Berries of all kinds are power packed with nutrients and scientific research shows that berries not only contribute to overall health, but may even help prevent cancer, and heart disease. HEALTH investigates…
The antioxidant properties in pomegranate help guard the body against substances that can cause premature aging, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. Pomegranates also contain the highest amount of artery-clearing
What Makes Them So Good
Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries are rich in many vitamins and minerals, including calcium,
magnesium and zinc — minerals that are frequently deficient in most of our diets these days. The best part is that berries are also an extremely delicious source of antioxidants, which protect our bodies from the stresses of day-to-day living. Berries also contain phytonutrients, some with antioxidant properties such as anthocyanins, lutein, ellagic acid, chlorogenic acid, and caffeic acid.
Just five strawberries contain more antioxidant power than three apples or four bananas and more vitamin C than an entire orange. In fact, strawberries also contain anthocyanins, which provide its flush red color and also serve as a
potent antioxidant that has been shown to help protect cell structures and prevent oxygen damage in the body’s organ systems.
Raspberries contain large amounts of ellagitannins— studies conducted in Europe have shown that the ellagitannins found
in red raspberries speed up the healing of wounds, kill viruses and may be beneficial for fibrosis of the liver.
Blueberries are perhaps the most powerful berries in terms of antioxidant content; only half a cup of blueberries has the same amount of antioxidants as five servings of broccoli or carrots. They are known to help protect against prostate cancer, cataracts, brain damage from strokes and heart disease. Also the antiinflammatory properties of blueberries appear to prevent and relieve arthritic symptoms, while the nutrients may help strengthen blood vessels, leading to healthier blood pressure levels.
Boysenberries have a high level of folate, which reduces the incidence of neural tube defects such as spina bifida. They are also high in vitamin C and fiber, both which help reduce risks of certain cancers.
Blackberries are considered to be an astringent because of their high tannin content. Studies have shown that tannins
tighten tissue, lessen minor bleeding, and alleviate hemorrhoids. Blackberries are one of the few fruits that contain the heartprotective vitamin E.
The proanthocyanins found in cranberries are substances that stop bacteria from sticking in the urinary tract. In a recent study of 153 elderly women, those who drank 10 ounces of commercial cranberry drink each day had less than half the risk of developing an infection and were more likely to clear an already present infection.
- Wash strawberries, blueberries and raspberries just before using.
- Look for ripe, colorful, yet firm berries, with no signs of mold or mushy spots.
- Frozen berries still contain the nutritional benefits of fresh berries.