Berries: the Ultimate Superfood

If you’re looking for a great and tasty way to pack some powerful nutrients into your diet, may I suggest berries? There’s a wide variety from which to choose and each has its own special benefits. Read on for an ABC of my personal favorites.

Acai

Rather than reach for expensive creams, grab some acai berries, also known as South America’s anti-aging wonders. You’ll not only have a great-tasting snack, you’ll get an amazing amount of anti-oxidants, 19 amino acids, several healthy fatty acids and an immune system boost. On top of that, acai berries help lower the risk of neurological diseases and are heart-healthy.

Blueberries

These delicious darlings are full of manganese, a mineral that boosts your energy, but they also contain 4 grams of fiber per cup and bone-building vitamin K. Studies have suggested that anti-oxidant rich blueberries also help fight diabetes, cancer and heart disease. My favorite use for them is blending them into a delicious smoothy with bananas and spinach.

Cranberries

These tart treats aren’t just for holidays anymore! Loaded with flavinoids callled proanthocyanidins, they’re an infection-fighting force of nature. They lower the risk of urinary tract infections and some even swear they help cure them. Cranberries are also cancer fighters and heart health boosters. Plus, they make for some incredible muffins with a little orange zest and cinnamon.

Goji Berries

Honestly, I haven’t tried these yet, but they’re on my list. Goji berries are very popular in traditional Chinese medicine where they’re used to treat high blood pressure and diabetes. They’re also great for eye, liver and kidney health. As a writer, I’m always looking for things to keep my eyes healthy! Goji berries are loaded with lycopene and beta-carotene, two important carotenoids. They also have a lot of vitamins C and E.

Mulberries

These delicious berries are a great source of polyphenols (think red wine and dark chocolate), which are great for heart health and blood vessels. You also get the benefits of calcium, vitamin C, magnesium and iron. One cup of fresh mulberries is about 270mg of potassium, more than you’ll get in half a banana. Potassium helps with blood pressure issues in addition to reducing bone loss and the risk of kidney stones.

Sea Buckthorn Berries

They’re yellow-orange, tart and considered by many to be “nature’s multivitamin.” Here’s the reason why: sea buckthorn berries are excellent sources of B-complex vitamins and vitamins A, C, E and K. They happen to be an extremely concentrated source of vitamin C which boots the immune system and helps heal wounds and repair body tissues. Ready for this? There’s more! They also pack a healthy dose of cancer-fighting, heart-helping flavinoids and carotenoids. In only 2 ounces of sea buckthorn berry juice, you get around 45-55% (40mg) of your daily vitamin C! These are high on my “to try” list!

So, get out there and grab some superfoods! Berries are fun, colorful, delicious and so very versatile in the kitchen. Plus, they’re good for you!

JBI_BioPicPost provided by regular Live To Eat guest blogger Jay Belle Isle you can find out more regarding Jay’s work here.

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