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8 Healthy Berries You Should Eat Every Day

Berries aren’t just delicious and colorful additions to yogurt, cereals and smoothies. Berries are among the healthiest foods on the planet. Here are eight (in no particular order) that are high in health benefits:

Blueberries

Blueberries

Wonderful in muffins or sprinkled on oatmeal, blueberries help lower LDL cholesterol (or “bad” cholesterol) and reduce the risk of heart disease as a rich source of antioxidant polyphenols called anthocyanins. Studies also show that blueberries may help slow cognitive decline.

1 cup of blueberries provides:

  • Calories: 84
  • Fiber: 3.6 grams
  • Vitamin C: 24% of RDI
  • Vitamin K: 36% of RDI
  • Manganese: 25% of RDI

Raspberries

Raspberries

Delicious in tarts and jam-filled cookies, raspberries help reduce oxidative stress as a good source of antioxidant polyphenols called ellagitannins, and black raspberries may be especially beneficial for heart health. Studies show that black raspberries help reduce the risk of heart disease by helping lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

1 cup of raspberries provides:

  • Calories: 64
  • Fiber: 8 grams
  • Vitamin C: 54% of RDI
  • Vitamin K: 12% of RDI
  • Manganese: 41% of RDI

Goji Berries

Goji Berries

Also known as wolfberries, goji berries help protect eye health as a source of Vitamin A and zeaxanthin, a carotenoid found in spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, peas and Brussels sprouts. Like other berries, goji berries also contain antioxidant polyphenols, and studies show that drinking goji berry juice for two weeks can promote weight loss by boosting metabolism.

1 ounce of dried goji berries provides:

  • Calories: 23
  • Fiber: 2.2 grams
  • Vitamin C: 9% of RDI
  • Vitamin A: 50% of RDI
  • Copper: 28% of RDI

Strawberries

Strawberries

Strawberries help reduce the risk of heart disease and help control blood sugar as an excellent source of Vitamin C. In one study involving over 200,000 people, researchers found that eating strawberries could reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by as much as 18%. In separate studies involving over 93,000 women, researchers found that participants who ate more than three servings of strawberries and blueberries a week lowered their risk of heart attack by 30%.

1 cup of strawberries provides:

  • Calories: 49
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Vitamin C: 150% of RDI
  • Manganese: 29% of RDI

Bilberries

Bilberries

They may sound like a children’s TV show. (It’s the Bilberries!) Yet bilberries have powerful anti-inflammatory strength as near-black berries often confused with blueberries. In studies involving 110 women, eating bilberries for one month was shown to reduce inflammation. In addition, participants lost an average of 0.4 pounds and reduced waist size by an average of 0.5 inches. Other studies show bilberries may be effective at reducing LDL cholesterol and boosting HDL cholesterol (or “good” cholesterol).

3.5 ounces of bilberries provide:

  • Calories: 42
  • Fiber: 4.9 grams
  • Vitamin C: 24% of RDI

Açaí Berries

Acai Berries

As the fruit of the açaí palm (native to the Brazilian Amazon region), açaí berries help reduce blood sugar, insulin, oxidative stress and cholesterol levels as one of the best sources of antioxidant polyphenols. Typically consumed dried, freeze-dried or as a drink, açaí berries have also been shown to be a pain reliever. In studies involving people with osteoarthritis, results showed that drinking four ounces of açaí juice per day for 12 weeks significantly reduced pain and improved overall quality of life.

3.5 ounces of açaí berries provide:

  • Calories: 70
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Vitamin A: 15% of RDI

Cherries

Cherries

Cherries protect against stroke and heart disease as a rich source of anthocyanins—water-soluble food pigments that help prevent buildup of fatty plaques in your arteries that can lead to atherosclerosis. As one of nature’s few food sources of melatonin, cherries also help relieve insomnia and promote deeper, more restful sleep. While people tend to prefer the taste of sweet cherries, sour cherries have more vitamin C. Yet since sour cherries are mainly used for making pies, jams and jellies, most of the Vitamin C is unfortunately lost when sour cherries are heated.

1 cup of cherries (with pits) provides:

  • Calories: 87
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Vitamin C: 15% of RDI
  • Vitamin A: 2% of RDI
  • Calcium: 2% of RDI
  • Iron: 2% of RDI

Grapes

Grapes

Delicious fresh or as raisins, grapes (including the skin and seeds) help lower blood pressure, cholesterol and oxidative stress as an excellent source of antioxidant polyphenols. In observational studies, eating grapes or raisins three times per week was also shown to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by 12%. And in separate studies involving 25 women, drinking 12 ounces of grape juice daily for 12 weeks significantly improved memory.

1 cup of whole, raw grapes provides:

  • Calories: 104
  • Fiber: 1.4 grams
  • Vitamin C: 27% of the RDI
  • Vitamin K: 28% of the RDI

Whatever kind of berries you enjoy, just remember this rule of thumb: The fresher the berries, the higher the nutrient value tends to be, and the better the taste.


Read More about the causes, effects and solutions for oxidative stress and high blood pressure.

Wishing you good health through wise nutrition.
matt

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