Health Benefits of Adding Berries to Your Diet

adding berries to your diet
Adding berries in your diet berries can improve overall health.

Berries are high in fibre and an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals. Berries also contain a variety of flavonoids that are beneficial to health. Adding berries to your diet can decrease risks of many diseases.

Berries are Nutritious

Berries are highly nutritious and low in calories. They also contain several vitamins and minerals and are high in antioxidants, particularly vitamin C. Adding one cup of 150 grams of strawberries to your diet provides with 150% RDI of vitamin C. All berries are relatively similar in terms of their vitamin and mineral content. Below is a 100-gram blackberry nutritional content: (1, 2)

  • Calories 43
  • Vitamin C 35% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Vitamin K1 25% of the RDI
  • Copper 8% of the RDI
  • Folate 6% of the RDI
  • Manganese 32% of the RDI

The calorie count of berries differs. For example, strawberries contain 32 calories per 100 grams and blueberries contain 57 calories per 100 grams. However, berries are the lowest-calorie fruit you can add to your diet. (3, 4)

Berries are high in antioxidants and contain a variety of vitamins and minerals. One cup of 150g strawberries contains 150% RDI of vitamin C.

Berries are High in Fiber

Berries contain soluble fiber, which is an excellent source of fiber. Studies show that consuming soluble fiber can slow your digestive tract, which can lead to a decrease in hunger. In addition, adding berries to your diet can reduce the consumption of calories and facilitate weight management. Fiber also helps to decrease the number of calories you get from meals. One study discovered that high fiber intake can help you consume 130 fewer calories per day. (5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11)

Fiber aids in calories reduction you get from meals. According to one study, eating a high fibre diet can help you consume 130 fewer calories per day.

Reduces Bad Cholesterol

The antioxidants properties in berries can help reduced cholesterol levels in obese people with metabolic syndrome. In one 8-week study, adults with metabolic syndrome consumed a daily drink of freeze-dried strawberries experienced an 11% decrease in LDL (bad) cholesterol. Adding berries to your diet can prevent LDL cholesterol from becoming oxidized. Oxidation is a significant risk factor for heart disease. In another controlled study, obese people eating 50 grams of freeze-dried blueberries for 8 weeks observed a 28% decrease in LDL levels. (12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21)

Eating berries can prevent oxidation of LDL cholesterol. According to the American Heart Association, LDL oxidation is a significant risk factor for heart disease.

Improves Arteries function

Besides reducing LDL cholesterol, berries can also improve arteries function. Berries can help regulate blood pressure, prevent blood clotting, and manage other significant tasks inside the body. Excessive inflammation may damage these cells and inhibit proper function, which can lead to endothelial dysfunction, a significant risk factor for heart disease. According to a study, adding berries to diet can improve endothelial function in people with metabolic syndrome and people who smoke. In another controlled study, 44 people with metabolic syndrome consumed blueberry smoothie daily showed improvement in endothelial function compare to the control group. (22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28)

Berries may help regulate blood pressure, prevent blood clotting, and improve endothelial function in people suffering from metabolic syndrome.

Contains Antioxidants

Berries are rich in antioxidants, such as anthocyanins, ellagic acid, and resveratrol. These antioxidants’ job is to neutralize free radicals and reduce inflammation. Free radicals are unstable molecules, useful in small quantities, but can harm the cells if the levels get too high. However, adding these plant compounds to your diet can protect your cells from damage. According to one study, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and pomegranates have the greatest antioxidant activity. Several studies have found out that adding berries to your diet can decrease oxidative stress. Studies have also discovered that consuming 300 grams of blueberries can help protect DNA from damage. (29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37)

Berries are high in antioxidants, which can fight free radicals and inflammation in the body.

Increases Insulin Sensitivity

Adding berries to your diet can reduce blood sugar levels. Test tubes and human studies show that berries can preserve your cells from elevated concentrations of blood sugar and can increase insulin sensitivity. As a result, both healthy people and those with insulin resistance appear to have these effects. In one study, eating 150 grams of puréed strawberries or blended berries with bread resulted in a 24–26% decrease in insulin levels relative to eating bread alone. In another six-week study, obese people with insulin resistance who consumed a blueberry smoothie twice daily experienced higher insulin sensitivity improvements compare to those who consumed other smoothies. (38, 39, 40, 41, 42)

Berries can protect your cells from high blood sugar levels while also increasing insulin sensitivity. Consuming 150g of puréed strawberries or blended berries with bread reduced insulin levels by 24%.

Protects the Skin

Including berries in your diet can help decrease skin wrinkling by controlling free radicals. Free radicals are the major cause of skin harm that can occur with aging. Test tube and animal studies show that the antioxidant properties in berries can safeguard the skin from the sun by preventing the development of enzymes that break down collagen in the skin. Collagen is a protein that forms part of the framework of your skin. Thus, it enables to stretch your skin and stay firm. Your skin may shrink and create wrinkles if the collagen is damage by enzymes. In one study, the application of ellagic acid to the skin of hairless mice subjected to ultraviolet light reduced inflammation for eight weeks and helped safeguard collagen. (43, 44, 45, 46)

The antioxidants in berries block the production of enzymes that break down collagen in the skin. Collagen is a protein that is found in the structure of your skin.

Suggested article: Health benefits of acai berries

Conclusion

Berries of all kinds are high in antioxidants, which can protect cells and lower the risk of certain diseases. Many of the health-promoting properties of berries can be attributed to the antioxidants found in them. Adding berries to your diet can improve your overall health.

References

  1. Dietary fiber and weight regulation. Nutr Rev. 2001.
  2. Strawberries decrease atherosclerotic markers in subjects with metabolic syndrome. Nutr Res. 2010.
  3. Strawberry modulates LDL oxidation and postprandial lipemia in response to high-fat meal in overweight hyperlipidemic men and women. J Am Coll Nutr. 2010.
  4. Antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of strawberries. J Agric Food Chem. 2003.
  5. Blueberries improve endothelial function, but not blood pressure, in adults with metabolic syndrome: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Nutrients. 2015.
  6. Impact of processing on the bioavailability and vascular effects of blueberry (poly)phenols. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2014.
  7. Cellular Antioxidant Activity of Common Fruits. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2008.
  8. A single portion of blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L) improves protection against DNA damage, but not vascular function in healthy male volunteers. Nutr Res. 2013.
  9. Addition of strawberries to the usual diet decreases resting chemiluminescence of fasting blood in healthy subjects-possible health-promoting effect of these fruits consumption. J Am Coll Nutr. 2014.
  10. Berries modify the postprandial plasma glucose response to sucrose in healthy subjects. Br J Nutr. 2010.
  11. Berries reduce postprandial insulin responses to wheat and rye breads in healthy women. J Nutr. 2013.
  12. Ellagic and tannic acids protect newly synthesized elastic fibers from premature enzymatic degradation in dermal fibroblast cultures. J Invest Dermatol. 2006.
  13. Dietary compound ellagic acid alleviates skin wrinkle and inflammation induced by UV-B irradiation. Exp Dermatol. 2010.
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