Berries come in all shapes and sizes. From the smallest blueberry to the biggest, spikiest pineapple, berries are about as varied and diverse as they come. While you may already know that there are many varieties of berries that make for a healthy and nutritious snack, you might not be fully aware of just how effective these little fruits can be when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
In fact, according to the experts at Healthline, berries are one of the healthiest foods that you can eat! We here at Bestie think that it would be in your best interest to make an effort to eat berries every day.
We’re sorry, hopefully, you can forgive us and “berry” the hatchet, unless you think that we’ve crossed the line and that was the final straw…berry. Okay, that was the last one, we promise. Now, let’s move on and learn all about the many reasons why you should consider eating berries every day.
Low in Calories
As you may already know, the average adult needs a certain amount of calories per day to properly function. For women, the requirement is about 2000 calories per day on average, and for men, the average number is 2500. To lose weight, however, it’s recommended to consume 500 calories fewer per day; so around 1500 calories for women and 2000 for men on average.
By maintaining this daily intake of calories, you can expect to lose about 1 pound of excess body weight per week. One of the things that make berries so special is that they are relatively low in calories. To give you some examples of what we’re talking about: One cup of blueberries is about 84 calories, one cup of blackberries is about62 calories, and a single cup of strawberries can contain as little as 49 calories!
With such a low-calorie count, that means that you can eat more berries at once than you can with other foods, while still controlling your daily calorie intake. And as we said before, limiting your daily calories can help you lose weight at a rate of 1 pound per week, which means that after one full week of eating berries, you can already expect to see progress towards your weight loss goals. Hey, one pound might not sound like much, but it’s a step in the right direction!
Vitamins and Nutrients
In addition to being relatively low in calories, many types of berries contain a wide variety of beneficial vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to help get you through your day. One very important vitamin that all berries contain is Vitamin C, which helps your body’s immune system and prevents diseases such as scurvy. Remember when we said that one cup of strawberries would be about 49 calories? Well, in that same cup of strawberries, you can expect to find a whopping total of 150 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C!
Additionally, berries provide an excellent source of Manganese, which can prove the health of your brain, bones and nervous system, and vitamin K, which assists the body with blood clotting as well as bone metabolism. The fact that berries are so rich in nutrients yet so low in calories means that you can use them to ensure that you’re getting all the nutritional benefits you need in a day without accidentally overeating. After about a week of snacking on berries, you’ll not only be on the road to weight loss, but you’ll probably be feeling healthier, too!
Most types of berries come fully loaded, not just with a wealth of vitamins and minerals, but also with plenty of antioxidants as well. Berries contain a massive amount of antioxidants such as anthocyanins, ellagic acid, and resveratrol all of these antioxidants are helpful to your body, as they can prevent cell damage by keeping the free radicals within your body at reasonable levels.
Among the many varieties of berries, a study has shown that blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries have some of the highest concentrations of antioxidants out of all commonly eaten fruits. Just another one of the many health benefits that berries have to offer. In addition to preventing cell damage, the antioxidants found in berries can also help in preventing inflammation within the body. While inflammation is your body’s natural way of fighting off injuries and infection, modern diets and lifestyles can often lead to excessive and chronic inflammation, which in turn can lead to unwanted conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
Thankfully, studies have shown that the antioxidants that berries contain may be able to help lower and prevent the chances of chronic inflammation. In one of these studies, a group of people consumed a strawberry drink along with a meal that was high in fat and carbs, and the result was that the inflammatory markers in their body were much lower than those of a group that didn’t add the strawberries to their meal.
What this means is that strawberries, as well as other types of berries, maybe an ideal snack for those hoping to reduce the risk of heart disease, as well as other diseases and conditions. It is also believed that the antioxidants in berries can help to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer; specifically, cancer of the esophagus, mouth, breast, and colon are all believed to present reduced risk in individuals who consume berries every day. The anthocyanins, ellagic acid, and resveratrol found in berries are all believed to reduce markers that are associated with the formation and growth of cancerous tumors in both people as well as animals.
High in Fiber
Like many plant-based foods, berries of all kinds are also an excellent source of fiber, which aids in your body’s digestion and may even help lessen the risk of certain diseases. More specifically, berries provide a very good source of what’s known as “soluble fiber”.
Soluble fiber is characterized by the fact that it dissolves in water, and studies have shown that the consumption of foods containing soluble fiber can slow down the movement of food through your digestive system. This means that eating foods that contain soluble fibers can reduce feelings of hunger and leave you feeling full for longer amounts of time, which in turn makes you less likely to overeat or snack on foods that contain empty calories.
This, in addition to their already low-calorie count, makes berries even more ideal for weight loss and weight management, since a healthy serving of berries will leave you feeling more full and satisfied than an equally-sized serving of other foods that don’t contain soluble fiber. If that wasn’t enough, the fact that berries are so high in fiber means that they are also low in carbs.
Studies have shown that diets that focus on reducing carbs can be up to 2-3 times more effective at weight loss and management than diets that focus on reducing fat. So that means that if you decide to put down the chips and start making berries your daily snack instead, you can expect to see fast results! Additionally, it is believed that the soluble fiber found in fruits and berries may also help your body by reducing “bad” cholesterol and keeping your heart healthy. Strawberries, for example, are an excellent source of pectin, a type of soluble fiber that can reduce cholesterol by up to 10 percent!
Also, berries such as strawberries and black raspberries have been shown to help lower and reduce cholesterol in individuals struggling with obesity and metabolic syndrome. It is believed that berries may also help prevent heart disease by preventing LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, from becoming oxidized or damaged.
Berries May Improve Blood Sugar
Studies have indicated that berries may also be useful when it comes to improving your body’s blood sugar levels, as well as improving your body’s insulin sensitivity and insulin response. In one of these studies, a group of healthy women consumed 5 ounces of strawberries or mixed berries, or about 150 grams, along with bread every day. The resulting data found that the inclusion of berries helps reduce insulin levels by as much as 26 percent compared to the bread alone.
In another study, obese individuals who were struggling with insulin resistance were encouraged to consume a blueberry smoothie twice per day. As a result, the individuals who consumed the smoothies experienced greater improvements to their overall insulin sensitivity than those who did not. This means that people who suffer from insulin resistance can turn to berries as an option to improve their insulin sensitivity and potentially lessen the negative effects of their condition.
Thanks, berries! So the next time you decide to search your kitchen for something to snack on, you may want to consider putting away the chips and cookies, and instead reach for a cup of fresh berries. Not only will the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants help to keep your body healthy and protected against disease, but they will also leave you feeling full and satisfied with fewer calories, allowing you to start seeing weight loss results in as little as one week. While they might come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, one thing is clear: with berries, you can’t go wrong. Did you find this video helpful or informative? Do you know any other berry-related facts we may have missed or glossed over? Let us know in the comment section below.