Although Americans need to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, the food gurus these days aren't pushing fruits as much as they once were. That's because more information has come out about fructose, the sugar in fruit. While fine in moderation, in excessive amounts, fructose can be toxic. That's why at Beyond Health, we've always recommended not exceeding more than two pieces of fruit a day.
But one fruit the experts still recommend is berries, including strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, cranberries and raspberries. Why? Because no fruit offers so much nutritional value for the calories and fructose it delivers.
Berries for Disease Prevention
Berries are chock-full of phytonutrients (translation: nutrients in plants) that are some of the world's most powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.
Since oxidation and inflammation are fundamental processes in all disease, it's not surprising that scientists have been finding that berries help to prevent and curb every disease they study. Over the past 20 years, researchers have found that berries strengthen the heart and vascular system, fight cancer, preserve cognitive function with age and foster healthy aging and a longer lifespan.
More recent research has found berries provide similar benefits in many more diseases.
Intestinal Dysbiosis and Diseases of the Colon: Berries improve colon health by relieving inflammation and encourage the growth of healthy microbiota while discouraging the growth of pathogenic bacteria.
And many of these benefits were obtained by eating only half a cup of berries a day!
Additional Benefits of Berries
Along with multiple disease-reducing benefits, berries:
- Offer a broad source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium and magnesium.
- Provide a source of fiber.
- Further deliver a natural source of prebiotics to help improve gut health.
- Have been known to assist with weight loss efforts by providing a source of anthocyanins and helping the body feel full through fiber content.
- Can assist with improving memory, mental clarity and information retention, also due to the presence of anthocyanins.
- Help with reducing long-term risks for Parkinson's disease.
How to Add More Berries to Your Diet
But, don't eat the same type of berries day in and day out.
Luke Howard, Ph.D., a professor of food science at the University of Arkansas and expert on berries, points out that each type of berry has its own unique antioxidant effects and will be more potent against certain oxidants (for example, peroxynitrate) than others (like superoxide). Also, the phytonutrients in the berries seek out their own preferred areas of the body and body systems. Then too, each type of berry has a somewhat different assortment of phytonutrients, and although many are the same or similar, some are quite different from the others, and have unique benefits to offer.
Variety is the spice of life, and eating a variety of berries (including the more exotic berries like goji and açai) and other fruits, like cherries, red grapes, pomegranates and plums/prunes, which have similar potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, is the most effective way to get broad-spectrum, synergistic support.
The Benefits of Berries Through Meal Replacement Powder
In 25 years at Beyond Health, we've observed time and again that following an anti-inflammatory lifestyle, which includes getting lots of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds in foods and supplements, often leads to the resolution of health problems without doing anything else.
It's like having a toxic glob sitting on top of a glass of pure water. You can try to add things to the water to dissolve the glob, or try to fish it out, or you can keep filling the glass with more and more pure water until the glass overflows - the glob with it.
If you fill your life with more and more health, there's typically just no more room for disease. And even if the disease persists, necessitating more active intervention, your healthy lifestyle puts you that much farther ahead of the game, increasing the chances of your interventions being successful.
Making a variety of berries a prominent part of your healthy lifestyle is one more way to build health. And one way to get an array of berries is with Beyond Health's Berry Meal Blast, a meal replacement powder.
Berry Meal Blast is really in a class by itself when it comes to meal replacement products. For example, many products say they are "strawberry-flavored," but you'd be hard-pressed to find an iota of real strawberry in it! Instead, it's an artificial flavor made from dozens of synthetic chemicals.
There are lots of berries in Berry Meal Blast: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries and bilberries, as well as grapes, cherries and prunes, and they're all 100% real. So, you get all the wonderful flavor of real berries and other fruits, AND you get all the vitamins, minerals and special antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients that make these fruits superfoods.
The care and attention to maximum quality and health benefit that went into this one aspect of Berry Meal Blast is evident in every other aspect of this unique product.
To your increasingly good health!
- Howard L. Health benefits of berries. Diet, Food, Exercise and Nutrition (D-FEND), ScholarWorks@UARK, Center for Human Nutrition, University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, November 6, 2020 .
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- Davicco M-J. Berries, their micronutrients and bone health. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care . November 2016;19(6):453-457.
- Philip, N. Inhibitory effects of fruit berry extracts on Streptococcus mutans biofilms. EuropeanJournal of Oral Sciences . April 2019;127(2):122-129 .
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