Fruits, in general, have a host of health benefits, but berries are especially good for you. They contain life-sustaining nutrients that cannot be found in any other food. They’re delicious, too!
Many nutrition experts recommend you eat berries every day – keep reading to find out why.
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Berries and the brain
They’re not just good for your health now, they’re good for your health, for life! Eating just one or two servings of berries per week has been shown to postpone cognitive decline by up to 2.5 years.
Eating berries has been shown to improve memory in older people, possibly due to beneficial compounds called anthocyanins. These are found almost exclusively in berries and have the rare property of being able to pass from the blood to the brain.
Berries also have benefits for the prevention of Parkinson’s disease. A common cause of Parkinson’s is exposure to environmental toxins like pesticides. The compounds in berries can help to counteract this effect. Additionally, berries are high in fiber, which helps with the digestive problems often experienced by Parkinson’s patients.
Compounds in berries may even clean up toxins in the body, potentially protecting against Alzheimer’s disease.
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Berries have been shown to improve artery function. If they are eaten alongside an unhealthy high-fat meal, they can reduce the artery damage it causes. They may help to fight inflammation in the body, too, which can help patients suffering from hypertension.
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Compounds called flavonoids contained in some berries may reduce your risk of developing cancer. They may also increase the number of cancer-fighting immune cells in your body.
Berries also contain phytochemicals, which protect your cells from damage, further helping prevent cancer.
Berries may be especially protective against oral cancer. Applying a gel made of berries to precancerous lesions in the mouth has been shown to reduce or even eliminate these lesions.
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Diabetes and weight control
Berries are ideal for those with diabetes, as their high fiber content means they can safely be eaten without spiking blood sugar levels. Fiber also makes you feel fuller without any added calories, which can be a big advantage if you’re trying to lose weight.
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Glaucoma is a condition where the optic nerve begins to deteriorate, causing vision problems. But studies have shown that eating berries can halt the progression of glaucoma and even improve symptoms.
Berries can also help with macular degeneration, the most common cause of blindness. They can slow down the aging of cells and improve blood flow to the eye. Goji berries (pictured above) are thought to be quite good for this purpose.
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The upshot on berries
The therapeutic potential of berries extends even beyond what we’ve mentioned. For example, did you know that eating berries may prevent soreness and speed recovery after exercise?
Dentist’s Caution: Brush your teeth and even floss right after eating berries. The skins of berries often stick to teeth, and seeds can easily squeeze in between your precious dents. The sugar content can then quickly cause decay.
That said, with all that’s going for them, everyone can benefit from eating berries. Find out more about specific types that can help you with your personal health goals.
It doesn’t matter whether they’re fresh, frozen, cooked – eat ’em up! Yum!