Healthiest Berries: Top 10 Health Benefits of Eating Berries
From improving heart health to lowering blood pressure, the health benefits provided by berries are both plentiful and diverse. But not only are berries great for you, but they also taste good. Plus, they're easy to incorporate in any diet.
Here are the top 10 reasons why you should eat the healthiest berries.
1. The Best Berries Are Packed With Antioxidants
Different types of berries can each have unique benefits. If you love blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries, there's good news. They're high in antioxidants, which can help defend your body from free radicals and fight off cell damage.
Blackberries are high in vitamin C, an antioxidant that can help repair body tissues, prevent iron deficiency, and boost your immunity.
2. They're Good for Heart Health
Blueberries, in particular, can be good for your heart. Eating just a cup of these tasty berries each day has been shown to lower risk factors for cardiovascular disease. That's because they're high in anthocyanin, which can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
As an added bonus, blueberries are also high in vitamin C and fiber, making them a great addition to your diet and a boon for your overall health.
The healthiest berries are also high in folate. Folate is a B-vitamin that can help lower homocysteine and fight off cardiovascular disease.
3. They Can Help With Weight Loss
Along with their overall health benefits, berries are generally low in calories and can help anyone who's looking to lose weight. Some of the best berries for weight loss include strawberries and raspberries. Both are low in calories and high in fiber.
Fiber-rich foods can help you feel full longer throughout the day. This can potentially help with weight loss by keeping you from reaching for unhealthy snack foods, like chips and crackers, in between meals.
Because they're low in calories, you don't need to feel guilty about grabbing a handful of berries. And because berries can be used fresh or frozen, they're easy to incorporate into everyday meals.
Frozen strawberries, for example, can be used to make a delicious breakfast smoothie that will keep you feeling full.
4. They Can Help Improve Your Blood Sugar Levels
Because of their high concentration of anthocyanins, blueberries and blackberries can help slow down digestion and prevent any spikes in blood sugar that may occur if you eat foods high in starch.
Berries also have a sweet taste but don't have a lot of sugar. That makes them a better option to satisfy your sweet tooth than something like cake or a cookie.
Because they're rich in fiber and tout a lot of vitamins and antioxidants, the American Diabetes Association has called berries a "diabetes superfood."
5. They Can Lower Your Blood Pressure
Because of the numerous antioxidants found in berries, they can be a tool in potentially lowering your blood pressure.
This is key to good health because high blood pressure can lead to heart attacks and strokes. High blood pressure has also been linked to dementia and kidney disease.
If you're hoping to lower your blood pressure, reach for the blueberries the next time you're in the grocery store. They're high in flavonoids, which are natural compounds that can also lower blood pressure.
6. The Healthiest Berries Can Give Your Brain a Boost
Studies have shown that eating berries, particularly blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries, can be good for your brain. These healthiest berries have been found to prevent age-related memory loss.
The high number of antioxidants in berries can fight off free radicals, protecting cells from damage. The antioxidants in blueberries could also help improve cognitive function and potentially reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease.
7. They Can Help You Avoid UTIs
Both cranberries and blueberries can promote good urinary tract health. That's because cranberries contain proanthocyanidins, which have been shown to lower the risk of urinary tract infections. UTIs are a common bacterial infection among women.
Cranberries are also high in antioxidants and anthocyanins, which help protect against liver disease. They also contain naturally occurring potassium benzoate, a food preservative that you can read about on this page.
8. They're Anti-Inflammatory
Because berries are high in anthocyanins, they can also act as anti-inflammatories. The anti-inflammatory effects of berries can be key in lowering your risk of things like heart disease.
Red raspberries are one of the best fruits to eat for this because they can help fight inflammation throughout the body.
Studies have also shown that eating strawberries can help lower your body’s C-reactive protein, which can indicate inflammation in your blood vessels.
9. Berries Can Be High in Fiber
Fiber boasts a lengthy list of benefits. Not only can it help lower cholesterol levels, but it can also feed the good bacteria in your gut and promote healthy bowel movements. Fiber can also help keep blood sugar levels under control.
In general, women are recommended to have 28 grams of fiber per day, while 34 grams daily is recommended for men. Berries are a great way to ensure you're getting enough fiber in your diet.
One cup of raspberries or blackberries, for example, can pack in eight grams of fiber. Strawberries and blueberries are also good sources of fiber. You'll find three grams of fiber in each cup of those berries.
10. They Promote Healthy Vision
Along with their numerous other benefits, different types of berries can also promote healthy vision. The anthocyanins in blueberries can prevent blockages in retinal arteries.
Because they're rich in vitamin C, strawberries can help reduce any swelling in your eyes. Other antioxidants in strawberries can also prevent macular degeneration and dryness.
Eat More Berries
Adding the healthiest berries to your diet is a great way to improve your health. Not only can you lower the risk of heart disease, but you can also lose weight. From adding them to baked goods to smoothies, there are plenty of ways to eat more berries.
To learn more about the benefits of berries and to find healthy recipes, check out the rest of our site.