Does your diet include berries? Here are a few of the health benefits of eating berries and a few great reasons to add them into your eating routine.
Plant-based diets are all the rage lately, and with good reason. More and more people are realizing the health benefits of going vegan, or close to it. The curious thing however is that menu and diet recommendations for this sort of lifestyle tend to focus almost exclusively on vegetables and veggie-related preparations. Fruits can also be very useful to employ, and berries in particular can add some exceptionally healthy nutrients to your diet. Here are a few berries that are easy to include in popular dishes, and which are packed with healthy elements.
In some respects, blueberries are the most lovable berries, and some of the fruits we associate most easily with treats and comfort. Oddly enough, this is probably largely thanks to their role in pop culture over many decades. From the popular rock song “Blueberry Hill,” to a little girl being turned into a giant rolling blueberry in Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, there’s just something about this particular berry that appeals to creative types. Songs and storybooks aside though, blueberries ought to be taken seriously as legitimate “superfoods” perfect for anyone concerned with health and wellness.
It’s almost hard to discuss the benefits of blueberries in detail, because there are just so many. The main thing that sets them apart, however, is a flavonoid called anthocyanin, which is what’s behind those antioxidants you may have heard about with regard to this fruit. The high anthocyanin content is related to resistance of heart disease, diabetes, and weight gain, and can also help with more surface-oriented health like good skin and hair. Blueberries also contain calcium, magnesium, potassium, and numerous vitamins, which altogether help people to maintain strong bones and low blood pressure.
Like blueberries, strawberries are often associated with a sense of fun that has little to do with one’s diet. They, too, are popular in stories and songs, and have also developed a place in popular gaming over the years. Indeed, an entire slot arcade game online exists to give players the chance to smash digital fruits including pears, lemons, oranges and strawberries, and turn them into jams. And believe it or not, this slot reel isn’t even the only strawberry video game you can find! There are several, oddly enough.
But, also like blueberries, strawberries deserve to be taken a little bit more seriously when you’re working on a diet plan to go with your wellness routine. These berries too contain helpful quantities of anthocyanin, and are also known for another flavonoid, quercetin. Quercetin is thought to lower cholesterol, and reduce the risk of a nasty cardiovascular condition that results in hardened arteries around the heart. Beyond this flavonoid, strawberries also contain polyphenol, fiber, and potassium, all of which go further to help with heart health in numerous ways. It’s simply one of the best natural foods you can eat for your heart.
Let’s end the list with a popular favorite – a sweet, juicy fruit that isn’t quite as common as blueberries or strawberries, but which may actually be the most versatile of the bunch. Indeed, we tend to hear about blackberries being used in all kinds of ways that make them seem more like a syrup or flavoring than a fruit. For the fall, for instance, canners take full advantage of berry harvests to come up with all kinds of interesting things. I recently saw an article on blackberry barbecue sauce, which is about as good an illustration of the point as you could imagine!
Purely on their own, however, blackberries aren’t just sweet – they, too, are packed with healthy features. Some of those features overlap with other berries, but blackberries are also known for some of the higher vitamin C content outside of citrus fruits (which is good for the immune system and for bone health). Blackberries are also high in fiber content, which is generally good for weight management, and can even support better brain health thanks to high content of specific antioxidants.
These three berries are extraordinarily healthy, very popular, and ultimately very easy to work into your day-to-day meal plan. All three of them can be excellent in cereal or on salads, for instance. They can enhance vegetable smoothies with water bases, or feature as main ingredients in sweeter fruit smoothies, perhaps with yogurt or almond milk bases. For this reason, you should always keep them on hand – you’ll be healthier for it.
What are your favorite ways to use berries in your diet? Do you eat them as a snack or use them in recipes? Let me know below in the comments.
Heres to you and your health,