We all know how important it is to eat our daily quota of fruit and vegetables, and while the vast majority of these food groups is very healthy for us, there are a few select items that are particularly beneficial, and berries are one of those superfoods.
Five of the healthiest berries you can eat, begin with:
- Blueberries – these are a great source of vitamin K and contain antioxidant polyphenols called anthocyanins which may reduce oxidative stress, thereby lowering the risk of heart disease. They also lower the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol in the blood, may lower the risk of diabetes, and a study has shown that people who eat blueberries have slower rates of cognitive decline.
- Raspberries – these are a great source of fibre, they also contain antioxidants which can help reduce oxidative stress, and they may increase leptin, which is the hormone that helps us feel full. Black raspberries are particularly good for us, and studies have shown that they may reduce inflammation in people with metabolic syndrome and reduce the size of polyps (abnormal cell growth) in the colon.
- Goji berries – native to China and typically used in traditional medicine, these berries are high in vitamin A and zeaxanthin, which are both important for eye health. They too contain antioxidant polyphenols and a study found that drinking goji berry juice for two weeks increased metabolism and reduced the waist size in overweight people.
- Strawberries – probably the most commonly eaten berries around the world, they are the best source of vitamin C and are good for heart health. Studies show they may reduce the number of risk factors for heart disease including cholesterol, triglycerides and oxidative stress. They may also help control blood sugar levels which is important in preventing diabetes.
- Cranberries – most often consumed in juice form, they are best-known for their ability to reduce urinary tract infections. Studies show that certain chemicals in cranberries prevent the bacteria E. coli from sticking to the bladder wall or urinary tract, which therefore prevents infection – similarly with H. pylori which can cause stomach ulcers and cancer.
Interestingly enough, did you know that grapes are also considered a berry? The skin and seeds are an excellent source of antioxidant polyphenols, and a number of studies have shown that the extracts can lower blood pressure and heart rate – another good reason to add grapes to your shopping basket this week. In the words of Jim Rohn ‘take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live’ so go ahead and be sure to enjoy your superfoods.
N1 may be your favourite South African meat wholesalers, but we also stock a variety of quality frozen fruit to suit your needs. Give N1 a call today!