Delicious and healthy: 20 reasons to make berries a daily part of your diet
1. Anti-oxidants: Berries are packed full of antioxidants, which are important in fighting the damages done by free radicals. The amount of antioxidants found in berries is much higher than those found in any other fruits.
2. Eye health: You've heard that munching on carrots is good for your sight, but blueberries are actually the ones you should be eating daily to keep your baby blues or browns healthy. Research has found that the compound that gives blueberries their colour may work to keep the functions of the retina working properly.
3. Cancer fighting: Blackberries are jam-packed with cancer and heart disease fighting compounds such as polyphenols and anthocyanins. Meanwhile the small but mighty blueberry has been proven to shrink cancerous tumours and prevent the development and growth of cancer.
4. Cholesterol lowering: A berry-rich diet will improve the HDL cholesterol levels in your blood stream, and allow for a smoother blood flow by expanding the blood vessels.
5. Vitamin E: An 80g serving of blackberries provides a fifth of your recommended daily intake of vitamin E, which helps keep your skin looking its best, and also helps wounds heal quicker.
6. Vitamin C: Say vitamin C and most people start thinking of oranges, but did you know that just seven strawberries will give you 100% of the recommended daily intake? Tasty, and much less messy.
7. Fibre: Berries are great for keeping your digestive tract and heart healthy, due to the high content of fibre. Just one cup of blackberries, raspberries, or boysenberries contains 8g of fibre: 31% of your daily intake.
8. Urinary tract: Prone to urinary tract infections? Eating blueberries and cranberries can hinder the development of the infection by stopping bacteria from sticking to the walls of the bladder.
9. PMS: If you're suffering from a bad case of PMS, don't reach for the chocolate; instead grab a handful of blackberries which contain the compound phytoestrogens that can relieve bloating and food cravings.
10. Immune boosting: Blueberries are a great source of vitamin C and therefore a super boost to your immune system. They also contains manganese, vitamin A, b-complex, copper, selenium, zinc, and iron which all work to keep the immune system working at its best.
11. Blood sugar levels: Berries have been proven to actually lower blood sugar levels, making them a great snack for diabetes sufferers. Scientists found that the blood sugar spike experienced after an intake of table sugar is reduced by eating one cup of strawberries at the same time.
12. Degenerative diseases: It's not just a quick fix; eating berries can help protect your brain from degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
13. Anti-aging: A berry-rich diet can also keep dangerous toxins from building up in your brain, by inhibiting the action of the protein responsible for the degradation of brain cells.
14. Sleep aid: You've probably heard of the wonders of the acai berry, but did you know that regular intake of acai berry juice could actually help promote better sleep? The anti-oxidant-rich berry helps by restoring balance to the hormones and chemicals in your brain, making for a peaceful night's sleep.
15. Flu fighting: The dark elderberry has long been used as a remedy to the flu and infections, due to its high levels of anti-oxidants, making it a great immune booster. Drinking 10oz of elderberry juice daily is the best way to reap the benefits.
16. Fat blocking: A study done in the US has found that polyphenols in blueberries can break down fat cells in our bodies by a third when eaten in large doses - and can even stop new ones from forming.
17. Stress reducing: If you're feeling stressed, munch on some goji berries: they promote calm by reducing your cortisol levels.
18. Bone health: Strawberries have a high level of manganese, which is essential for building healthy bones and maintaining proper bone structure.
19. Sun protection: Berries are a good source of the antioxidant ellagic acid which helps protect your skin from UV light, and may even repair existing damage.
20. Anaemia treating: Mulberries are high in iron and are good for those suffering from anaemia.
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