Berries are a delicious addition to any diet. But, taste is not the only reason to love them. Here’s why you should add these seven super-healing summer berries to your diet:
Loaded with vitamin C, blackberries also contain ellagic acid—an important phytonutrient that protects skin cells from damaging UV rays. Ellagic acid also prevents the breakdown of collagen in the skin that occurs as we age and is linked to wrinkling.
Blueberries are phytonutrient powerhouses. They contain: anthocyanins, ellagic acid, quercetin, catechins, and salicylic acid. If the latter sounds familiar, you may recognize it as the drug we’ve come to know as Aspirin. That’s right—blueberries contain natural aspirin, but in this beautiful and delicious packaging offered by Mother Nature, there’s no worry about harmful side effects. What’s more, blueberries are proven to reduce heat shock proteins that are linked with some forms of brain disease, making these little marvels potent weapons in the prevention of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease as well as other neurological disorders.
A cross between blackberries and raspberries, these berries strengthen blood vessels, making them an excellent addition to help fight heart disease or varicose veins. They contain rutin, which research shows strengthens capillaries and improves circulation. They look like long raspberries.
Currants contain gamma-linolenic acid that inhibit the body’s histamine—the allergic response in reaction to pollens. That makes them great to help you avoid or eliminate sinus congestion and itchy eyes linked to seasonal allergies. Since they are tart, you might enjoy them best mixed with other berries.
Raspberries are still my favorite fruit. Raspberries, like other berries, contain an important compound that is 10 times more effective at alleviating inflammation than aspirin. Containing the phytonutrient ellagic acid, raspberries can help protect against pollutants found in cigarette smoke, processed foods, and may neutralize some cancer-causing substances before they can damage healthy cells. They’re delicious on their own, in a fruit salad, in a smoothie, or on top of a green salad.
Image credit (loganberry): ndrwfgg / Flickr
Gooseberries—the berries that resemble green grapes—help you to feel happier. In recent research in the journal Experimental Neurobiology, scientists found that gooseberries contain a flavonoid called kaempferol that prevents the breakdown of brain hormones serotonin and dopamine. These brain chemicals naturally help us fight stress and keep our spirits up.
More than delicious, when it comes to disease prevention, these babies pack a serious punch. Not only do eight strawberries contain more vitamin C than an orange, they are antioxidant powerhouses. Whether you want to evade heart disease, arthritis, memory loss, wrinkling, or cancer, these berries have proven their ability to help. Plus, they’re just so easy to get into your diet on a regular basis. Try my 5-Minute Strawberry Sorbet recipe.
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