3 Delicious Berries And How They Keep Us Healthy

by Danny Fernsby
fresh berries in bowls

Berries are often referred to as superfoods because of their exceptional nutritional value and high antioxidant content. Blackberries, for example, are packed with vitamin C and eating just half a cup will already give you half of the recommended daily value. These delicious treats also contain various kinds of antioxidants that help keep us safe from oxidative stress.

Moreover, recent studies on berries like cranberries and blueberries show that they can protect us from cancer, cardiovascular illnesses, and other inflammatory damage. Depending on the kind of berry you eat, how much, and the form consumed, you can get different kinds and amounts of antioxidants. Read on to find out about the different antioxidant activities associated with berries.

#1 Strawberry

Strawberries are popular with both adults and kids not only because of its attractive color but also because of its aroma and sweet taste. More than just a colorful fruit, strawberries, especially when eaten fresh, contains a lot of vitamin C. In fact, its ascorbate content is considered four times than that of blueberries.

Aside from vitamin C, strawberries contain many antioxidants that protect our body from oxidative stress in many ways. Here are a few examples:

Reduce risks of cardiovascular incidents

Antioxidants found in strawberries prevent the oxidation of LDL or low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. This is the antioxidant action that protects us from cardiovascular diseases because when the LDLs are oxidized or damaged by the free radicals, it triggers a process that leads to the formation of plaque that stick to the walls of blood vessels. This can then result in atherosclerosis, thrombosis, and other cardiovascular incidents.

Anti-cancer Activity

The antioxidants ellagic acid and quercetin, in previous varying studies, have both been shown to protect against breast cancer. Quercetin, for instance, prevents the proliferation of breast cancer cells and promotes the cellular death of these disease-causing cells. Just like quercetin, ellagic acid also contributes to the death of breast cancer cells. Crude extract of strawberries, along with anthocyanins, have also been shown to prevent the spread of human tumor cells in an in vitro setting.

Prevents many types of cancer

Because there are so many types of antioxidants found in strawberries and they act in various ways, these antioxidants are able to provide protection against colon, breast, oral, esophageal, and prostate cancer.

#2 Red Raspberry

strawberry raspberry blackberryThese berries are so small, it’s amazing how packed they are with healthy nutrients.

Fresh raspberries are excellent sources of vitamin C, dietary fiber, and, of course, antioxidants. Raspberries actually contain various types of antioxidants including tannins, organic acids, anthocyanins, flavonoids, and polyphenols.

Here are several ways raspberries improve our health and protect us from oxidative stress:

Prevents LDL oxidation

Just like the antioxidants found in strawberries, antioxidants found in raspberry extracts also contain antioxidants that help prevent the oxidation of LDL. Again, this is an important antioxidant activity because it keeps our blood vessels healthy and thus prevents the heart from being stressed and overworked.

Decrease tumor growth

Antioxidants found in raspberry extracts have also been shown to help decrease the growth and spread of gastric tumor cells. Because raspberries contain ellagic acid just like strawberries do, raspberries are also helpful in preventing the growth and spread of tumor cells.

Helps in bone growth and development

Healthy compounds found in raspberries help stimulate the proliferation of osteoblastic cells which are involved in bone formation. Aside from the synthesis of bones, red raspberries are also great for preventing bone resorption. This is a condition wherein the calcium in the bones are absorbed back into the bloodstream. By preventing bone resorption, raspberries help keep our bones strong and firm.

#3 Blackberry

fresh blackberriesBlackberries aren’t just delectable dessert ingredients, they’re also excellent natural sources of antioxidants. In fact, the antioxidant capacity of blackberries, measured in terms of oxygen radical absorbing capacity (ORAC), is more than twice that of strawberries. If you’re wanting to start your day with a healthy dose of antioxidants, just add blackberries to your smoothie or top your yogurt with these tart berries.

As with other berries, blackberries are also loaded with dietary fiber, vitamin C, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin and minerals like zinc, sodium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium. Blackberries contain powerful antioxidants such as anthocyanosides, flavonols, flavonoids, tannins, cyanidins, ellagic acid, gallic acid, quercetin, and phenolic acids. Take a look at some examples of antioxidant activities associated with blackberries:

Cancer prevention

Eating a lot of blackberries regularly can help protect you from lung, esophageal, and colon cancer. Because blackberries are rich in anthocyanins and ellagic acid, blackberries can help inhibit the growth of tumor cells.

Cognitive function enhancer

Due to its high polyphenolic content, blackberries help stop the decline of cognitive and motor ability caused by aging. Results of previous studies also suggest that regularly eating blackberries may be able to help improve memory performance as well as enhance brain cell functions.

Good for cardiovascular health

Any food that’s rich in antioxidants will always enhance cardiovascular health. What’s great about blackberries is that the fruit also contains magnesium, which is necessary for maintaining a healthy blood pressure.

Great for skin care

Blackberries contain a lot of vitamins C and E, which help keep the skin toned and prevents the formation of wrinkles as well as helps protect the skin from sun damage.

Helps maintain eye health

The many types of antioxidants found in blackberries are the reasons why blackberries are such great foods for skin care and for maintaining strong bones and a healthy heart. Lutein and other anthocyanides found in blackberries also help in maintaining eye health and protect the eyes from diseases such as cataracts.

The Bottom Line

In general, berries are excellent sources of healthy phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. You can eat any type of berry and still expect to gain many health benefits. These luscious fruits will only differ in terms of the amount and type of antioxidants you get, which is a good reason to alternate between various types of berries. To maximize the amount of nutrients you get from these healthy fruits, it’s better to eat them fresh and raw.

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