Berries: A dietary Blessing

Fruits are normalised as elements of our daily diet.Berries, especially in Indian households, are looked at as a one-time delicacy. Berries are extremely healthy and can be a great supplement for dessert for modern weight-watchers. This makes them pervasive to an extent that they can be used as an evening snack, as well as for dessert.

The myriad health benefits of berries are highly underestimated and understated making them a crucial adage to our daily diet. Some benefits of berries are:

1. Mental Sharpness & Alertness
Berries contain anthocyanidins which help to increase sharpness, strengthen memory and delays cognitive decline. Several studies have credited berries to delay intellectual decline, especially for senior citizens. Anthocyanidins that are found easily in most berries, permeate the blood-brain barriers and reach those areas of the brain that are concerned with memory and cognitive strength.

2. Doing Away with Diabetes
A popular misconception about berries is that since they are sweet, they should be avoided so as to not risk diabetes. According to nutritionists, berries contain a lot of fibre which makes them a good alternative to traditional fruits. According to the USA’s Department of Agriculture, Raspberries contain 15g of carbohydrates which further includes 8g of fibre per cup. Blackberries have 14g of carbohydrates but again 8g of fibre per cup. Studies have concluded that berries have a high chance of preventing diabetes. They are good for blood sugar regulation and promote a low glycaemic load.

3. Preventing Parkinson’s Disease
Berries are a rich source of flavonoids which reduce the risk of Parkinson’s by 40%. Most foods rich in anthocyanins and flavonoids have been proven to reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease substantially.

4. A Good Weapon against Heart-Diseases
The flavonoids and anti-oxidant plant compounds present in berries help fight against heart diseases. They also help prevent high cholesterol levels, reduced systolic blood pressure, body mass index, and sugar levels in the blood. The antioxidants help promote healthy cell formation and thereby reduce the risk of inflammation.

5. A Sweet Weight-Loss Solution
One of the main concerns with weight loss is always an unending desire to eat all the time. However, berries are so filling that they satiate such desires. Even if you are on the trending Ketogenic diet, you can always include berries in your diet but only in small quantities. On average, the well-known berry has around 50-60 calories. Interestingly enough, one study proved that individuals with a fat-rich diet and regular intake of berries lost more weight than those on a controlled diet due to the insulin provided in berries.

6. Berries and Blood
Anthocyanins present in berries like blueberries aid the smooth functioning of blood vessels. They do so by aiding dilation, thereby reducing systolic blood pressure. This further aids the antioxidant properties and the genetic predisposition of the body.

7. Aids in Fighting Cancer
The flavonoid in berries like blueberries and raspberries help fight against gastrointestinal and breast cancer. They may even act as a cure against liver, prostate, pancreatic, and lung cancers. This is done by preventing inflammation, DNA damage in cells, and the spread of malignant cells in the body.

8. Good Gut Health
While probiotics are the most crucial aid to a healthy microbiome, this does not imply that prebiotics are futile. Before understanding the correlation of berries with this fact, let us understand the importance of the microbiome. The microbiome is the factor that ensures the safe and healthy functioning of the gut. Berries are a rich source of prebiotics that act as a catalyst to the effectiveness of probiotics.

9. Preventing Urinary Tract Infections
Anthocyanins present in cranberries act against bacteria that cause UTI.

Berries have multiple benefits and can be included in our diet with great ease. They can also be added to highly nutritious food like yoghurt and salads for a healthier and tastier end product. Hence, the conclusion we arrive at is sure that Berries are indeed a Dietary Blessing.

Author : Mr Vikas Nahar, Founder Happilo

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