What makes berries so healthy? And why should you be including them in your diet? This short post provides you with a bit of insight around the health benefits of berries.
A diet high in fruit and vegetables is associated with healthy skin and hair, increased energy and a healthy weight. Berries are an extraordinary fruit that are high in antioxidants, but lower in sugar than most other fruits. For those following a low carbohydrate diet, berries may still be an option as they have a lower carbohydrate count than other sugary fruits.
Strawberries, in particular, are an excellent source of vitamins C and K as well as providing a good dose of fibre, folic acid, manganese and potassium. Vitamin C is a widely known antioxidant, used to protect the cells of the body from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. It is popularly known for its value in the immune system. Vitamin K plays a role in blood clotting as well as helping to build strong bones. Fibre, as we know it, is associated with regular bowel movements, helping to rid of toxins from the body. The fibre in berries, combined with their fructose content, may help regulate blood sugar levels by slowing the release of sugar into the blood. Folic acid is an essential B vitamin that is especially important during pregnancy and pre-conception. It plays a role in red blood cell production, as well as the baby’s neural tube development.
The exotically rich colour of berries is produced by flavonoid antioxidant molecules called anthocyanins, which are concentrated in the skins of the fruits. A particular study showed that a higher intake of flavonoids, particularly from berries, appears to reduce rates of cognitive decline in older adults. Anthocyanins are antioxidants, meaning they work to protect the cells of the body from oxidative stress caused by free radical damage. Free radical damage can be a result of many lifestyle factors – stress, environmental pollutants, bad food choices, alcohol and drugs. Higher anthocyanin and berry intake has shown to have anti-inflammatory effects, as well as contribute to more stable blood sugar levels and improved blood pressure.
Science aside, berries are sweet and full of flavour! They are just as beneficial when eaten frozen as the freezing process locks in all the essential nutrients. Luckily for me, a friend of mine sells in bulk – find out more HERE and buy your frozen berries today.