It’s berry season again, and if you aren’t already munching on nature’s candy every single day you should be. Because berries aren’t just delicious, they’re also brimming with good for you nutrients that help protect and repair your body from head to toe.
Antioxidant rich berries can help you fight diabetes, protect your heart, boost memory, melt away belly bulge, ward off cancer and more.
Following are our four favorite health-benefit-packed berries.
Oranges are always held up as the poster child for vitamin C, but the truth is a handful of strawberries will provide you with even more of this immune-boosting antioxidant. In fact, around eight of the berries will deliver your daily recommended amount of C.
But vitamin C is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the antioxidant power of this mighty little berry. In fact, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition placed strawberries in the number three spot out of over 1,000 antioxidant-rich foods.1
Strawberries are an excellent source of the flavonoid anthocyanin. Experts say anthocyanins can pack up to twice the antioxidant power of vitamin C. And the berries are also one of the richest natural food sources of blood-sugar friendly folate, as well as a good source of fiber and potassium.2
Strawberries can help fight inflammation and protect your heart, brain and eyes.3,4,5 They can help raise your “good” HDL cholesterol, lower LDL cholesterol and blood pressure and balance blood sugar.
Experts say strawberries can help you fight belly fat and weight gain.10 And research has revealed they could also offer protection against certain types of cancers including colon, breast, liver and esophageal cancers.11,12
Blueberries are also brimming with free-radical fighting anthocyanins and vitamin C. They consistently rank at the top of the list when it comes to antioxidant power even beating the already impressive records of blackberries and strawberries in phenol, flavonoid and anthocyanin content.13
In other words, these tiny little berries can help put up a big fight against aging and a variety of devastating diseases including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cancer. And research has linked blueberry extracts to better memory, balance and coordination.14
In a study, published in the journal Phytotherapy Research a blueberry extract inhibited the growth of breast cancer cells in the lab.15 And research has found that anthocyanins, found in abundance in blueberries, can also help fight other cancers including prostate and colon cancers.16,17,18
Red raspberries are an excellent source of vitamin C. And this tart and delicious berry also brings a healthy amount of selenium and phosphorus to the table.
Experts say raspberries, which are rich in metabolism-friendly fiber and polyphenols, could help you control your blood sugar. In a study published in The FASEB Journal when folks ate raspberries with a high fat and high carb meal it significantly lowered their blood glucose levels.19
Like the other two berries we’ve already covered, raspberries contain cancer-fighting anthocyanins. But the berry’s cancer-fighting powers don’t end there.
Experts say the ellagic acid in raspberries can also ward of the development of cancer cells, or slow their growth. In fact, a raspberry extract was shown to kill colon and stomach cancer cells in the lab.20
And the berry’s quercetin content could help protect you against both heart disease and cancer. Studies have shown quercetin helps lower blood pressure and “bad” LDL cholesterol.21,22,23 And lab studies have found the powerful polyphenol kills and helps prevent the spread of breast cancer cells.24,25
The deep dark color of the blackberry is a clue to its super high antioxidant content. Experts say the berries could help protect you against heart disease and cancer
Blackberries are swimming in antioxidant polyphenols, in particular potent anthocyanins and quercetin. And they’re also rich in ellagic acid and vitamins C and E.
In a study published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer a blackberry extract inhibited the growth of lung cancer tumors.26 And a specific anthocyanin found in blackberries significantly blocked the growth and spread of human lung cancer cells.27
And regularly eating free-radical fighting blackberries may even help improve your brain and motor function according to an animal study.28
Berry season flies by so fast if you blink you might miss it. Don’t wait until it’s too late, stock up on nutritious and delicious berries today!