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   THE BENEFITS OF BERRIES
 
 
 
2011 - Volume 2 Issue 2
Vida Buena
Health & Wellness
 
Article: Charlotte Tallman
 
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1.) Blueberry
Blueberries have the highest level of antioxidants of most fruits and some vegetables. The powerful antioxidants help neutralize free radicals (unstable molecules linked to the development of a number of diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease and other age-related conditions such as Alzheimer's) and the oxidation process slows down and enhances the body's immune defense, lowering the risk of cancer and other infectious diseases.

    You don't have to look far to see the exceptional benefits of berries. With claims of better skin, lower cholesterol, minimizing cancer, helping bones and strengthening the heart, who wouldn't want to consume massive amounts of berries, known as the world's superfood?

Berries are a good source of antioxidants, fiber and heart-healthy fats, and they contain anthocyanins (responsible for the red, purple and blue hues in fruits, vegetables and flowers) and flavonoids—both powerful antioxidants that defend the body. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants has been shown to help the body with aging and the disease process by neutralizing free radicals. From offering anti-cancer components to increasing brain health, berries really are beneficial.
Blueberries are a good source of dietary fiber, and a diet high in fiber contributes to heart health, helping to keep cholesterol in check. Fiber also aids in digestion and helps maintain regularity.

Blueberries are an excellent source of manganese, which plays an important role in the development of bones and in the metabolism of protein, carbohydrate and fat. Blueberries are also known to prevent cell damage and inflammation.

2.) Raspberry
Raspberries are known for containing ellagic acid, a compound with anti-cancer properties. Raspberries also contain significant amounts of polyphenol antioxidants which are linked to potential health protection against several human diseases.

Raspberries have the highest fiber content among plant food, and are a rich source of vitamin C. Daily consumption of three or more servings of raspberry has been seen to lower the risk of age-related macular degeneration, the main cause of vision loss in older adults.

If feeling better wasn't enough to up raspberry consumption, the anthocyanins present in raspberries have been found to reduce and delay the effects of aging.

Raspberries are a good source of quercetin, an antioxidant that diminishes the release of histamines, minimizing allergic reactions. Manganese and vitamin C, two other antioxidant nutrients in raspberries, help protect the body tissue from oxygen-related damage and are good for those suffering from inflammation and pain.

3.) Strawberry
Strawberries contain nutrients that can help improve the health condition of the eyes. With a high level of antioxidants and vitamin C, strawberries prevent the degeneration of eyes. Strawberries also have potassium, which can reduce eye pressure that usually leads to an eye condition called glaucoma.

Strawberries slow down arthritis and gout problems by pushing the radical substances that cause the degeneration of tissues and joints out of the system. Strawberries are also known for improving brain function. With the presence of the different phytochemicals and vitamin C in strawberries, a body will effectively be rejuvenated by neutralizing the effects of the oxidants in the body.

Strawberries are known to be effective in lowering high blood pressure due to their very good content of potassium and magnesium. Strawberries also fight heart diseases by improving the condition and functioning of the cardiac muscles.

4.) Cranberry
Cranberries help prevent urinary tract infections and may also inhibit the bacteria associated with stomach ulcers. For the cardiovascular system, and for many parts of the digestive tract (including the mouth and gums, stomach and colon), cranberry has been shown to provide important anti-inflammatory benefits. In gums, the anti-inflammatory properties of cranberry can help lower the risk of periodontal disease.

Cranberries have been shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol and aid in recovery from stroke. With a unique assortment of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients, cranberries have also been said to lower the risk of cancer development.

5.) Blackberry
Blackberries contain high levels of anthocyanins, which give them their rich, dark color and work as antioxidants that help fight free radical damage in the body.

Black raspberries are rich in ellagic acid, known to be a potent anticarcinogen, anti-viral and anti-bacterial acid, which boosts the body's immune system.Studies also show that extracts of blackberries may slow or reverse the growth of breast, cervical, colon, oral and esophageal cancers.

Folate is a key vitamin in blackberries, aiding in the prevention of cancer and reducing the risk of Alzheimer's disease. In addition, Omega 3 fatty acids in blackberries reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. Omega 3 fatty acids are also known for improving brain function, specifically memory and performance. ///
 
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