Berries contain antioxidants, which help to keep free radicals under control. Free radicals are unstable molecules that occur as a normal by-product of metabolism. Small amounts of free radicals within the body are beneficial for fighting bacteria and viruses, but too many can lead to health problems and damage to cells. Antioxidants such as anthocyanins, ellagic acid and resveratrol are found within most berries, which help to protect cells and reduce the risk of disease.
Berries may help improve blood sugar and insulin response. In a study of healthy women, eating 150g of mixed berries with bread led to a 25% reduction in insulin levels, compared to consuming bread alone. Within the obesity crisis, spikes in glucose levels cause the body to store fat. In another study, insulin-resistant people that consumed a blueberry smoothie twice a day experienced greater improvements in insulin sensitivity than a group that consumed smoothies without berries.
Berries are a fantastic source of fibre, including soluble fibre. Consuming soluble fibre slows down the movement of food through the digestive tract which in turn leads to reduced hunger and an increased feeling of being satisfied and full. For weight loss, this could in turn reduce your calorie intake, enabling you to lose weight quicker.
Carb & fibre content per one cup of serving of specific berries:
Being extremely nutritious and high in antioxidants, berries are packed full of vitamins and minerals. Strawberries for example, provide a huge 150% of your recommended daily allowance of vitamin c. On average, most berries contain around 36% of your RDI of vitamin K also, as well as 12% RDI of copper and 9% of folate.
To add to the list of benefits, berries have been shown to improve the ageing process and reduce skin wrinkling. Because of their antioxidant properties and helping to control free radicals, one of its leading issues are skin damage.
With their low glycaemic properties, berries can be enjoyed by many kinds of diets. For diets trying to reduce the intake of carbohydrates, most fruits are generally avoided due to their high levels of fruit sugar. Berries, however, can be enjoyed in moderation on these kinds of diets. A lot of berries are included in vegetarian and vegan diets, as well as a popular trend in recent months – the Mediterranean diet.