They may be little but berries are big on antioxidants!
Antioxidants can help your body fight oxidative stress caused by free radicals that can lead to illness. Foods that are rich in antioxidants can help improve health, protect skin and hair, and prevent certain disease. They can help reduce inflammation too. There are lots of fruits and vegetables that contain antioxidants, but berries are on the top of the list!
What are free radicals?
Free radicals are molecules with unpaired electrons. This is caused by poor diet, inflammation, environmental pollution, and even as a response to exercise. In their quest to find another electron, they are very reactive and cause damage to surrounding molecules. However, antioxidants break that cycle because they can give up electrons to eliminate the free radicals.
As stated, there are lots of fruits and vegetables that contain antioxidants. To name a few are nuts, spices and brightly colored fruits and vegetables. But when it comes to antioxidant fruits, two of the very best are also the smallest- blueberries and cranberries. Let’s take a look at their individual benefits.
Blueberries consist of 85% water, which makes them a great fruit to eat. It also contains quercetin, anthocyanins and reversatrol, plus a whole herd of lesser-known antioxidants like pterostilbene. Those benefit include reducing abdominal fat, protecting your eyes, improving cognitive and motor function, protecting against cancers of the breast and digestive system, soothing intestinal problems like ulcerative colitis, improving your cholesterol, normalizing blood sugar levels and protecting your heart. Blueberries are good for urinary tract health too. In the fast metabolism diet, Blueberries are allowed on Phase 1 and Phase 3.
Fresh cranberries are composed of more than 85% water along with a hefty dose of fiber, but they are rarely eaten fresh since they are so sour and astringent. However, cranberries are proven home remedy for urinary tract infections. They keep bacteria from sticking to the lining of your bladder and urinary tract. They also help prevent and slow breast, colon, prostate and lung tumors, and they’re a rich source of immune-boosting, inflammation-busting vitamin C and the alpha-tocopherol form of vitamin E. Both fresh and dried cranberries are a good source of anthocyanins, anti-inflammatory antioxidants that can help with arthritis and age-related memory loss. Cranberries are allowed on the Phase 3 of the Fast Metabolism Diet.
In addition to antioxidants, berries are also called “juicy foods,” which means they contain mostly water. Juicy foods are great for losing weight because they fill you up quickly, since their high water content bumps up to the volume while driving down the calories. Don’t forget to choose organic with these two!
Also, look for firm, plump fruit with bright, vivid colors. The best blueberries will still have a whitish, powdery “bloom” on their skin. Both berries are tastiest when fresh.
Wanna share the antioxidants you get from berries to your friends? Send them a basket gift of berry jam!
Isn't this a cute presentation of berries? You can get similar bowls here.