If you’re looking for a way to eat more fruit, keep reading for the health benefits of berries. Most nutrients we recieve from berries are crucial to good health and fitness. Many can improve vision, prevent cancer, lower blood pressure, and be an important part of a healthy and lean diet.
Health and Nutritional Facts about Berries
Research over the past decade has identified the essential part a healthy diet plays in a robust immune system, fighting diseases from simple infections to major killers such as heart disease and cancer as well as helping to extend life. Of the many healthy foods that a part of healthy eating, berries have so many benefits that they are frequently referred to as “super foods.”
Berries have major health benefits for several reasons.
They have extensive vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C. The fiber content is quite high – a single cup of raspberries provides 1/3 of a full day’s recommended intake.
The antioxidant content of berries is among the highest for any commonly eaten foods. This is important for oxidative impact on aging and diseases associated with aging. Several significant studies have shown that consumption of foods high in antioxidants is statistically related to helping prevent diseases of aging and numerous other health benefits. Antioxidant potential of specific foods is measured by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in terms of Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC). The ORAC of common foods in shown in Table 1.
ORAC Values for Common Foods
Aronia Berries 16,000
Green Beans 800
* Source: USDA ORAC values of selected foods, Version 2
With the exception of spinach, berries dominate the top five on the ORAC list.
Antioxidants are important because they combat free radicals in your body that are created by the stresses of daily living, environmental pollution, medical x-rays and even exercise. Free radicals can damage cells which can lead to health and wellness issues.
Berries are an abundant source of a class of compounds such as phytochemicals and flavanoids that recent studies have shown to have powerful impacts on a range of issues from prevention of bladder infections to major issues such as heart disease and cancer.
In all, berries should be a significant part of any healthy eating strategy.