Berrylicious! 4 Delicious Benefits of Berries
Spring is a great time to embark on new things, like berries! Colorful and delicious, berries also offer a ton of health benefits. You’ll be ready to “spring” into action once we’ve explored some health benefits and made a few suggestions to get you started:
1. Mega-Watt Antioxidant
You’ve likely heard the term “superfood” – well, berries are on the top of the list. Berries are high in antioxidants, which help fight free radicals and resulting damaged cells. Antioxidants can help with inflammation, cut the risks of certain cancers, help prevent cardiovascular trouble, even prevent diabetes.
For optimal results, choose the types of berries that are highest in antioxidants: cranberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries.
2. Keeps Your Brain Sharp
The main benefit of berries is their high concentration of flavonoids – which in turn offers a host of health benefits. In women, flavonoids are ideal for helping to protect the learning and memory centers of the brain. In turn, increasing berry intake (such as blueberries) can help prevent or delay cognitive decline in the golden years.
Additionally, flavonoids have been shown to reduce the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. Men who eat more flavonoids can reduce their risk by 40 percent.
3. Deal with Diabetes
While most berries are certainly sweet, they’re also high in fiber. If you’re feeling an itch for something sweet, a handful of berries is a better choice than a glass of juice or a cookie, since the fiber will help balance out the sugar. Consuming berries along with your meals (especially carbs) can actually lower your blood sugar levels.
4. Help Handle Hunger
Berries are high in fiber and water, which helps your body feel full on fewer calories for longer. Berries can be a base for baking, smoothies, salads, and sauces. In a pinch, frozen berries make a great snack! You can enhance the results by combining berries with additional fiber, such as tossing in some chia seeds or hemp seed. A great example: a chia pudding topped with a handful of berries and sprinkle of hemp seeds.
5 Ways to Eat Berries
How do you get more berries in your diet? Here are five delicious ideas from The 22-Day Revolution Cookbook:
- Coconut Yogurt Parfait
- Rejuvenate Juice
- Berry Hemp Mango Smoothie
- Berry Vanilla Chia Pudding
- Berry Cocktail
So, the next time you’re out at the store or a famer’s market, pick up some fresh berries. Extra tip: when berries are in season, buy extra and freeze for fresh-frozen (and locally-sourced) berries all year round.
Try to incorporate berries into your daily diet and you’ll soon notice results!