancer prevention.

Dietary Fiber

Dietary Fiber is found only in plant foods.  Fiber helps to maintain a healthy GI tract, lowers blood cholesterol, reduces heart disease and may prevent certain types of cancers.

Ellagic Acid

This is a phenolic compound which is known as a potent anti-carcinogen. It also has great anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Scientists feel that this also plays a major role in cancer prevention and tumor reversal.

Fiber

This is found only in plants and helps to maintain a healthy gastrointestinal tract.  It may also help to prevent certain types of cancers. Another plus is that is lowers cholesterol and lowers blood pressure.

ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity)

ORAC values are a measure of the antioxidant activity. To be specific, it measures the degree and length of time it takes to inhibit the action of an oxidizing agent. Oxidization is known to have a damaging effect on tissues. Studies show that consuming fruits and vegetables slows the aging process in both the body and the brain.

Phytochemicals

These are plant antioxidants that add flavor, color and scent.  They are abundant in all types of fruits and vegetables and most especially berries.

These antioxidant pigments that give berries their rich red to blue, black and purple colors are a type of phytochemical that has been shown to have significant disease-fighting, cell-protecting antioxidant capacity.

Quercetin

This is a flavonol that works as both an antioxidant and an anti-carcinogen. It protects against cancer and heart disease.

Rutin

This is a bioflavonoid that promotes vascular health. It also helps to prevent cell proliferation associated with cancer.  Rutin has anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic properties.

Salicylic Acid

Oregon cranberries contain salicylic acid. It’s found to have the same properties as aspirin to fight heart disease.

Vitamin C

This is a water soluble vitamin that is also a powerful antioxidant.

Recipes  

Click on the links below to take you to some yummy berry recipes:

Blueberry Chicken Salad

Blackberry Salmon Spinach Salad

Read On.

In my next article, I’ll be outlining the different berries and their facts. I know you’ll be interested in that!  If there’s a certain berry you would like to learn about, please let me know in the comments and I’ll research it for you.


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