By Mayo Clinic Staff
Even the pickiest eaters seldom need to be coerced into eating a bowl of strawberries or raspberries. After all, berries are nature’s candy.
Fortunately, berries are as healthy as they are delicious. Whether you’re adding a handful of blueberries to your breakfast cereal or tossing a few strawberries into your smoothie, adding berries to your diet is a win-win.
Berries are small fruits with even smaller seeds and can be eaten whole without peeling or pitting. Some common berries include blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. But there are many other types of berries, like acai berries, boysenberries, cloudberries, cranberries, currants, elderberries, gooseberries and wolfberries — also known as goji berries.
Why are berries so good for you?
As a rule, all berries are nutritious. Consider these powerful health benefits:
Berries help improve your cholesterol levels and lower your blood sugar levels. You can thank all the fiber for that. Just 1 cup of raspberries or blackberries contains around 8 grams (grams) of fiber. One cup of blueberries or strawberries has around 3 grams of fiber. (In comparison, a packet of instant oatmeal contains 4 grams of fiber.) And despite their sweet taste, berries generally have a low glycemic load. This means that they digest fairly slowly due to their fiber content, which keeps the bump in blood sugar—and your insulin response—modest after eating them.
Berries pack a vitamin and mineral punch. Berries provide an array of vitamins, including vitamin A, the B vitamins, and vitamins C and K. And minerals? Look no further for healthy amounts of potassium, magnesium, calcium and iron.
Berries have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects — and more. Berries are high in phytonutrients, plant chemicals that have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects. Some of the best berry phytonutrients are anthocyanins—which are the pigments that give berries their color. Berry antioxidants and phytonutrients also help fight infection and boost the immune system, improve blood vessel function, cholesterol levels and blood pressure, and protect nerve cells and the brain.
Berries may reduce your risk of heart attack. Research suggests that a few weekly servings of anthocyanin-rich berries, like strawberries and blueberries, may significantly reduce your risk of heart attack and cardiovascular disease. They may also delay cognitive decline associated with aging and reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Source: https://www.mayoclinic. org/connected-care/why-eat-berries-let-us-count-the-ways/ cpt-20247634?mc_id=us&utm_ source=enewsletter&utm_medium=en&utm_content=general&utm_ campaign=mayoclinic&geo=national&placementsite=enterprise&invsrc=patloy&cauid=119484
Exclusive content from CARE magazine.