Here are five reasons why berries are some of the best foods to add into your diet, to both prolong your healthy life and to get you back in the gym more quickly.
Berries Are Nutritional PowerhousesOne of they keys to healthy eating is focusing on nutritional density, and berries are the most nutritionally-dense fruits out there, loaded with antioxidants such as flavonoids and antioxidant vitamins. Which berries rank at the top of the antioxidant density chart, among those we can actually buy at the store? Blackberries rank well ahead of raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries in terms of antioxidant bang for caloric buck.1
Large Amounts May Prevent or Reverse Physical and Mental DeclineBlueberries in particular have been shown to prevent motor decline in aged animals and improve memory in older adults.2,3 So if occasionally you’re feeling uncoordinated or forgetful, then commit to loading up on berries every day. You may want to put up a sign on your refrigerator at least in the beginning to help you remember, though.
Berries Have Powerful Cardioprotective PropertiesIn a 2011 study, consuming just one serving of blueberries a week decreased the risk of hypertension by 10%. And findings in the Nurses’ Health Study published in 2013 suggested that women eating three or more servings of blueberries or strawberries per week was linked to a 34% reduced risk of heart attack compared to a lower intakes of berries.4
How is this possible? Scientists found that in addition to the ability of berry flavonoids to combat oxidative stress, they also prevent the production of atherosclerotic plaque by decreasing oxidation of LDL and they increase antioxidant capacity in the blood. In addition, berries have several anti-inflammatory properties, and higher berry intake is associated with reduced C-reactive protein, which is a good determinant of overall inflammation in the body.5