I have never met a berry I didn’t like. From the tart blackberry to the super-sweet raspberry, berries are just delicious. But they aren’t just pretty faces; berries are nutritional and healing powerhouses that warrant a place in any diet. Here are my top 10 sensational summer berries (adapted from my ezine World’s Healthiest News):
When my husband and I lived on Vancouver Island we spotted blackberries growing just about everywhere. Sometimes the bushes would reach 15 to 20 feet high and were even found at the borders of parking lots. We’d keep baskets with us so we could stop and pick these decadent treats wherever we stumbled across them. Packed 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.
Many phytonutrients give blueberries their dark blue color, rich flavor and disease-fighting attributes. They contain: anthocyanins, ellagic acid, quercetin, catechins and salicylic acid. You may recognize that last phytonutrient since it is the drug we’ve come to know as Aspirin. In this beautiful and delicious packaging offered by Mother Nature, there’s no worry about harmful side effects linked to pills. Blueberries are showing tremendous promise in the prevention and treatment of brain disease thanks to their proven ability to reduce heat shock proteins that are linked with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease as well as other neurological disorders.
Currants contain gamma-linolenic acid that inhibit the body’s histamine—the allergic response in reaction to pollens. That makes them a great choice if you’re trying to 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.
The fruit of the elder plant has been described as a whole medicine chest in one plant. It’s no surprise when you consider the benefits of these tasty treats. Research is showing that elderberries fight infections of all kinds, particularly viral. This is an area of weakness in the pharmaceutical community which has many antibacterial agents and very few effective antiviral drugs. Elderberries are known for reducing the length and severity of colds and flu. Additionally, a group of natural compounds called polyphenols has been shown to improve bone density in diabetics, but they probably have a similar effect in non-diabetics as well.
Keep reading to discover the berries that heal varicose veins and protect against cigarette smoke and pollution…