Do you know why you need to add berries into your Mediterranean diet? Are you aware of all the health benefits you can get by simply consuming enough amounts of these fruits on a daily basis? Well, in case you don’t know, berries are quite a powerhouse when it comes to nutrition. To appreciate all the things berries can do for your health, let’s take a look at some of the benefits that you can get from including them into your diet.
Taking a Closer Look at Berries
Why should you consume enough berries on a daily basis? Well, in a nutshell, berries are considered one of nature’s so-called “superfoods”. They contain significant amounts of the essential nutrients our bodies need to keep it in top condition. More importantly, they are considered one of the richest sources of polyphenols called flavonoids, one of the antioxidant compounds that help protect us from a number of modern day diseases.
According to a recent research published in the Annals of Neurology journal, adding berries (particularly blueberries and strawberries) to your daily diet can help prevent and delay brain aging, memory lapses and brain slips. In fact, their study showed that eating a lot of berries can help delay cognitive decline by about two and a half years!
This particular study involving about 120,000 woman participants whose ages ranged from 30 to 55 started way back in 1976. When the cognitive functions of these women were measured between 1995 and 2001, results indicated that those who are consuming large amounts of berries on a daily basis have delayed their normal brain ageing process by as much as 2.5 years. Isn’t that great?
Another research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry proved evidence on the brain boosting power of blueberries. In this particular study, a small group of participants suffering from a mild case of memory decline took several learning and memory tests to gauge their cognitive abilities. They were then asked to add three glasses of blueberry juice into their daily diet for 12 weeks. Can you guess what happened next? Well, after being given another series of tests, the participants showed a significant 20% improvement in their overall scores! Now, isn’t that something?
Other health benefits from berries
Aside from delaying cognitive decline, adding berries to your diet can also help you:
Maintain a more youthful appearance. Berries, particularly strawberries, contain significant amounts of vitamin C which helps maintain your skin’s elasticity. It also contains ellagic acid which protects your skin’s collagen content from damage and anthocyanins which slows down skin aging.
Promote a healthier digestive system. Since berries are packed with fiber, adding them to your Mediterranean diet can help you maintain a healthier digestive system and prevent the onset of constipation and diverticulitis.
Preserve better vision. According to a report published in the Archives of Ophthalmology, eating three servings of fruits per day can reduce your risk of age-related macular degeneration by as much as 36% as compared to those who consume less than 1.5 servings of fruits per day.
Lose weight. Berries are generally low in calorie, carbohydrate, sugar and sodium so you can snack on them without feeling guilty about it. You may be thrilled to know that it can even help you reduce abdominal fat! In a study involving laboratory rats, researchers observed that adding blueberry-enriched powder into the rats’ diet resulted in less abdominal fat, lower cholesterol and lower triglyceride levels. What do you think about that?
Fight cancer. Blueberries and strawberries both contain significant amounts of antioxidants, vitamin C, copper and ellagic acid – nutrients that work together to prevent and cure cancer. According to a report published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the phenolic compounds found in blueberries can prevent the proliferation of cancer cells in the colon and eventually cause the death of such cells. That’s how effective berries are in warding off cancer!
On top of all these, berries are also proven to fight bad cholesterol, lower your blood pressure and blood sugar levels, promote a healthy heart and prevent the onset of arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes and obesity, among others. Berries, particularly strawberries, also contain significant amounts of folate so it can be used to promote better prenatal health.
With all these healthy benefits, would you now consider making berries a part of your daily Mediterranean diet? Do it and you’ll surely enjoy a healthier life ahead of you!
Eat your berries and stay healthier for life,