Monday, August 7, 2017

20 Types of Berries and Their Health Benefits

Not only are berries incredibly tasty, but they are also one of those foods universally recognized as healthy.
Vegans love them too.
In fact, it’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t like them.
This article will look at the health benefits of more than 20 different types of berries.

#1. Acai Berry

With a pronunciation of “ah-sah-ee,” acai berries are native to South American rainforests.
Over recent years, they have experienced an explosion in global popularity.
Unfortunately, fresh acai berries are near impossible to source. As a result, people usually buy acai berries in powdered form which you can use to make a drink.
Due to their purported antioxidant content, acai berry products are popular with mainstream health crowds (1).
However, they command a premium price – are they worth it?

Calories and Macronutrients (Per 3g Serving Acai Powder)

Calories: 20
Carbohydrate: 1g
Fat: 1.5g
Protein: 0g

Nutrients and Health Benefits

Acai berries contain vitamin A, but in the specified serving sizes of acai powder, this is not a significant amount (2).
The benefits of acai powder come from the antioxidant and polyphenol content. In fact, studies show freeze-dried acai powder has an exceptional antioxidant capacity – higher than any other fruit or vegetable (34).
However, the powder is very expensive, and it’s probably better to eat real berriesrather than 3g of powder.
There’s also some slimy marketing behind various acai products. For instance, $50 acai liver ‘cleanses’.
Avoid stuff like this, because our body already has a perfectly capable detoxifying system.
It’s called the liver.
Key Point: Acai powder has impressive antioxidant capacity, but it’s just too expensive to justify.

#2. Blackberry

Blackberries grow all around the world, and they also taste amazing.

Calories and Macronutrients Per Cup Blackberries

Calories: 62
Carbohydrate: 15g (Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 7g)
Fat: 1g
Protein: 2g

Nutrients and Health Benefits

Blackberries are an excellent source of (5):
  • Vitamin C: 50% RDA
  • Vitamin K1: 36% RDA
  • Manganese: 47% RDA
As with all berries, blackberries also contain various health-protective polyphenols.
Blackberries show a significant protective effect against LDL-oxidation, a prominent cardiovascular risk factor, in human intervention studies (6).
Studies also show that wild blackberries are 3 to 5 times higher in polyphenols, so get outside and pick your own (7).
Key Point: Blackberries are delicious, full of nutrients and relatively inexpensive – you can also pick wild ones for free.

#3. Black Raspberry

Despite looking similar to blackberries, black raspberries are an altogether different fruit. (8)

Calories and Nutrients Per Cup Black Raspberries

Calories: 70
Carbohydrate: 16g (Fiber: 8.7g, Sugar: 5.92g)
Fat: 0.87g
Protein: 1.61g

Nutrients and Health Benefits

Black raspberries are a significant source of (9):
  • Vitamin C: 58% RDA
Black raspberries have also demonstrated strong anti-carcinogenic properties in clinical studies.
These studies show that black raspberries have anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative, and tumor-suppressive activity (101112).
Eating black raspberries with a bit of heavy cream is a great, tasty option.
Or you can even make a healthy, low-carb black raspberry ice-cream:
  • Blend the black raspberries with two egg yolks and some heavy cream
  • Add some vanilla bean extract and a touch of salt (if you want, you can also add your choice of sweetener)
  • Put it in the freezer
  • Take the ice-cream out of the freezer about 30 mins before you want to eat it
Key Point: Black raspberries are similar to blackberries and raspberries, but a little different. They have anti-carcinogenic properties and also make great ice-cream.

#4. Blueberry

As one of the most common types of berry, almost everyone knows about the health benefits of blueberries.

Calories and Macronutrients Per Cup Blueberries

Calories: 84
Carbohydrate: 21g (Fiber: 4g, Sugar:15g)
Fat: 0g
Protein: 1g
Compared to the previous berries, blueberries have less fat and more carbohydrate, and a sweeter taste.

Nutrients and Health Benefits

Blueberries provide a reasonable source of (13):
  • Vitamin C: 24% RDA
  • Vitamin K1: 36% RDA
  • Manganese: 25% RDA
In the same fashion as blackberries, blueberries exert a protective effect on LDL and protect the particles from oxidation (1415).
Studies also show that blueberries have anti-carcinogenic properties, as well as improving insulin sensitivity (161718).
Blueberries are easy to find, and you can buy them either fresh or frozen. Recently, blueberry wine is also becoming popular.
Regarding their nutritional content, there’s no real difference between the two and frozen blueberries are just as good for you (19).
Key Point: Blueberries are easy to find, reasonably priced, very good for your health, and they taste delicious.
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